Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) yesterday said that the U.S. Education Department’s approval of Tennessee’s new state education plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) means “Tennesseans are back in the driver’s seat for decisions on how to help Tennessee students learn and how to get talented teachers into our classrooms.”
“This is an exciting day for Tennessee students,” Alexander said. “With the approval of its new state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Tennesseans are back in the driver’s seat for decisions on how to help Tennessee students learn and how to get talented teachers into our classrooms. This new law and this new Education Department both recognize that the path to higher standards, better teaching and real accountability is through classrooms, communities, and states, where decisions are made by people closest to our children and not through a distant department in Washington, D.C.”
He continued, “I congratulate Governor Bill Haslam and our state’s education commissioner, Candice McQueen, on today’s news, and I am eager to see what this new chapter holds for Tennessee students.”
As chairman of the Senate education committee, Alexander was the primary Republican sponsor of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed in 2015 and “reversed the trend toward a National School Board run from Washington, D.C.” The legislation was called the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter century by the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.