Education Week

What’s in ESSA’s Big Flexible-Spending Pot – Education Week

The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants—better known as Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act—is one of the most flexible federal programs around. And it just got a huge increase, from $400 million in the 2017-18 school year to $1.1 billion for the 2018-19 school year. The program is closely watched by advocates and district officials alike, in part because the dollars can cover such a wide array of needs—from school safety training to drama clubs to science programs to suicide prevention. […]

Betsy DeVos

State Restrictions on School Choice Earn Betsy DeVos’ Ire – Education Week

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has had difficulty selling her school choice agenda in Washington, railed against state constitutional prohibitions on public funds going to faith-based institutions, in a recent speech to a Roman Catholic organization. The target of DeVos’ wrath: so-called “Blaine” amendments to state constitutions that prohibit public funds from being used for religious purposes. DeVos said those amendments, many of which originated in the late 1800s, began as “bigoted” against Catholics. […]

Betsy DeVos

Five Things to Watch for When Betsy DeVos Makes Rare Visit to Capitol Hill

For the fifth time since the start of last year, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will testify publicly before Congress on Tuesday. 

The secretary will speak to lawmakers on the House education committee about the “policies and priorities” of the U.S. Department of Education. Compared to her predecessors, DeVos hasn’t been on Capitol Hill a lot during her roughly 16 months as education secretary, at least in terms of public appearances: She’s testified before spending committies three times, and once to the Senate education committee for her rocky confirmation hearing in January 2017. Tuesday’s hearing would be the first time she’s testified before the House committee that deals with K-12 issues.

DeVos has met privately a few times recently with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But education committee lawmakers haven’t had the chance to ask DeVos detailed questions in public about her track record. In fact, on Friday, House committee Democrats sent out a fact sheet pointing out that her predecessors spent significantly more time testifying to Congress over comparable periods of time. In former Secretary Arne Duncan’s first 15 months, for example, he testified to Congress nine times.   […]

Betsy DeVos

Federal Flash: Could New Federal Data Prevent DeVos From Rolling Back Obama-Era Rules?

New federal data on bullying, discipline, and school safety should prompt tough questions about why certain groups of students are unfairly singled out. Could it also prevent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from rescinding Obama-era guidance on school discipline?  Today’s Federal Flash addresses that question, highlights new people taking over top positions at the U.S. Department of Education, and covers interesting comments on education coming from top Republicans on Capitol Hill. […]

commentary

COMMENTARY: What NAEP Scores Aren’t Telling Us – Education Week

For two decades, as part of repeated research studies, thousands of participants from diverse backgrounds have watched the same video of college students playing basketball in a circle. Participants are told to count how many times the students wearing white shirts pass the basketball. Stunningly, roughly half of the participants become so distracted trying to count the passes that they completely miss something extraordinary: a student dressed in gorilla suit who walks into the middle of the scene and thumps her chest before walking out of the frame nine seconds later. […]