ESSA Part 1: US Secretary’s Power Questioned In The “Every Student Succeeds Act”

This is a massive read.  At 1,069 pages, I have to wonder how every member of the United States House and Senate will actually have time to read the whole thing.  There is a great deal of legalese written into this.  It can be repetitive at times, but that is also when you need to look at it the most.  I haven’t even finished it yet.  Like most laws, it refers you to prior paragraphs or sections.

For the states, the US Secretary of Education now has limited power.  The Secretary can no longer use things like Common Core or Race To The Top to coerce states into programs and agendas.  But each state must submit their “state standards” to the Secretary who has the power to approve or deny the request.  But when the states submit their plans, it can’t just be the Governor and the state DOE.

ESSA5

This means the state legislators must also be a part of the process for picking the state standards, something most states should have already had in the first place.  In the case of Delaware, this did not happen with any meaningful affect.

ESSA7.1

ESSA7.2

The US Secretary of Education has too much power even with this bill.

ESSA8

For the initial review of a state’s submitted plan, the Secretary has to utilize other folks within the US DOE to review the plan.  But if a state makes changes, the Secretary seems to have this executive power to approve or deny those changes.  So much for Democracy…

ESSA11

Math, English Language Arts, and Science.  Those are the three mandatory subjects that must be in a state’s plan.  No Social Studies.

ESSA12

This is where it gets very confusing.  If the Secretary has the power to approve or deny “the challenging State academic standards” (get used to those words, you will be hearing them a lot), what power has been removed?  With that power, I see a great deal of control and direction already.  What backroom deals were made for a bill that was designed to limit federal control?  The actual product doesn’t really show this driving need for what was supposed to be the main purpose of the bill.

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Kevin Ohlandt

I am a proud parent of a son with Tourette's Syndrome and several other co-morbidities. I write on this blog to educate other parents so they know a bit more about not only special education, but all the really bad things that are happening with public schools in Delaware and the USA. We are all in this together, and if our children aren't able to advocate for themselves it's up to us parents! We need to stop letting companies run our schools, and demand our children get a proper education. Our Departments of Education in our states have become weak with fear from the bullying US DOE, and we need to take back our schools!

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