The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a good website comparing state Internet Filtering Laws. I’m not sure if this is being maintained, last update as of this writing (2 Oct 2010) was Dec 2009.
I was very interested to learn that here in Tennessee, where I’ve been for the Martin Institute‘s fall 2010 conference, all public K-12 schools are required to have Internet filtering which is CENTRALLY MANAGED by the state. This means there is NO local autonomy for individual schools or districts to determine their own whitelists or blacklists.
I wonder how many other states are under this type of centralized filtering regime? It seems to me an advocacy campaign which sought to legally enable local schools to adopt and maintain their own Internet filtering policies is needed. Local control is an essential value of our public school system in the United States. Centralized management of Internet content filtering by a state authority lends itself naturally to highly conservative and reactionary policies which may significantly impede the use of digital resources to support learning in the classroom.
That’s a nice way of saying, Tennessee state-managed content filtering is (in the perception of some) draconian, heavy-handed, and unbalanced. If you’re an educator working in Tennessee today, what’s you’re view on this?
Do you know of other states in the United States which centrally manage Internet content filtering for schools?