NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says he was disappointed to hear of a petition signed by nearly half of the states' school superintendents that raised serious concerns about Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman.
The Republican governor in a letter to superintendents released Tuesday stood by Huffman and the initiatives he has championed, saying that the commissioner has brought a "new perspective and dynamic energy to education reform in Tennessee."
The petition originated with Dan Lawson, director of the Tullahoma City Schools, alleges that Huffman's office "has no interest in a dialogue" with local officials and the superintendents' efforts to improve their schools are being thwarted by low teacher morale because of policy changes on the state level.
Haslam called for "a fresh approach to communication" between the school districts and state education officials.