Tuesday, February 7, 2017

DeVos is Secretary of Education

A few quick notes:
  • It's not clear at this point what impact this is going to have on state ESSA plans. The House is busy gutting the Obama administration's issued regulations of ESSA, but many states that plan to send in plans early have followed the language of the law directly, rather than regulations.
  • While there is reason to be concerned about impacts on K-12 funding (and you know me: I'd never tell you NOT to worry about funding!), the bigger concern is this: U.S. DoE's major role is ensure access to and quality of education for students with disabilities, LBGTQ students, girls, low income students, students of color, students who are learning English...we've seen NO commitment to that from her. We need to watch this like a hawk at the state level, but then fight as hard as we can for national oversight to ensure we don't lose kids in other states. Also, Sessions is not yet confirmed as AG, and with his horrific history on civil rights, we lose education oversight there, too. Don't stop calling! 
  • I have seen more people more mobilized on this fight than I have ever seen care about anything in public education. Teachers and parents, sure, but I've seen people who don't have kids, who don't know anyone working in a public school see this threat and be mobilized like anything. For those of us who have been around these fights awhile, this amount of support for public education has been incredibly encouraging. DON'T BACK DOWN!
Finally, a word from my favorite fictional president:

And make sure you vote in local elections.

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