|1-20-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Decoding DeVos: What New Education Secretary Could Mean for New Jersey
Yes, she’s pro-charter and pro-school choice, but how might those beliefs play out for educators and students in the Garden State?
What does Betsy DeVos mean for education in New Jersey?
DeVos has certainly made an inauspicious entrance as President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee as the next U.S. education secretary.
A billionaire philanthropist from Michigan, especially when it comes to charter schools and school choice, DeVos has been both vilified and praised — sometimes for the same things.
Her lack of any credentials whatsoever in public education is both a subject of scorn and a badge of honor. Her outspoken promotion for charters is a threat to some and an opportunity for others.
No doubt, her confirmation hearing earlier this week was a defining moment for many. For critics, it was a scary window into a nominee who clearly doesn’t sweat the details of federal policy. (Given some of her answers, there’s a question if she even knows federal policy.) Yet, short of a scandal or political bombshell, she also appeared likely to ultimately win confirmation, albeit along party lines.
Whatever the point of view, there is little doubt that the federal role in public education will hardly be business as usual under the Trump administration and, if confirmed, DeVos as his secretary.
So what will it mean for New Jersey, where federal spending on public schools is a small fraction of the total bill and federal mandates have a mixed impact on the state?
At this point, it’s very early; DeVos and the president-elect have yet to deliver any details of their education policies. That said, however, the developments of the past few weeks could provide a hint of what’s to come.
John Mooney | January 20, 2017
Education Week--Key Federal Studies Face Hazy Future Under Trump
The past eight years have marked an unprecedented push to expand and use federal data systems, both in education and across the federal government. As education watchers await the Trump administration, there has been little clarity and some concern about the future of key education studies.
"With this new administration, there are so many things to keep your eye on," said Laura Speer, the Annie E. Casey Foundation's associate director for policy reform and advocacy, "and this [federal education data issue] is one of those things that can completely fly under the radar—and before you know it, some critical things can be lost."
Some of the biggest ongoing federal studies have in recent years faced budget cutbacks and criticism, particularly by Republican members of the House of Representatives. Efforts to curtail those studies—or in some cases, stop them completely—have so far been blocked by the Senate and the Obama administration. So far President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, have given no indication of support for large-scale federal studies or education research more generally in their public statements or on the transition website, but they have voiced concern over invasions of privacy.
By Sarah D. Sparks| January 17, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools