Governor Boasts on TN Edu Reforms at White House

State of Tennessee Press Release; Sept. 19, 2011:

Looks forward to federal government narrowing its role

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today delivered remarks in the East Room of the White House highlighting the state’s role as a national leader in education reform.

Haslam and state Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and educators from across the country at the event where President Barack Obama released criteria for states to receive a waiver to the No Child Left Behind legislation.

In July, Haslam and Huffman said Tennessee would pursue a waiver to No Child Left Behind.

The text of his remarks today is below:

Let me begin this morning by thanking Secretary Arne Duncan. We are grateful for your commitment to higher standards, for setting the expectation that every child can learn, and to shrinking the achievement gap. We in Tennessee appreciate the working relationship we have with you and the Department of Education.

As a Republican Governor, I may not always agree with this administration on policy issues or the proper role of the federal government. But I do believe that when there are things we can work on together, we should.

In Tennessee, we have raised our standards, linked teacher evaluation to student performance, and we are holding ourselves accountable. We believe we are most qualified to make our own decisions about how to continue our progress in making certain every child has an opportunity to learn.

I look forward to the federal government narrowing its role in education and allowing Tennessee the flexibility to abide by its own rigorous standards. Education decisions are best made at the state and local levels.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the President of the United States.