Ratings Revelations from the First Batch of State ESSA Plans

     Although the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rolls back federal education mandates to allow states more authority over their accountability systems, it nonetheless requires that the Secretary of Education approve each state’s accountability plan to be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Under an Obama Administration policy, states (and Washington, DC) could submit their …

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When “Legal Technicalities” Matter

“First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” This line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI reflects a popular sentiment toward lawyers who make the simple complex for their own interest. Only lawyers would take such a technically highfalutin’ issue such as this to the highest court in the land: Whether 20 U.S.C. 1415(l) requires petitioners …

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R.I.P. Coalition of Essential Schools

When was the last time you heard anything about the Coalition of Essential Schools (CES)? Have you ever? According to the headline of an Education Week article posted January 20, 2017, “Iconic School-Reform Group Ends 33-Year Run.” The article lead identifies the CES as “a progressively oriented school reform network” that “will cease its national …

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Feds and States and Widgets—Oh My!

The Feds For nearly seven years the Obama Department of Education (USDOE), through its Race to the Top (RttT) program and its issuance of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers, pushed states to establish “rigorous” teacher evaluation systems that incorporated student achievement evidence, the results of which would then be used in personnel decisions. The …

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Secretary DeVos and Title I Portability: A Renewed Push for Federally-Funded School Choice?

  New Education Secretary: What Policy?                                                                                                In all likelihood, Betsy DeVos will soon become Secretary of Education. As an earlier Green & Write post has pointed out, DeVos is best known as a very rich, very well-connected champion of school choice and publically-funded vouchers. Remarkably influential in Michigan politics, she has provoked criticism, and garnered support, …

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Just Answer Yes or No: State Ballot Proposals and Making Education Policy by Direct Democracy

  Courtesy of wikipedia commons Citizens last week voted yes or no on scores of statewide proposals, including seventeen in California. The nine measures in seven states that concerned education policy fall into two distinct categories: proposals affecting education funding and proposals affecting education governance. Proposals Affecting Education Funding Six proposals sought new or enhanced …

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What’s in a Phrase: Will the “Free and Appropriate Public Education” Standard Mean as Much When the U.S. Supreme Court Interprets It?

One Little Case and One Big Law Drew was diagnosed with autism at age two, ADHD at three. He accepted special education services from the Douglas County, Colorado schools beginning in preschool.  After an especially difficult fourth grade, Drew’s parents rejected the individualized education program (IEP) the District had proposed for the next year. They …

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