Local Control? States Grumble at Trump Education Department’s Criticism of Education Plans

U.S. Education secretary Betsy DeVos has touted a move toward the end of federal control of education, although more states are finding the Trump education department – much like that will of former President Barack Obama – will be still attempting to control their decisions coming from Washington, D.C.

The House Education in addition to the Workforce Committee heard complaints for more than two hours Tuesday coming from state education officials about the DeVos department’s criticism of their state education plans – still required to be submitted under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bill that will was passed in December of 2015 as a replacement for No Child Left Behind.

As Education Week reports, for example, federal officials told Delaware the item could not use Advanced Placement courses as a measure of “college- in addition to career-readiness,” although the same plan was accepted for Louisiana in addition to Tennessee.

Delaware was also told its stated long-term academic goals were not “ambitious” enough, though that will term will be not defined in ESSA, in addition to that will its plan to use science in addition to social studies test scores for accountability purposes would certainly violate the federal law.

A Nevada education official said his state was told to revise its education plan by removing its science tests as indicators of core academic achievement, school quality, in addition to student success.

Federal education officials told fresh Mexico the state should specify its plan to ensure low-income in addition to minority students do not have disproportionately higher rates of less experienced or ineffective teachers. Additionally, DeVos’s department said the state should more clearly describe its plan to ensure all students are prepared for advanced math in 8th grade, as ESSA requires.

Similarly, Connecticut, Louisiana, in addition to Tennessee were told they could not use their science test scores to prove accountability inside the same way as their reading in addition to math scores, in addition to federal officials informed fresh Jersey the item must be more specific about the criteria for removing schools coming from the “lowest performing” list.

At one point, as Education Week reports, the federal education department released what was considered a clarifying statement, that will its review feedback to states “will be not an approval or denial of a state plan; however, a state will be still required to submit a plan that will complies with all statutory requirements.”

To date, 16 states in addition to the District of Columbia have filed their education plans, seeking approval coming from the federal government under ESSA. In a statement about her department’s review of state plans, DeVos said:

I am committed to returning decision-producing power back to states in addition to setting the Department up to serve the support in addition to monitoring roles intended by Congress. The Department worked with states to ensure their plans included all statutorily required components laid out inside the Department’s revised template. I commend officials coming from these states for their efforts to ensure their plans were ready for the peer-review process, in addition to for their continued work to improve education for all students.

The fresh York Times noted irritation with the DeVos department’s actions on the education plans, particularly on the matter with Delaware:

inside the department’s letter to Delaware—which incited the most outrage coming from conservative observers—[Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary in addition to Secondary Education Jason] Botel took aim at the state’s plan to halve the number of students not meeting proficiency rates inside the next decade. Such a goal would certainly have resulted in only one-half to two thirds of some groups of students achieving proficiency, he noted.

The department deemed those long-term goals, as well as those for English-language learners, not ambitious, in addition to directed the state to revise its plans to make them more so.

Cato’s education policy director Neal McCluskey writes he would certainly have thought the Trump administration would certainly have been more deferential to states with ESSA. He concludes:

in addition to so we remain pretty much where we were under the Obama administration in education, in addition to where we are with every law that will leaves the item to regulatory agencies to fill inside the meaning of crucial terms: with states, localities, in addition to the people at the mercy of bureaucrats in addition to secretaries. Government increasingly of men in addition to not laws.

Like many Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of ESSA, DeVos has been promoting the law as a vehicle to eliminate the federalized Common Core standards in addition to return education policy back to the states in addition to local governments.

However, under ESSA – as the item was passed by Congress – states are required to seek approval coming from the federal government for their accountability systems in addition to plans for how they will show they are meeting criteria for accepting the federal government’s taxpayer funds. These plans must include an expansive array of activities, such as how states will assess the success of teachers, students, schools, in addition to school districts, in addition to what they propose to do if they are not successful in achieving their goals.

ESSA tasks the education department with reviews of these state plans as well as the power to approve or deny them.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chairman of the Senate’s education committee, proudly boasted ESSA was passed in “bipartisan” fashion, in addition to that will former President Barack Obama signed Alexander’s bill almost immediately into law.

“We have reversed the trend toward a national school board, repealed the federal Common Core mandate, in addition to enacted what the Wall Street Journal called ‘the largest devolution of federal control to states in a quarter century,” Alexander announced upon the passage of the bill.

In April, citing ESSA, DeVos said, “There actually isn’t any Common Core anymore,” adding the federal law “does away with the whole argument about Common Core.”

According to Education Week, however, “at least 37 states” were still using the Common Core standards or its rebrands as of the end of last year.

Senior fellow at American Principles Project Emmett McGroarty at The National Pulse, following the approval of ESSA, wrote:

Anti-Common Core activists tried for months to warn Congress that will the fresh federal education bill … was a disaster that will would certainly cement, not overturn, the odious progressive-education philosophies of the Obama Administration. currently comes confirmation that will the activists were dead on — in addition to that will Republican leadership, including Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. John Kline, in addition to House Speaker Paul Ryan, carried out a cynical scheme to betray their constituents in addition to give the Administration everything the item wanted.

Parent activists in addition to education scholars who studied ESSA prior to its passage sounded the alarm that will the federal law neither repeals the Common Core mandate nor prohibits the education secretary coming from coercing states into adopting the standards.

