The Common Core Fight is On in Tennessee

Common Core is awfully unpopular for something that’s supposed to be so great. State after state is trying to keep academic freedom alive, and Tennessee is joining that list. Hearings have been held in the Volunteer State, and the fight is on. 

It’s been three years since Tennessee adopted Common Core standards, and Governor Bill Haslam (R) wants to help them stick around. Common Core is part of an education reform package begun by former Governor Phil Bredesen (D) in their Race to the Top application which also included tying teacher pay to test scores. Now, with expenses mounting and people fighting back, it’s going to take some work to get people on board. 

Haslam knows that he has to convince legislators on both sides of the aisle. “It will be a real battle,” Haslam said “It’s just one of these interesting political deals where you have people on the far right who have heard it’s ‘Obama-core’ … and then you have folks on the far left, who don’t like the fact that teachers’ evaluations are being tied to students’ test scores.”

Hearings were set to last two days, but there is a good chance they will go all the way through to next year’s legislative session. Haslam says he’s looking forward to the transparency the hearings will bring, saying “I actually think the hearings (Thursday) and Friday will be a great way to get a lot of things on the table so people can understand what they are and what they’re not.” 

The problem isn’t that people don’t understand Common Core, the problem is that we understand it all too well.