(NASHVILLE) — Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) has filed a resolution in the General Assembly expressing Tennessee’s sovereignty over how students are educated in the state. Senate Joint Resolution 491 provides that the state, not the federal government, should determine the content of Tennessee’s state academic standards and the measures used to assess how well students have mastered them.
“This resolution declares that Tennessee will not stand for federal intrusion into the academic standards taught in our classrooms, nor will we tolerate Washington using any such standards to coerce policy decisions at the state or local level,” said Senator Gresham. “This is our responsibility. We are specifically talking about intrusion on our assessments, curriculum and instructional materials.”
Gresham said the resolution spells out that Tennessee considers any collection of student data by the federal government an overreach of the federal government’s constitutional authority. She said this also extends to organizations contracted to conduct tests on students in Tennessee in regards to any potential sharing or allowing access to pupil data.
“This puts the federal government, as well as any testing company utilized by Tennessee to measure our student’s progress on notice,” added Gresham. “Any attempts to collect data on our students will be met with strong measures. We will not allow it.”
The resolution now goes to the Senate Education Committee for consideration before moving to the full Senate for approval.