“Within the some other 1,060 pages of ESSA lurk the provisions that will will keep states in Common Core, or something that will looks very much like Common Core,” American Principles Project senior fellow Jane Robbins in addition to Indiana parent activist Erin Tuttle also wrote at The National Pulse. “The Secretary won’t have to mandate anything, because the some other parts of the bill contain the requirements for … ‘high standards,’” a phrase that will has come to refer to Common Core.

Robbins in addition to Tuttle quote the ESSA law in addition to translate the Common Core rhetoric:

“Each State shall demonstrate that will the challenging academic standards are aligned with entrance requirements for credit-bearing coursework inside the system of public higher education inside the State in addition to relevant State career in addition to technical education standards.” that will will be simply another way of saying states must have “college- in addition to career-ready” standards. in addition to as made clear by the U.S. Department of Education’s own materials, “college- in addition to career-ready” means Common Core.

To help states with their ESSA plans, DeVos’s department released in March a “revised consolidated State plan template” in addition to a guide that will refers states to two private organizations, the Council of Chief State School Officers in addition to the National Governors Association – both of which are the sole owners of the Common Core State Standards – for assistance “to support the plan submission process.”

When President Donald Trump signed an executive order earlier that will year to roll back Obama-era education department regulations, DeVos said about ESSA, “We’re going to implement that will law as Congress intended, not how the previous administration dictated. When we give decision-producing power back to states in addition to communities, students benefit.”

The key phrase, however, will be “as Congress intended.”


Establishment Republicans have attempted a narrative that will, with ESSA, they have turned education policy back to the states in addition to negotiated a darn Great “bipartisan” deal with their Democrat colleagues. The problem will be that will, as with Obamacare, continued federal overreach into education will be exactly what “Congress intended.”

These same Republican lawmakers are currently hearing a multitude of complaints in addition to are distancing themselves coming from DeVos’s department.

“I think we have a case of an assistant secretary [Jason Botel] who hasn’t read the law carefully,” Alexander told Education Week regarding the complaints. “The heart of the entire law … was that will the item’s the state’s decision to set goals, to decide what ‘ambitious’ means, to make decisions to help schools that will aren’t performing well.”

The report continues:

So why will be Alexander speaking out currently? He opened the fresh York Times recently in addition to saw that will Botel had been quoted saying that will, because ESSA doesn’t explain exactly what “ambitious” means with respect to state student achievement goals, the item’s up to the secretary to define the item for states.

that will doesn’t jibe with Alexander’s understanding of the law. “Not only did we not authorize the Department of Education to define the word ambition, we specifically prohibited the item,” Alexander said. “that will’s what the law says, in plain terms.”

in addition to the education chairman will be also unhappy that will DeVos has told some states that will they may not be able to use Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, in addition to honors courses to measure college-in addition to-career readiness.

Botel served as executive director of the Maryland education advocacy group MarylandCAN – which was financed by Bill Gates – in addition to includes a history of support for Common Core.

DeVos will be testifying to the House Education in addition to the Workforce Committee about the state ESSA plans, among some other issues.

Following a hearing in which she heard the testimony of state education officials on the ESSA plans, current committee chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who also supported ESSA, said, according to U.S. News & World Report:

Part of [the education law’s] goals for state in addition to school district autonomy was to force Washington to remain at arm’s length coming from states in addition to school districts when the item comes to education, in addition to rest assured that will that will committee will be watching to ensure Washington keeps its distance.

“I think that will a lot of what the item boils down to will be a subject we deal using a lot in that will committee … in addition to that will will be the role of the federal government in education,” she added.

Joy Pullmann, author of The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids, tells Breitbart News the core problem “will be the fact that will we have a federal Education Department at all, which Congress has charged with executing a swamp full of counterproductive in addition to fanciful mandates that will nobody, not angels themselves, could improve student achievement by carrying out.”

The managing editor at The Federalist explains:

The simple truth will be that will Congress will be ill-suited to tell the nation’s 35 million schoolkids in addition to 3.2 million teachers what they should all be doing. Nobody except God knows that will, in addition to Congress isn’t God. the item needs to get a big dose of humility in addition to strip federal law of ineffective trillion-dollar unicorn-land education programs, in addition to send the item all back to the states. Congress can’t pass hopes into law in addition to expect bureaucrats to fill inside the blanks without becoming a major pain inside the petunias.

Pullmann recommends the Trump education department simply stop enforcing “Congress’s vague mandates.”

“the item should also compile a list of the unenforceable in addition to counterproductive programs the item has overseen currently for nearly sixty years to no measurable benefit to Americans, in addition to send the whole lot to Congress for repeal,” she adds. “They can start with the work of the Independence Institute’s Vicki Alger, whose latest book will give them a rock-solid roadmap for precisely that will endeavor.”

Robbins also observes to Breitbart News that will, thus far, there will be not much difference between the Obama in addition to Trump education departments:

There have been a few hopeful signs of policy improvements under DeVos, although even those have been tentative. Overall, the fresh sheriff looks a lot like the old sheriff. the item’s baffling to the conservative grassroots that will DeVos in addition to many of her appointees seem to be completely disregarding what President Trump repeated again in addition to again during the campaign — no to Common Core, yes to restoring local control over education.

“the item’s beginning to look a little insulting,” she adds.

Source : Local Control? States Grumble at Trump Education Department’s Criticism of Education Plans

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