Both the Senate and House have now passed a resolution aimed at undoing some of the controversial moves by former President Obama that conservatives argue undermined local control of schools.
The resolution undoes Obama-era regulations that that would have specified how school performance and teacher training are rated by the Department of Education. Lindsey Burke, an education analyst with The Heritage Foundation, summarizes the effect of the resolution.
“It looks at those Obama-era regulations that were promulgated on to the Every Student Succeeds Act,” she states, “and [it] rescinds those to enable [the Act] to work a little more like its congressional authors had intended.”
Burke and co-author Anne Ryland wrote last month that ESSA “failed to advance reforms that genuinely restore state and local educational autonomy” – and that the Obama-era regulations only “magnify the shortcomings of ESSA, reinforcing what has become systemic overreach by the federal government into the area of education.”
Critics are saying the just-passed resolution will confuse implementation of ESSA at the state level – but Burke argues that that’s an exaggeration.
“… More than that, it really shows how much states have, unfortunately, really grown accustomed to looking to Washington for direction on local education policy, and that does a real disservice to teachers and to school principals and local leaders.”
Burke says while rescinding the regulations is a good first step in putting control of education back at the local level, Congress still has a long way to go.
Written by Bob Kellogg and published on One News Now ~ March 21, 2017.
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