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What kind of people should be in charge of the US Department of Education?

Jan 27, 2017 by

Sandra Stotsky –

A national grassroots organization of parents is now in the process of gathering signatures for a new petition to President Trump. The problem they seek to address is not that both the nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the nominee for Deputy Secretary of Education, Allan Hubbard, belong to organizations promoting Common Core’s standards—which active parents don’t want.  The new problem is that the U.S. Department of Education is currently being staffed with personnel many if not all of whom are determined to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed under Senator Lamar Alexander’s watchful eye in December 2015, to centralize at the USED all education policies and data gathering for a planned workforce.   http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-education/2017/01/new-staffers-arrive-at-education-department-218400  This is to be done, as spelled out in ESSA, with the help of state education agencies, most of whom are already ensuring that revisions of their original Common Core standards (as in Arizona and Oklahoma) turn up “new” standards that are Common Core-compliant (i.e., suitable for Common Core-aligned tests or test items). Massachusetts may also be part of this national strategy of public deception; its “revised” Common Core-based standards, adopted by the state board of education in 2010, are soon to be unveiled.

Parents who want a sound academic curriculum in their local schools, and want to be able to influence what is happening in the schools their children or grandchildren attend, don’t believe that preventing only the confirmation of Betsy DeVos will further their interests.  Parents remember that President Trump noted concerns about Common Core in his presidential campaign, promising to eliminate both the Common Core standards and the U.S. Department of Education. These are not the goals of Betsy DeVos or Allan Hubbard.

Parents want both a Secretary of Education and a Deputy Secretary with higher education credentials, a strong record of opposition to the Common Core project, managerial experience, and a focus on teacher recruitment and preparation, not the current candidates, Betsy DeVos and Allan Hubbard. They would feel assured if someone like Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, Terrance Moore, headmaster of the Classical Charter School in Atlanta, William Rice (former president of Shimer College), or Bruce Cole (former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities) were confirmed as Secretary and/or Deputy Secretary. They also want assurance that no federally-mandated tests or other federal strings such as a collection of personally identifiable information are attached to charters and other forms of “choice” in the name of accountability.

Can the Trump administration simultaneously address parents’ concerns as well as offer all parents meaningful choices?”

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1 Comment

  1. Linda Gioscia

    This is what the press should be talking about as far as education goes!

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