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3 Must-Watch (or Read!) Pieces About Education in Washington 

Fox & Friends  Leading Teachers Unions Discredit DeVos
Setting the record straight on union efforts to discredit Betsy Devos and parent power. Watch here


Wall Street Journal Who Is Betsy DeVos? 
Dispelling myths about Donald Trump’s pick for Education Secretary. Watch here.


ABC — How Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary May Reignite the Education Wars
Education opportunity advocates welcome DeVos to lead the fight for opening up more options in education. Read more.


BONUS READ!  DeVos can set a bold path for an education revolution at the federal level
The hour has come for a revolution that’s been needed for many years. Let’s get on with it. Read more.


We Need More Than Charm

What Has Arne Done For Us?
by Fawn Johnson
National Journal
October 29, 2012

If nothing else, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has made waves. In the last four years, he has brought about incredible changes in education policy, no thanks to Congress. That’s a point that education writer Richard Colvin (a contributor to this blog) makes in a recent column in Kappan magazine. “The breakdown of the legislative process hasn’t prevented the U.S. Department of Education from pursuing what may well be one of the most far-reaching education reform agendas ever,” Colvin writes. Duncan shepherded $4 billion for Race to the Top competitive grants and created No Child Left Behind waiver program for states. Let’s not forget also that the Common Core State standards are now…well…common.

This has not made everyone happy, particularly conservatives who don’t want to see new education policies put in place by fiat. Fordham Institute Executive Vice President Mike Petrilli (whose boss Chester Finn is also a contributor on this blog) argued in reaction to Colvin’s article that the White House could have pushed for legislation instead of the NCLB waivers, even if it didn’t like where Congress was going. “Both the Senate and House passed reauthorization bills out of their respective committees, and had the administration wanted to get them across the finish line, it could have pushed for it, and I think achieved it,” Petrelli said in an e-mail. Had that happened, NCLB would have been more or less dead. But it would have been a sound legislative process.

It is debatable whether Congress would have been able to pass any bill reauthorizing the complex elementary and secondary education system. It is also worth asking whether the administration did the responsible thing in responding to the gridlock, which had real consequences for states, with its “We Can’t Wait”

Read More …

RESPECT for Teaching

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announces a new competitive grant program part of President Obama’s proposed 2013 budget.

“Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching” (RESPECT) aims to elevate the teaching profession a la Race to the Top style by rewarding states that adopt policies favored by the administration, like raising the bar on teacher preparation, reforming tenure, and linking teacher pay to student achievement, to name a few.

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