Monday, March 27, 2017

Congress Takes Important Steps to Lessen Federal Footprint in Education. President Trump just signed two GOP-led measures that block key Obama-era education regulations.

...Using the oversight authority granted to it by the Congressional Review Act, the Senate passed resolutions of disapproval for accountability regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act and regulations for teacher preparation programs. These resolutions now proceed to President Donald Trump.

The use of the Congressional Review Act to roll back these regulations provides immediate relief for states and schools. It also prevents the Department of Education from promulgating substantially similar regulations in the future without congressional approval....

We have tried the accountability-enforced-from-Washington model for the last 15 years under No Child Left Behind, and it hasn’t worked.

The Senate’s vote against the Obama-era accountability regulations is a step in the right direction, though it still leaves significant power in the hands of the federal government. As Heritage Foundation expert Lindsey Burke noted upon passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, good intentions still produced a mediocre law.

The Every Student Succeeds Act missed the opportunity for real reform by maintaining dozens of ineffective programs and high levels of federal spending, and by failing to incorporate the policies contained in the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) provision.

One of the strengths of our federal system is the possibility of innovation and experimentation in the decentralized context of the states. The A-PLUS provision would allow states to opt out of the complex federal regulatory environment and direct dollars toward any education purposed allowed under state law.