Education Week - October 4, 2017 - 1
VOL. 37, NO. 7 * OCTOBER 4, 2017
AMERICAN EDUCATION'S NEWSPAPER OF RECORD * © 2017 Editorial Projects in Education * $ 5
BRE AKING NEWS DAILY
Huge Financial Stakes Seen
For AFT, NEA, and Affiliates
By Mark Walsh
LISTEN AND LEARN: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos talks to students during a tour of the Science Focus Program/Zoo School in Lincoln, Neb., as
part of the secretary's recent six-state back-to-school tour. DeVos talked policy with Education Week in a one-on-one interview along the way. PAGE 14>
Education Advisers Say White House Has Ignored Them
By Corey Mitchell
Three long-standing presidential commissions designed to expand educational opportunities for nonwhite students were set to expire
late last week and members say months of silence from the White House has them worried
they're about to be dissolved.
The presidential advisory commissions on
educational excellence for black, Hispanic, and
Asian American and Pacific Islander students in
K-12 schools and on college campuses have not
met since President Donald Trump took office in
January. Although members of the groups have
reached out, the White House has not responded.
"We assume that silence indicates a lack of
interest," said Patricia Gándara, a member of
the Hispanic commission who is a research professor and co-director at the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The existence of the three initiatives dates to
1990, the year former President George H.W.
Bush commissioned the oldest of the three, the
initiative for Hispanic education.
Former advisers to both Democratic and Republican presidents, as well as a former education secretary, credit the groups with linking
past administrations with experts and advocates that shaped White House education policy.
"If the folks in government will engage and
will look for serious input, these are important
things," Sandy Kress, a top education adviser
in President George W. Bush's administration,
said of the advisory commissions. "You either use
them to the benefit of better policy or you don't."
Appointees to the African-American and Hispanic commissions, many of whom are educators, helped launch President Barack Obama's
My Brother's Keeper initiative, which sought
to improve education and expand opportunities for black, Latino and Native American
boys. The program lives on as a nonprofit and
recently merged with the Obama Foundation.
"The commissions were important places
In a case with enormous financial implications for teachers' unions, the U.S.
Supreme Court once again has agreed
to take up a dispute that threatens a
40-year-old precedent giving unions the
right to collect fees from nonmembers.
The justices last week granted review
in Janus v. American Federation of State,
County, and Municipal Employees Council 31, which could affect the treasuries
and political might of all public-employee
unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education
Association, and their state and local
At risk is the precedent in Abood v.
Detroit Board of Education, the 1977
Supreme Court decision that authorized public-employee unions to charge
so-called agency or fair-share fees to
employees in the bargaining unit who
refuse to join the union. (Twenty-two
states allow such arrangements.) Last
term, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers
Association, the justices deadlocked 4-4
in a case in which a group of nonunion
teachers had asked it to overrule Abood.
Various members of the court's conservative bloc have been signaling in several decisions since 2012 that they would
like to overrule Abood. In the oral arguments in Friedrichs in January 2016,
Justice Antonin Scalia had appeared
ready to join them. But he died the next
month, leading that case to end in a tie,
States Are Making It Easier
To Transfer Teacher Licenses
David Villafane/GFR Media via AP
By Liana Loewus
DESTRUCTIVE FORCE: Hurricane Maria snapped trees at a school in Santa Rosa, Puerto
Rico. Educators on the island said reopening schools will be daunting. PAGE 7>
It's a problem that teachers, doctors, and lawyers have in common: When they move from state to state, their licenses may not
go with them.
In the teaching realm, a handful of states offer full reciprocity-
meaning certified teachers can come from any other state and be
considered fully licensed right away. But the majority of states
require incoming teachers to at least take some additional coursework or assessments.
More states, though, are trying to simplify the license-transfer
process, according to a new analysis from the Education Commission of the States. Since 2016, 11 states have passed regulations
making it easier for out-of-state teachers to get their licenses.
"That was a big takeaway for me-that this is something states
care about and they're doing a lot of work on," said Stephanie
Take a Deep Dive Into
States' ESSA Plans
Education Week reporters
combed through the Every
Student Succeeds Act
to the U.S. Department
of Education for approval.