|2-2-17 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--Christie rejected in quest to lower charter school teacher standards
TRENTON -- In a rare rejection of a Gov. Chris Christie proposal, the state Board of Education on Wednesday shot down his controversial plan to experiment with lower certification standards for charter school teachers and principals.
The board voted 5-2 with one abstention to remove Christie's proposed five-year pilot program from his promised charter school deregulation package.
The remainder of the package, which includes a faster renewal process for high-performing charter schools and other changes, gained preliminary board approval.
After the meeting, several members of the appointed board struggled to recall the last time it rejected any component of Christie's education policy.
"I don't remember ever doing it," said Joseph Fisicaro, appointed by Christie in 2011.
The rebuke was a reflection of the plan, not Christie's status as an outgoing governor, said board member Edithe Fulton, first appointed in 2007 and later reappointed by Christie.
Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| February 01, 2017 at 2:56 PM, updated February 01, 2017 at 10:54 PM
Education Week--What Could Betsy DeVos Really Get Done as Education Secretary?
The prospect of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education has some school choice supporters riding high, while many educators, members of the civil rights community, and disability advocates are taking to the streets in anger, literally.
But what if her nomination is approved? (That looks more likely than not for now, even though a couple of GOP lawmakers said Tuesday they're not sure about the nominee heading into the full Senate vote.) How much could DeVos really do at the U.S. Department of Education without the help of Congress or state policymakers?
The short answer: Maybe not quite as much as you might think.
The new Every Student Succeeds Act seeks to rein in the education secretary significantly—a fact that Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the chairman of the committee, alluded to at the start of DeVos' confirmation hearing. In fact, some civil rights advocates are far more worried about what DeVos wouldn't do, especially when it comes to enforcing civil rights laws and the so-called "guardrails" in ESSA, or the parts aimed at improving low-performing schools and boosting the performance of historically overlooked groups of students. (More on that below.)
DeVos would have some tools at her disposal to champion her school choice agenda, including competitive grants, although money for any big new program will likely be scarce. But it wouldn't be easy for her to push states and districts in significant new directions that local leaders wouldn't want to go in.
By Alyson Klein on February 1, 2017 8:07 AM
Garden State Coalition of Schools