Federal Activities

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations relating to the federal government’s activities around ESSA.

Thomas B. Fordham Institute Praises DeVos for ESSA “State Plan Peer Review Criteria”

Brandon Wright of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute published an article praising Secretary Betsy DeVos for her ESSA “State Plan Peer Review Criteria.” According to Wright, the criteria encourage states to develop an accountability system that goes beyond just measuring proficiency. Through the use of…

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Nineteen Democrats Send Letter to Secretary DeVos Asking for More Information

Nineteen House and Senate Democrats sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asking for a “full explanation of how requirements for stakeholder voices will be met under a new ESSA template for state-submitted plans.” The letter also encouraged states to submit plans…

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DeVos Speaks to CCSSO at Annual Legislative Conference

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke to the Council of Chief State School Officers at their annual legislative conference. DeVos stated, “Once your state has developed a plan to provide a quality education in an environment that is safe and nurturing for all children,…

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CAP Raises Concerns over Trump’s Proposed Federal Budget

Experts from the Center for American Progress posted a blog opposing President Trump’s 2018 federal budget. CAP said the budget “would dismantle public schools through massive cuts to teacher training, after-school programs in public schools, and transfers of public funds to private school vouchers.” They…

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AFT Says Trump’s Proposed Federal Budget Will Negatively Impact ESSA

The American Federation of Teachers said that Trump’s budget “takes a meat cleaver to public education” with AFT President Randi Weingarten saying it will negatively impact ESSA’s Title I and Title II funding. Weingarten stated the plan “weakens federal support for job training and employment…

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DeVos Delivers Speech on New ESSA Accountability Regulations

During a speech to the Council of the Great City Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos touted the new ESSA accountability regulations. According to The 74, DeVos argued the Dept. of Education under President Obama had “gone outside of its established authority” and “created roadblocks, wittingly or unwittingly, for parents and…

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Sen. Lamar Alexander Voices Opinion on Efforts to Roll Back Regulations under ESSA

Senate Education Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) authored an opinion piece on his efforts to roll back regulations under ESSA. Sen. Alexander argued that the removal of regulations is “not a trivial matter” but an effort to “restore to states, classroom teachers and parents decisions about what to do about their children…

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Sen. Lamar Alexander Calls for Stakeholders to Continue Draft ESSA Plans

While speaking to local education leaders, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told them to “assume that the U.S. Dept. of Education will say yes” to the “plans they’re drafting to comply with ESSA.” Alexander called for stakeholders to continue to draft plans.

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U.S. Dept. of Ed Seeks Peer Reviewers of State Plans

The Dept. of Education is seeking highly-qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under ESSA. Those interested in applying to serve as a peer reviewer must apply by January 27, 2017.

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U.S. Dept. of Ed Releases Additional ESSA Guidelines for States

The Dept. of Education released additional ESSA guidelines for states. The dept. distributed three documents designed to help states on new plans and goals, state and local report cards, and graduation rates.

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Secretary King’s Memo Examines Last 8 Years on Education and ESSA

Secretary King issued an exit memo about the Department’s efforts over the last eight years on education and ESSA. King wrote that ESSA was a “bipartisan achievement” and the successful implementation of the act is “critical to the advancement of the nation’s educational progress.” King also…

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Honeymoon is Over – What’s Next for ESSA?

With the election of Donald Trump, Education Week looked at the relationship between the GOP and “education practitioners,” asking if “the honeymoon [between the two] is over” and looking at how that might affect ESSA. A Republican Senate aide said, “The K-12 era [in Washington] is…

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ESSA and Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos’ Education Agenda

Elizabeth Mann, a fellow in governance studies at Brookings, discussed the impact that ESSA will have on Education Secretary Nominee Betsy DeVos’ education agenda. Mann concluded that since ESSA prohibits the “secretary from requiring states to adopt specific standards,” DeVos’ best way to impact policy…

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Sen. Udall Comments on ESSA Implementation

When discussing the impact of the Trump administration on ESSA, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) commented that Trump “would meet fierce opposition from Democrats and Republicans alike if he tried to meddle with the law.”

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What Education Issues Will Be at the Top of the Trump Administration’s Priority List?

Education Week examined what education issues will be at the top of the Trump administration’s priority list. The piece argued that states are “ready to push the ESSA envelope” and “people who hate the Obama administration’s draft ESSA regulations” will be a top priority for…

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How will the Trump Administration Impact ESSA?

Education Week released a series of articles unpacking the impact that the incoming Trump administration could have on the implementation of ESSA. How Trump will tackle ESSA under his new administration. The piece argued that lawmakers can use the Congressional Review Act to their advantage…

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Trump Presidency Unlikely to Change ND’s Academic Standards, Says Baelser

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler “doesn’t believe there will be much change to state education standards when Donald Trump takes office.” The main question Baesler is faced with is if the new administration will “modify rules” or “start all over with the negotiated rules…

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Sen. Alexander Comments on ESSA Implementation

During an in interview with a Tennessee radio station, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) commented that President-elect Trump will “ensure ESSA is implemented as written.” Alexander also tweeted that the current “administration’s rules/regulations on the law would be overturned.”

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AEI Panel Discusses ESSA Implementation During the Trump Administration

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted a panel discussion on the potential impact the Trump administration will have on education. Panel members discussed ESSA’s timeline and ruled that aside from rolling back a few regulations, states are in control of the law’s implementation. Frederick Hess,…

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How Incoming Trump Administration Will Impact ESSA

Michael Petrilli, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, published a blog post on the implementation of ESSA under President-elect Trump. Petrilli argued that the administration would likely “rip up” some regulations that the Obama administration sought to implement. The new administration would likely “go…

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U.S. Dept. of Ed Approves One Year Extension – NH to Pilot Competency-Based Assesments

The U.S. Dept. of Education has approved a one-year extension on a waiver from ESSA testing regulations, allowing the state of New Hampshire to pilot competency-based assessments.

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Idaho to Release State ESSA Plan

Jeff Church, spokesman for the state Dept. of Education, indicated that Idaho is planning to release a draft of its state plan within the next few weeks. Education leaders will seek public input on that plan through November.

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Dept. of Education Announces Recipients of Teacher Incentive Fund Grants

The Dept. of Education announced the recipients of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grants – known as the Teacher and School Leader Innovation Program which was designed to allow districts to “develop innovative solutions for recruiting and retaining highly effective educators.” On Education Week’s K-12…

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Dept. of Education Submits Accountability Regulations for OMB Review

The Dept. of Education submitted a final proposal to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for writing a new accountability rule under ESSA. Once the proposal is reviewed, the department will publish the final regulation.

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Vice Presidential Candidate’s Past Positions on Education Policy

Following the Vice Presidential debate, Education World published an article highlighting the candidates’ past positions on education, including ESSA. Sen. Tim Kaine has been an advocate for “career and technical education,” and sought to include related programs in ESSA “to improve access to K-12 career…

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