Chiefs for Change Statement on Kevin Huffman's Departure
WASHINGTON - In response to the departure of Kevin Huffman from the Tennessee Department of Education, Hanna Skandera, Chair of Chiefs for Change and New Mexico Public Education Department Secretary, released the following statement:
"Kevin Huffman joined Chiefs for Change shortly after he became the Tennessee Education Commissioner in April 2011.
"As Commissioner, Kevin set out to be a champion for children in Tennessee. Based on his vast experience in the teaching realm, he was determined to improve teaching quality in Tennessee by building new systems that would measure teacher progress and identify ways in which teachers could be more successful with all kids, especially children of color and those who suffer great disadvantages. Kevin has always stood against those who say kids couldn't succeed because of their background or zip code. His effort to build teacher quality and insistence on advancing educational outcomes for all led to Tennessee students being the fastest improving in the nation in 2013.
"Tennessee's results, measured by the National Assessment for Educational Progress, are directly tied to countless teachers and students who do the work in the classroom, as well as the policies that Kevin and Governor Haslam identified, fought for and implemented. It is one thing to have an idea of what to do to improve a large, disconnected bureaucracy, including multiple underperforming school districts, but it is another thing to implement that idea, impact that bureaucracy and have the remarkable results that Kevin's leadership produced.
"In addition to leading change in Tennessee, Kevin, as a member of Chiefs for Change, became a national voice for making real policy and practice changes to an antiquated education system that is often virulent in resisting efforts to improve outcomes for all children. He was a consistent voice for Chiefs for Change in the national landscape, along with the other courageous state education leaders.
"We wish Kevin all the best in his next position and look forward to his continued involvement in Chiefs for Change."