lundi 1 mai 2017

Every Student Succeeds

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was widely reported for confirming the death of Common Core. Or at least that it has been taken off life support: federal funding.

We've been in the new era of Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) since Obama signed it in December 2015. A bit of background:

In 1965 the Federal Government passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It was mostly about granting money to low-income educational districts. No Congress can bind a future Congress, so this original act is re-authorized continuously, but with faddish revisions that will always revolutionize education and bring the Easter Bunny to life.

It's grown to nine "Titles" now and roughly $20 billion in funding. It didn't get the feds out of the education business.

This is the main cause of the problem - the existence of this original Act and the constant revisions. The feds dangle hundreds of millions of dollars before state and local educational bureaucracies, so long as they comply with the newest provisions. This latest fad had states doing these little public meetings nobody really knew about to re-write their standards from the ground up, if they so chose. Did you attend your meetings?

Obama got an enormous increase in this education budget temporarily through the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That's how the states signed on to Common Core: unprecedented bribery.

States that adopted the corpse of Common Core still have to remove themselves from it - but there is no federal funding contingent on it now.

States still have to submit education plans to the feds in order to get the money. There's on the order of seven major federal laws tangling up strings. ESSA is over a thousand pages.

The traditional low-income funding (Title I) is still by far the largest component at about $15 billion. There is no big change in direction with the original 1965 Act provision.

As for the rest, each state I've checked has an ESSA page explaining what they're doing under the new Act. Our state commissioner has this to say in her first sentence:


ESSA is not Alaska's vision for public education...
But we're complying, in order to get the money.

If you check your own state, you will see reference to a plan your state is supposed to complete along with everyone who is supposed to be consulted. A bunch of make-work bureaucracy, but with potential for determined constituencies to exert influence on these plans. My prediction is a lot of word salad from most states.

Surely, every student will succeed, since that is the title of the Act. :)

via International Skeptics Forum

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