Kevin Huffman is an independent consultant and former Tennessee commissioner of education, where he was responsible for the academic progress of nearly one million students. During Huffman’s tenure, Tennessee had the largest state gains on the National Assessment of Educational Progress--commonly called “the nation’s report card--including the largest gains for African-American students. Huffman led a radical transformation of state policies and an overhaul of the state education agency, resulting in growth in state test results, ACT scores and high school graduation rates during his term.
Huffman began his education career as a first- and second-grade bilingual teacher in the Houston Independent School District, teaching students in English and Spanish. After attending law school, Huffman represented school districts, state departments of education and universities working on policy and litigation matters at the Washington D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson. Huffman then joined the senior management of Teach For America in 2000, serving as the general counsel, the senior vice president of growth strategy and development and the executive vice president of public affairs as Teach For America grew into the largest provider of new teachers in the country.
Huffman has written opinion columns for a range of publications, including regular contributions to the Washington Post. Huffman won the Post’s national writing competition to find “America’s Next Great Pundit” in 2009. He is currently writing a book about the challenge of building a first-rate public school system in the face of modern political dysfunction.
Huffman holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Swarthmore College and a law degree from the New York University School of Law where he was on the Law Review. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Board of Regents, and the Board of Directors at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Chiefs for Change. Huffman was honored with Teach For America’s highest honor for alumni, the Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership, in 2014.