What Will Bill Haslam Actually Do About Common Core?

Just in case you missed this story The Tennessean reported that Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s tone on Common Core is changing.

“For me, it shouldn’t be about the name and what we call it, the battle should be about: Are we going to have high standards or not and what exactly should those standards be?” Haslam said.

Haslam delivered that message in Nashville as he sat next to Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, in town for a Denver Chamber of Commerce leadership visit. Haslam’s latest comment follows others in which he called for a “full vetting” of Common Core standards, with a legislative session looming and the fate of the controversial standards expected to take center stage.

The tone is far removed from where the Tennessee governor stood just 10 months ago, when he endorsed the standards wholeheartedly by name. “Common Core is critical to the progress the state has made, and he’s committed to making sure we continue that momentum,” a spokesman said back then.

His latest comments seem to suggest that he’s not necessarily opposed to scrapping the name, at least, so long as the standards are robust.

Now changing the name will not do a blasted thing, but it is clear that Haslam is under pressure to address the increasingly unpopular standards.  This fall, in a shock poll, 56% of Tennessee teachers say they want to abandon the standards.  Will he actually do something tangible or will he just obfuscate the issue by just changing the name?  He says he wants to do a review, but do so after the 2015 legislative session which seems to be his way of delaying the inevitable as many legislators in his party are ready to repeal.