Alexander, Frist Praise Tennessee for Meeting No Child Left Behind Requirements

Commend Tennessee for Being the First State to Receive Full Approval

Posted on April 26, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today praised the Tennessee Department of Education for its successful implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). On April 24, the U.S. Department of Education informed Tennessee Commissioner of Education Dr. Lana Seivers that Tennessee’s system of standards and assessments met all statutory and regulatory requirements and warranted “Full Approval.” Tennessee is the first state to receive full approval without recommendations. “This is a tremendous milestone both for Tennessee’s education system and for the No Child Left Behind Act,” Frist said. “As the first system to be deemed in full compliance with assessment requirements under NCLB, Tennessee will stand as a model for other states as educators nationwide ensure that students are meeting standards necessary to realize the promise of education. I commend Tennessee educators for their hard work in developing this assessment system and look forward to seeing its implementation help to boost accountability and student achievement in schools across the state.” “My grandfather used to say, ‘Aim for the Top. There’s more room there.’ I think he was right. I couldn’t be prouder that Tennessee is at the top of its class in meeting No Child Left Behind requirements,” Alexander said. “By having our standards and assessments meet ‘Full Approval,’ Tennessee is leading the way in making sure that all of our school children succeed. I commend Commissioner Seivers, her team and all the principals, teachers and students who have worked very hard to meet expectations.” The decision was based on input from peer reviewers external to the U.S. Department of Education and Department staff who reviewed and carefully considered the evidence submitted by Tennessee. Tennessee’s system includes academic content and student achievement standards in reading/language arts, mathematics, and science; alternate achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in those subjects; assessments in each of grades 3 through 10 in reading/language arts and mathematics; assessments in science in three grade spans; and alternate assessments for each subject. South Carolina and Delaware received approval before Tennessee, but with recommended improvements.