12:52pm

Fri September 13, 2013
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Tenn. Education Commissioner Responds to Petition

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman didn't offer any apologies in his first comments about a petition signed by more than 60 school superintendents that is critical of his leadership at the department.

Media reported that Huffman disputed many assertions in the letter, which says his office "has no interest in a dialogue" with local school leaders, and adds that superintendents' efforts to improve their schools are being thwarted by low teacher morale because of policy changes on the state level.

The petition is being circulated among the state's 137 school districts and has signatures from at least 63 superintendents.

Huffman commented about the petition on Thursday after making a project request to the State Building Commission.

Huffman said he talked with superintendents at an annual conference this week and would continue to collaborate with them.