Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 24
All but three states this year will
be in full legislative swing by the end
of this month, and education policy
will be at the top of several governors'
agendas-with election-year politics
and the Every Student Succeeds Act
hovering in the background as they
go about their business.
More than three-fourths of state
lawmakers nationwide are up for
election this year, along with 36 governorships. And last year already had
proved a hyperactive one for school officials and lobbyists with an interest
in education issues, mostly as a result
of the looming deadline for accountability plans under ESSA, which
gives state legislators great leeway in
crafting testing, school ranking, and
school turnaround policies.
This year, states such as Kansas
and Washington return to the challenge of formulating new ways to distribute money to schools, prompted
by court rulings in some cases. States
including Oklahoma and Wyoming
also will be struggling to overcome
big budget deficits, which could put
pressure on education funding.
Debates over school accountability
systems could flare up again, as U.S.
Faces Pile of
The 115th Congress is about halfway over, and when it comes to education, GOP leaders in Congress
accomplished one top priority thus
far: ditching acccountability rules
for the Every Student Succeeds Act
from the Obama administration.
But what else have lawmakers
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
and her team continue to review and
sign off on state ESSA plans.
Legislators in states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin took
issue with the plans their state education departments turned in to the federal government and asked DeVos to
reject them or threatened to introduce
legislation to defang the plans before
they could go into effect. Lobbyists in
California and Florida are using recent feedback from DeVos as fuel to
push those states' legislatures to rewrite their accountability systems.
School Report Cards
State education departments this
spring also are drafting new report
cards to better display how schools
stack up on ESSA accountability
systems. That process has proved
to be especially contentious. Many
state legislatures decided last year to
switch from letter-grade-style report
cards to dashboard-style report cards,
which display several indicators.
In recent months, debates over the
look and technicalities of school report
cards have flared up between state
superintendents, state boards, and
legislatures in Alabama, California,
STARTED BUT NOT FINISHED
By Daarel Burnette II
Education Week has broken down
the issues and the bills into two
categories: those for which lawmakers have made discernible progress
in the form of votes and those that
are stuck in the mud. Omitted are
appropriations for fiscal 2018 that
will have a big impact on K-12 but
weren't yet decided as of the print
deadline late last week, and the tax
overhaul that President Donald
Trump signed into law in December.
(See related article, Page 5.)
- ANDREW UJIFUSA
> Career and Technical
The House passed a bipartisan
reauthorization of the federal career and
technical education law last summer. In
general, the legislation would provide more
power to states. Congress got tantalizingly close
to reauthorizing the Carl D. Perkins Career
and Technical Education Act in 2016 during its
last session, and it seemed like the odds for a
CTE bill looked relatively good this time. Rep.
Bobby Scott of Virginia, the House education
committee's top Democrat, was optimistic when
interviewed in 2017. But since the House floor
vote, there's been no significant Senate action.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, did introduce a bill
last March to give states more flexibility when
it comes to spending on CTE. But the Senate
education committee hasn't taken up that
legislation, let alone any major CTE overhaul.
> Student-Data Privacy
STILL AT THE STARTING LINE
"It's early still. There's still a lot
of time for things to be happening,"
said Michele McLaughlin, a former
Democratic Senate staffer who
now leads the Knowledge Alliance,
an education policy and research
group. "I think the tax debate took
a toll on bipartisan relationships
across the Senate. I don't think
this is exclusive to education. I just
think it's been very hard."
Michigan, and Ohio.
"Ohio's school-report-card letter
grades have become increasingly
questionable, inconsistent, difficult to
understand, frustrating for educators,
and confusing for parents," Rep. Mike
Duffey, a Republican, said in a memo
to his House colleagues. He plans to
propose legislation that would scrap
the state department's current reportcard design and get rid of state letter
grades for schools.
A large number of states-at least
seven-last year set up commissions to study new ways to distribute
money among their schools. Those
studies are past due in some cases.
States where revenue is heavily dependent on commodity prices, such as
Alaska and Oklahoma, are looking
for ways to cut school funding.
Meanwhile, Kansas and Washington are under court deadlines to come
up with new funding formulas.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a
Republican who could soon leave the
state to work for President Donald
Trump, tasked his legislature with
coming up with $600 million but
gave few clues as to where to find that
money. He later said he expects the
money to come from revenue growth.
"Kansans expect to see students
Because of political hot potatoes like new
state data systems and ed-tech products, the
personally identifiable information generated
by K-12 students was a big alligator lawmakers
tried to wrestle with a few years ago. But now?
There was an October push to make datasharing easier for education research. And in
November, the House commerce committee
held a hearing about how companies collect
and examine data. No major overhaul of federal
law is in the works, though. Sen. Ed Markey,
D-Mass., did introduce a bill last year to
prohibit U.S. Department of Education money
from going to companies that have not
implemented proper security procedures
regarding personally identifiable information. It
has not gotten a hearing.
> Deferred Action for Childhood
This is perhaps the issue on this list with the
highest profile. Trump announced his plans
in September to end DACA, which provides
protections to people brought illegally to
24 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 17, 2018 | www.edweek.org
Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
K-12 Key Topic for State Legislators
Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican, kicks off the 2018 state
legislative session, which once again will wrangle over school financing.
in every school in our state thrive
and achieve, particularly our students who the court cited as being
inadequately served under our current funding," said Brownback in his
state-of-the-state speech last week.
In a year when so many legislators
are up for election, some legislative
observers say it's not likely that they
will attempt to propose especially controversial legislation or do something
voters will remember when walking
into the voting booth.
But with DeVos placing school
choice on the radar of so many voters, many Democrats plan to exploit
moderate conservative voters' hostility
toward charter schools and vouchers.
