(a) The Legislature finds that the people of Alabama desire two basic things from their public schools:
(1) High achievement for students.
(2) A safe and orderly environment in which to learn.
(b) The Legislature encourages the State Board of Education to assist local boards of education in the development of a strong disciplinary policy and directs the State Board of Education to develop a program to closely monitor student achievement.
(1) The State Board of Education shall require implementation of an assessment program for the public schools of Alabama. The assessment program may include nationally normed tests or criterion referenced tests, or both. These tests may be used to assist in the assessment of student achievement. The State Board of Education may also require the use of other tests and assessments as the board may deem necessary.
(2) In grades 11 and 12, the State Board of Education shall implement an assessment and remediation program to monitor and promote the academic achievement of students in those grades and prepare them for successfully completing the graduation examination.
(c) There is no legislative intent to interfere with the provisions of Section 16-3-18.3, and it is the intent of the Legislature that the development of the total assessment program for student performance, exclusive of the requirements of student performance herein, shall be the function of the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education is instructed to develop courses of study to provide Alabama students with the content and information to enter the workforce, to compete nationally and internationally with other students, and to successfully compete at the postsecondary level. This shall include the content necessary to successfully achieve on nationally normed tests and any other tests that may be required by the State Board of Education.