Well that didn’t take long. United States Secretary of Education John King has been the official Secretary of Education for not even three months and he is already under the Education and the Workforce Committee’s microscope. The United States Senate should have never confirmed him in the first place. Why are we dealing with this so soon? Because John King thinks he is invulnerable based on the arrogant and cocky mindset of those in corporate education reform who think they are perfect and everyone else is scum. Remember after 9/11, when President Bush said you can’t negotiate with terrorists? It is the same with corporate education reformers. You can’t try to get lemonade out of a turnip. You will only get a headache.
The Every Student Succeeds Act regulation process has begun, but like most of us, we have no clue what is really going on with it. I have the same problem in Delaware when our “stakeholders” convene on some task force, working group, or committee. There is no true representation. It is who they want on these groups. They want an outcome so they will stack the deck to make sure they get it. Nothing but smoke and mirrors here folks! So why are Kline, Alexander, and Rokita having a hissy fit because King did what is in his very nature to do? Even if you give a snake legs, it’s still a snake. You can’t change the character of a person by giving them a title. If anything, that character becomes a part of the title.
Read the letter below. King has until June 7th to respond. Will he? Even if he does will it change anything? This is exactly what I predicted would happen. For some inexplicable reason, the Every Student Succeeds Act was rushed through the US House and Senate with a quick signature by Barack Obama. It was, as explained in the letter, heavily lobbied… probably too much. This bill wasn’t about students, it was about corporations. There is very little in this act that actually helps students. It may look that way, but far too many states invested the past seven years on Common Core and the state assessments. They aren’t going to change course now. Not during an election year. Kline should have known better, but no, he acted with haste to get King nominated. What about this clown’s history ever said that was a good idea?
And from the official press release on this:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2016 CONTACT: Press Office
Congressional Leaders Raise Concerns with Integrity of ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN)—along with Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN)—today wrote to the Department of Education to express “serious concerns about the integrity” of the department’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) negotiated rulemaking process. Among other concerns, the letter raises questions related to the makeup of the rulemaking panel, a lack of rural and student representation in the process, and the accuracy of statements made by the department’s negotiators.
First established in 1990, the negotiated rulemaking process was created to bring federal agencies and interested stakeholders together to develop certain new regulations through a framework designed to promote consensus among diverse groups. The Every Student Succeeds Act requires the department to use this process, at a minimum, for regulations on standards, assessments, and the requirement that federal funds supplement, rather than supplant, state and local funds.
To “evaluate the Department’s compliance with negotiated rulemaking requirements and the integrity of the ESSA negotiated rulemaking process,” the chairmen’s letter requests information related to a number of questions, including:
•How the department met a requirement that individuals on the negotiated panel shall include “representation from all geographic regions of the United States, in such numbers as will provide equitable balance between representatives of parents and students and representatives of educators and education officials.”
•Whether the department’s actions in naming panel participants biased the panel’s deliberations.
•Protocols and/or criteria used to determine when a secretary or other high ranking department official will speak to a panel or otherwise participate in a panel’s work, as Secretary King did during the rulemaking process.
•Steps taken to ensure statements made by the department’s negotiators accurately reflect the statute and their role in the negotiated rulemaking process.
•The participation of three outside experts and the process for choosing those experts.
•How the department determined which provisions related to assessments would be included in the process.
Additionally, the letter requests “all documents and communications related to the department’s determination of its legal authority for all regulatory language proposed to the negotiated rulemaking panel.” The chairmen are requesting a response by June 7, 2016.