Colorado Officials Say ESSA Increases Burden on Schools
School Choice Weekly #144
Republican HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander promised the nation the federal education law rewrite he pushed to President Barack Obama’s desk would roll back the federal role in education. After the Obama administration’s recent release of its new regulations for the law, state officials in Colorado are saying the new law does precisely the opposite.
Federal education bureaucrats “are going out and saying they’re respecting states. I would argue they’re not,” said Patrick Chapman, the Colorado Department of Education’s director of federal programs. “They’re saying the rules are creating more flexibility. I would argue they’re not.”
“Department officials told the board they believed about a quarter of the proposed regulations put new limits on states,” reports Chalkbeat Colorado. “Another quarter were not authorized by law. And ‘most concerning’ is that 12 percent of the regulations contained statements that conflicted with the law.”
The rule changes prompted Colorado State Board of Education members, Republican and Democrat alike, to discuss examining the costs of federal mandates versus the money national taxpayers send Colorado through the national government.
“The rules seem so distant from what the intent of the law was,” said board member Joyce Rankin.
SOURCES: Colorado Chalkbeat, Truth in American Education
IN THIS ISSUE:
- OHIO: Children who use state vouchers see a significant decline in test scores, finds a new study, the latest in a string of recent studies finding similarly negative effects for the first time since vouchers began to be studied.
- NEVADA: The American Civil Liberties Union wants to delay into the school year state supreme court oral arguments
- turn away nearly one applicant for every one lucky enough to get access to better-performing private schools in Philadelphia.
- NORTH CAROLINA: Homeschooling has reached an all-time high in Charlotte as charter school enrollment grows and private school enrollment declines.
- WISCONSIN: Four-hundred and sixteen special-needs children will go to new private schools this fall thanks to a new voucher program.
- MICHIGAN: Unions gear up to sue against the latest installment in state aid to private schools, which offsets the $100 per student estimated cost of state regulations. And Jason Bedrick fisks a recent New York Times article insisting, based on poor evidence, that Detroit charters are worse than district schools.
- CALIFORNIA: One in five Los Angeles students attended a charter school in 2015, and the district’s charters are among the best-performing in the country. Los Angeles is the nation’s second-largest school district.
- MASSACHUSETTS: A referendum that would have repealed Common Core will not appear on November’s ballot because of a legal technicality, the state’s high court has ruled.
- MICHIGAN: The country’s strongest Common Core repeal bill has been altered to, among other things, remove a provision that would resist federal control of education.
- OPT-OUTS: One in five parents plans to opt their kids out of tests in the coming school year, which would nearly double opt-outs over last year, finds a new survey.
- TENNESSEE: Newly discovered emails show state officials knew new Common Core tests were glitchy in trial runs, yet they went ahead and moved them statewide anyway, telling everyone things were going to be fine.
- LITERATURE: Although Common Core technically says students should be reading more complex nonfiction as they age, its nonfiction requirement actually has teachers assigning less complex reading, with disastrous results for literacy.
- TENNESSEE: Professors and staff at public universities who are properly licensed may carry guns on campus, thanks to a new law.
- FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES: After the Obama administration tanked the for-profit higher education industry by harassing such schools with inquiries, hearings, and regulations, some former Obama employees want to buy the biggest for-profit institution at its newly rock-bottom price.
- SPENDING: Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander points out in a podcast that education and health care compete for taxpayer dollars, so state funding for education has been slipping in recent years as Medicaid and Medicare spending has ballooned.
- TESTING: Seven states will be allowed to experiment with new tests and testing structures under a new provision of federal law, and the Obama administration has released related draft regulations.
- WYOMING: The state is seeking a middle way between allowing open access to either sex’s private facilities (such as bathrooms and showers) in schools, as the Obama administration has required, and limiting use according to biology.
- NEW YORK: Unions are using political muscle to demand state pensions pull money from hedge funds whose managers have donated to union-despised charter schools.
- STUDENT LOANS: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants taxpayers to pay off student loans of people who are trying to start the kind of businesses she finds socially acceptable. Here’s why that’s not fair and is not going to work.