That could affect how GOP legislators treat the issue during this year's
> Juvenile Justice
Similarly, the House passed a reauthorization
of federal juvenile-justice law last May. The
legislation requires more data collection on
youths in the justice system and sets new
limits on the contact they can have with adult
inmates. As with CTE, the House passed a
juvenile-justice overhaul in 2016, giving hope
for 2017. The Senate also passed a juvenilejustice bill last year.
> Higher Education
Last month, the House education committee
passed the Promoting Real Opportunity,
Success, and Prosperity through Education
Reform, or PROSPER, Act, which would
reauthorize the Higher Education Act. Among
other changes, the bill would ultimately
eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness
the United States as children, but said he'd
give Congress six months to come up with a
legislative solution. About 250,000 school-age
children have become eligible for DACA since
former President Barack Obama instituted it
via executive order in 2012. Some kind of legal
protections might be included in a fiscal 2018
appropriations deal later this month-or they
might not. (See related article, Page 1.)
> Head Start
Head Start was last updated in 2007. Two
Republicans, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana and
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, introduced the Head
Start improvement Act. It would replace
existing law with block grants for states
and Native American tribes to use on early
education programs. It has not gotten a hearing.
> Individuals with Disabilities
IDEA was last reauthorized in 2004. It's not
clear how much appetite there would have
been for this Congress to tackle the law. Any
session. Already, in Tennessee, Rep.
Harry Brooks, a Republican who has
been a leading voucher advocate in the
state, has said he and his colleagues
won't pursue voucher legislation this
year and instead will focus on boosting teacher pay and school technology.
Severe teacher shortages in many
states also have led to calls both from
teachers' unions and from school accountability hawks for legislators to
rethink their approaches to teacher
certification, evaluations, and pay,
with a mind toward making it easier
to go into the profession. In states'
ESSA plans, departments have been
tasked with defining "ineffective
teacher," setting off a debate in states
such as California and Minnesota
over what that should mean. Several
states' plans were criticized for having insufficient definitions, and legislatures could end up weighing in.
program (which is available to teachers),
raise certain federal loan limits, put a new
"dashboard" in place to give prospective
students more information about debt, and
reauthorize the Pell Grant program for lowincome students, though the maximum Pell
award would remain the same. The main
higher education law was last updated in
Getting a new HEA over the finish line
is a top priority for Sen. Lamar Alexander,
R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate education
committee, who has continued working
with his counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray
of Washington state, the committee's top
Democrat. But a new higher education law
crafted by Republicans might be an especially
tough sell to fellow committee Democrats like
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth
major changes to IDEA, and IDEA funding,
almost certainly became more complicated
after special education took center stage
during U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy
DeVos' confirmation hearing about a year ago.
The controversy DeVos sparked through her
apparent lack of understanding about the
IDEA has created a polarized political climate
around the issue.
Democrats Jared Huffman of California
and Jared Polis of Colorado have introduced
bills designed to ramp up IDEA funding. Two
Republicans, Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana and
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, have pushed
a bill providing more school choice for special
> Education Sciences Reform Act
The Strengthening Education through
Research Act was introduced by Alexander.
This update passed the Senate by unanimous
consent in late 2015. Since then? Pretty much
radio silence. Search through the bill till for
SETRA or an ESRA update during this session
of Congress, and you won't find anything.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 17, 2018
Education Week - January 17, 2018
QUALITY COUNTS 2018: Grading the States
Cheating Scandal in Atlanta Casts Long Shadow
Unknown Fate for DACA Leaves Dreamers on Edge
News in Brief
Ed. Dept. Finds Texas Suppressed Spec. Ed. Enrollment
How Classroom Location Matters In Teacher Collaboration
How Much Reform Is Too Much? Teachers Weigh In
Students Thrive When They See Purpose In Their Learning
K-12 Districts Advised on Rights in Post-‘Net Neutrality’ Era
What’s on the Runway for Trump, Congress on Education?
Year One: K-12 Presidential Scorecards
States Slow in Adopting ESSA’s Testing Flexibility
At Halfway Mark, Congress Faces Pile of Education Issues
K-12 Key Topic for State Legislators
Patrick J. Wolf: Four Sound Practices for Public Debate
DATA: Which 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholars have the greatest social-media influence?
Pedro A. Noguera: How to Decide When Your Voice Is Necessary
DATA: Where are the Edu-Scholars?
Robert Kelchen: Some Cautions for Junior Scholars (and Their Institutions)
DATA: Percentage of 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholars with Twitter accounts
Diana Hess: Scholars, Don’t Overstep Your Expertise
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Frederick M. Hess: When Public Scholarship Gives Way to Bombast and Bluster
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Unknown Fate for DACA Leaves Dreamers on Edge
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 2
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 3
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - News in Brief
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 5
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Ed. Dept. Finds Texas Suppressed Spec. Ed. Enrollment
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - How Classroom Location Matters In Teacher Collaboration
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - How Much Reform Is Too Much? Teachers Weigh In
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Students Thrive When They See Purpose In Their Learning
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - K-12 Districts Advised on Rights in Post-‘Net Neutrality’ Era
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 11
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 12
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 13
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 14
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 15
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 16
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 17
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 18
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 19
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 20
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 21
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Year One: K-12 Presidential Scorecards
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - States Slow in Adopting ESSA’s Testing Flexibility
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - K-12 Key Topic for State Legislators
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - DATA: Which 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholars have the greatest social-media influence?
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - DATA: Percentage of 2018 RHSU Edu-Scholars with Twitter accounts
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Diana Hess: Scholars, Don’t Overstep Your Expertise
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Letters
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 30
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - 31
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - Frederick M. Hess: When Public Scholarship Gives Way to Bombast and Bluster
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - CW1
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - CW2
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - CW3
Education Week - January 17, 2018 - CW4