After learning yesterday that at least 60 Directors of Schools from across the state had signed a letter essentially expressing limited confidence in his leadership and challenging his approach, Commissioner Kevin Huffman responded today by saying:
We are committed to doing whats right for kids and we’re going to continue to be committed to doing whats right for kids. It’s important we talk to people, it’s important we listen to people, it’s important that people have input.
“But,” Huffman said, “at the end of the day we’re going to make decisions that are in the best interests of children in Tennessee.”
The Times-Free Press story also includes a poll asking if readers support Huffman’s ouster.
Apparently, Huffman believes continuing to attack teachers and dis-incentivize entry into the profession is good for kids. Or, maybe he knows better than almost half of the state’s Directors of Schools how to help kids achieve? Or, perhaps his collaborative style is so incredible these Directors have been consulted by him and they don’t even realize it?
If MNEA believes this strongly in the lack of Kevin Huffman’s ability, are they willing to take any further action than just a statement of “no confidence”?
It isn’t difficult to issue a written statement, especially after knowing that half of the Directors of Schools issued similar statements.
It will require more action on behalf of everyone involved to get any results in a problem like this one–and even though we are a Right-To-Work-State, there are steps that can be taken if there is enough resolve.
MNEA and other large organizations, like Rutherford, Memphis and others, have the membership, therefore the influence to get real results to many of the problems facing teachers and Education in Tennessee.
The situation is approaching critical mass, as I’m sure everyone is aware. The question is who has the power to exact change and correct the problems before they reach that point. I believe that we all do, if we face them as a unified group, willing to take on this fight for the children of Tennessee.