More DeVos, Bears, Guns, and SIG Policy! Aldeman On Obama’s Ed Legacy, Whitmire On Politics, Higher Ed, Spellings Strategy, Plus 50Can Fellowships, Springsteen Set Lists, Kristen Stewart Is Whip Smart, And More!

Don’t miss Chad Aldeman on the Obama education legacy in Education Next. Ashley Mitchel has some pre-K lessons from Michigan that Betsy DeVos might heed. 

New Administration:

They don’t know their way around yet…

But they do know how to hit pause on the regulatory process. This will create some uncertainty for states.

Here’s some nuance on questions on Michigan and charters that came up during the DeVos hearing.  Here’s DeVos’ ethics agreement. Some context there and look for flare-ups during the week as people learn more about her various investments. I’d say she’s still a slight betting favorite to get confirmed but her hearing performance didn’t make Rs more inclined to fight should something come to light – and she is not a Trump loyalist. From The Week here’s a case for DeVos.

Per the post below, Betsy DeVos’ hearing was not a good one for the Trump Administration. Honestly, it wasn’t really a great show for anyone. Going forward, without a very strong team around her she’s in trouble – especially given a lot of higher education policy coming down the pike and a likely run by banks at the student loan program. In the sexism department, her brother sure does come up a lot. The president has nominated a lot of people – mostly men –  for cabinet posts and I don’t think I’ve heard about any of their siblings? Maybe judge her on her own merits?

The President mentioned education in his inaugural address, in the tombstone graf, but mostly in passing and dystopian terms:

…an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge;

Interestingly as a window into the President’s tendency to strong rhetoric, the word “all” was an ad lib that was not in the prepared remarks distributed to media. It does change the sentence some.

This from a staunch Republican:

“I’m willing to give [DeVos] a pass on her stupid bear comment because I’m not looking for the DOE to lead on gun laws or wildlife management but her opinion on the roles of proficiency vs growth is extremely relevant.”

The bear thing was funny, I couldn’t resist and “Potential Grizzlies” sounds like a good band name to play the ski circuit out west. But, the truth of the matter is that a lot of school districts do own firearms for various purposes – including law-enforcement. So while marauding bears are not much of an issue this is another one of these debates that seems to proceed absent context of the actual status quo.

Meanwhile, the Obama education team might say a small prayer for DeVos? This circus is diverting attention from a pretty disastrous evaluation of billions in school turnaround funding released last week (we’ll see if the new Trump team is deft enough to turn this into a compelling  argument for more choice). It’s not diverting Andy Smarick’s attention though. That article is basically the policy version of stumbling down K Street clad only in a sweater vest with a copy of the IES in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

Whitmire on the unsettled ed politics.

Fordham checks in on charter school reform in Ohio.

“Free college debate.”  Social mobility and colleges – some grim data and some hopeful examples.

Margaret Spellings rolling up her sleeves at UNC.

Florida’s tax-credit/voucher program survives a legal challenge. Everyone is focused on D.C. and there is a lot happening in the states including a bunch of big proposals from governors.

This AZ bill is a mess, but look for more like it.

This from the Washington Post:

Historically, Democrats and Republicans have looked at public schools differently. Democrats have traditionally been defenders of public education, seeing it as the nation’s most important civic institution, one that is meant to provide equal opportunity for marginalized communities to escape poverty and become well-informed citizens so they can become part of America’s civic life. Public education was seen as a civil right.

Republicans have looked at public schools less as vehicles of social equity and more as places that are supposed to prepare young people for college and careers, an endeavor that should be measured with the same types of metrics businesses use to gauge success. Some Republicans have looked at public schools with suspicion, in some cases seeing them as transmitters of liberal and even godless values.

That’s why it was unusual when, in 2001, the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat, gave critical support to the new conservative Republican president, George W. Bush, in passing a new education law called No Child Left Behind (NCLB). A bipartisan, they said, was to make sure public schools attended to the needs of all students, but the law actually became known for creating new “accountability” measures for schools based on controversial standardized test scores.

Also, historically, for some reason The Washington Post has let Valerie Strauss  write inaccurate opinion pieces on their hard news pages for years. Republicans can gripe about how partisan this is take is, but more than that it’s just sloppy history.

Great fellowship opportunity with 50Can.

Springsteen private White House set. At least he didn’t end on Downbound Train. Kristen Stewart acts, directs, and also writes interesting papers. Five-tool player!

Posted on Jan 23, 2017 @ 12:24pm

One thought on “More DeVos, Bears, Guns, and SIG Policy! Aldeman On Obama’s Ed Legacy, Whitmire On Politics, Higher Ed, Spellings Strategy, Plus 50Can Fellowships, Springsteen Set Lists, Kristen Stewart Is Whip Smart, And More!

  1. A.R.

    I am always mystified why an outstanding paper like the Washington Post continues to pass off Strauss’ column as news. Feels similar to when your super smart, thoughtful cousin is married to a fratastic asshole who gets embarrassingly drunk at every family event and you just can’t figure out why she puts up with him and never seems to notice the poor behavior.

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