Education Week - January 18, 2017 - 1
VOL. 36, NO. 18 * JANUARY 18, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
States Pencil In
By Daarel Burnette II
When the No Child Left Behind Act passed
in 2001, state education leaders hated the law's
mandate that every child in the country be proficient in math and reading by 2014. Unrealistic
and demoralizing, they called it.
But now that states can set their own goals
under the Every Student Succeeds Act-NCLB's
replacement-some are proposing to one-up the
feds with even more ambitious timelines of
Michigan, for example, which ranks academically in the bottom half of the pack nationally,
wants to place in the top 10 in the next 10 years,
according to the draft accountability plan it's
planning to submit to the U.S. Department of
Maryland has proposed that schools cut big
achievement gaps between white students and
students of color in half in the next six years. And
Hawaii wants to slash its 15 percent average absenteeism rate by more than a third by 2020.
The proposed goals have sparked clashes at
ESSA town hall sessions and state board meetings between accountability hawks, those in the
anti-testing movement, and teachers' unions as
President-elect Donald Trump greets Betsy DeVos, his pick for education secretary, during a rally in Michigan. If confirmed, she would
be part of the tidal wave about to sweep through Washington as political appointees take over key policy positions in federal agencies.
Ed. Dept. Facing Culture Shift Under Trump
By Alyson Klein
A presidential transition always triggers some makeover at
federal agencies. But when President-elect Donald Trump's team
takes power this month, the transformation of the U.S. Department of Education could be particularly striking.
The incoming president and his team have promised to change
the culture-or "drain the swamp"-in Washington, with serious
implications for the federal bureaucracy. And on the campaign trail,
Trump pledged to get rid of the Education Department-or at least
cut it "way, way down."
That would be a tough political lift, even with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress. But the sentiment has triggered
plenty of anxiety about the kind of resources and attention the department can expect from the new administration.
Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick for education secretary, is a longtime
Fee Hikes on AP Tests
Hitting Poor Students
By Catherine Gewertz
Low-income students across the country are
facing a steep hike in the cost of taking Advanced
Placement exams this year, and teachers are worried that the change could lead many promising
students to bail out of the tests.
News of the price hike-from $5 or $15 per test to
$53-is just beginning to reach students and counselors as they begin to talk about sign-ups for this
spring's AP tests. And it's putting needy students
in a bind.
"With the way my financial state is, I might not
end up taking the test if it's that much money," said
Kailee Giles, a junior who's taking AP Language
and Composition this year at Tumwater High
School, near Olympia, Wash.
Giles is feeling the effect of a little-noticed pro-
Uncertain Future Seen
For Key Federal Studies
By Sarah D. Sparks
Ian C. Bates for Education Week
Kailee Giles, right, talks with a classmate in her AP
English class in Tumwater, Wash. She says a fee hike
may keep her from taking the exam for the class.
The past eight years have marked an unprecedented
push to expand and use federal data systems, both in
education and across the federal government. As education watchers await the Trump administration, there
has been little clarity and some concern about the future
of key education studies.
"With this new administration, there are so many
things to keep your eye on," said Laura Speer, the Annie
E. Casey Foundation's associate director for policy reform and advocacy, "and this [federal education data
issue] is one of those things that can completely fly
under the radar-and before you know it, some critical
things can be lost."
Some of the biggest ongoing federal studies have
in recent years faced budget cutbacks and criticism,
particularly by Republican members of the House of
advocate of school choice, including private school vouchers. But
DeVos, a prominent GOP donor, doesn't have a significant record
in other areas that fall under the department's purview, from oversight of special education funding and English-learners to student
loans for college.
It's too early to say just how much will change at the Education
Department when Trump takes office at noon on Jan. 20. But conditions are ripe for a culture shift.
Politicization of federal agencies tends to ramp up when Congress
and the White House are controlled by the same party and after
a big, recent turnover in power, as is the case now, said Elizabeth
Mann, a fellow at the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy, who has studied how federal-state relations shape
And politicization, she said, also "increases when the agency is
Schools Named for the Obamas
Mirror Race, Class Divides
By Corey Mitchell & Alex Harwin
As the presidency of Barack Obama comes to a close, the schools across
the country named to honor him and first lady Michelle Obama paint a
panorama of a divided nation, one separated by race, class, and place.
Many are located in places like Normandy, a struggling St. Louisarea enclave where unemployment rates are high and high school
graduation rates are low.
The schools here are among the poorest and most segregated in Missouri. All but a handful of the 400 students at Normandy's Barack Obama
Elementary are black; almost all of them qualify for free or low-cost meals.
The racial and economic segregation that persists here can be found in
Obama-named schools across the nation, from Los Angeles to Long Island.
More than 90 percent of students who attend the namesake schools
are black and Latino. Fewer than 4 percent are white.
Students at the Obama schools are nearly 60 percent more likely
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