While many people share that passion, few have had the impact Senate Education Committee Chairman Gresham has had as the legislative “tip of the spear” in Tennessee’s very successful education reform movement. A retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel, the hallmark of the important Senate Education Committee under her leadership is that it is always pressing forward.
Reforms focused on entrenched bureaucracies are often politically risky. The special interests benefiting from said bureaucracies frequently come out in force to block the reforms and attack those leading the reform effort, but Senator Gresham has never flinched in the face of such opposition, even challenging politically active taxpayer funded bureaucracies such as the Tennessee School Board Association. The results have been impressive. In 2014, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Scores showed Tennessee was among the fastest improving K-12 school system in the nation, and for the first time in NAEP history, Tennessee 4th grade math scores were in the top half of the nation.9
Gresham isn’t slowing down. In the 109th General Assembly alone, Gresham introduced and carried over fifty education bills including politically risky legislation such as providing state scholarships for children with special needs, eliminating a taxpayer subsidy of the government’s collection of unions’ dues10 and de-funding the higher education project known as the University of Tennessee’s “Office of Diversity.”11
Dolores Gresham; Semper fi-always faithful.
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