3-28-17 Education in the News

Washington Post (via Chicago Tribune)--Trump signs bills overturning Obama-era education regulations

President Donald Trump signed bills Monday overturning two Obama-era education regulations, continuing the Republican majority's effort to undo key pieces of the previous administration's legacy.

Trump's move scraps new requirements for programs that train new K-12 teachers and rolls back a set of rules outlining how states must carry out the Every Student Succeeds Act, a bipartisan federal law meant to hold schools accountable for student performance. In a signing ceremony at the White House on Monday, the president hailed the measures for "removing an additional layer of bureaucracy to encourage freedom in our schools."

Leaders of the Republican majority claimed that the accountability rules represented an executive overreach by former President Barack Obama. Democrats argued that rescinding the rules opens loopholes that states can use to shield poorly performing schools from scrutiny, especially when they fail to serve poor children, minorities, English-language learners and students with disabilities.


Emma BrownWashington Post| March 28, 2017


Education Week--Betsy DeVos: States Should Decide How Much Testing Is "Actually Necessary"

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a video interview that it should be up to states and districts to decide how frequently to test their students. 

"It's really a matter for states and locales to determine how much testing is actually necessary for measuring what students are learning," DeVos said Friday. "I think it's important to know and understand, however, what they are learning, and it's important for parents to have that information, so that they can be assured that their students are in the right place. ... Testing is an important part of the equation, but I think it's really a matter for the states to wrestle with, to decide how and how frequently the testing is actually done."

Her answer came in response to a question from WFTV Florida's Martie Salt, who asked DeVos how much testing is enough and what should change about testing.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to test students in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. But the law also allows states to offer a number of smaller, interim tests for accountability purposes, instead of one big test at the end of the year.


By Alyson Klein on March 26, 2017 7:26 PM