Gov. Bill Haslam discussed several key education issues impacting Tennesseans and the state's economy during a trip to Knoxville Friday morning.
Haslam said improving the education system will not only help young people, but it would foster job growth as well. He made it clear that the only way the state will see economic progress is if improvements are made in the classroom.
According to the governor, one of the biggest challenges the state faces is building a trained workforce. With automakers like Volkswagen, Haslam said these types of industries want more skilled workers in Tennessee for positions.
"We need about 30 percent of our population to have college degrees," said Haslam. "We only have about 21 percent, so we have a long way to go on higher education."
Next school year, Haslam said students will also transition from TCAP testing to PARCC testing. PARCC is short for "Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers." According to Haslam, this type of testing will provide a better gauge on whether schools are preparing grade school students for college. The state made a $51 million investment in that testing change.
Haslam also addressed the issue of school superintendents during his Knoxville visit. Some lawmakers in Nashville believe it would be better to offer municipalities the right to elect their superintendents. Haslam said electing school superintendents could negatively impact education.
"I know what it's like to be in office and have to go run, and there's no question, you're less effective because you're having to run and you're spending a certain amount of your time doing that," said Haslam.