E-Update for the Week of November 5, 2018
- On October 31, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to discontinue the Department’s rulemaking process around Financial Student Aid.
- On October 31, the White House held an “Our Pledge to America’s Workers” event featuring remarks by President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. The event highlighted the President’s call to action for companies and trade groups across the country to sign a new Pledge to America’s workers – committing to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near retirement.
Murray, Scott call for DeVos to end rulemaking on federal financial aid regulations: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Education (USED) Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her to discontinue the Department’s rulemaking process around Financial Student Aid. Instead, the members argue the issues the rulemaking process is intended to solve would be better addressed through a comprehensive reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). The letter is here. A press release is here.
October 31, 2018
Portman leads bipartisan effort for parent loan discharge ability: Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos to follow-up on an earlier request for the Secretary to discharge all Parent PLUS loans borrowed on behalf of students who have become totally or permanently disabled. Under current policy, students who borrow loans who become totally or permanently disabled are allowed to discharge their loans; however, parents are currently not able to do the same. Senator Portman was joined by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI). The letter is here. A press release is here.
October 29, 2018
On October 11, the Senate went into recess for legislative business until November 13 following the mid-term elections. Senate Republicans have scheduled elections for their leadership conference for November 14.
Wyden expresses privacy concerns about proposed student financial aid cards: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos urging her to provide more information on how private student data is access and “monetized by private, for-profit financial institutions” through the Department’s recently proposed student financial aid payment card program. Sen. Wyden argues private financial institutions could have “sole ownership” of student financial data via the program. The Senator states, “Students should not have to sacrifice their privacy as a condition of accessing their federal financial aid in a timely and efficient manner.” The letter is here.
November 1, 2018
On September 28, the House went into recess for legislative business until November 13, following the midterm elections. House Republicans have scheduled elections for their leadership conference for November 14. While not official, POLITICO has reported that House Democrats may hold leadership elections for their conference on November 28 and 29.
Scott calls for DeVos to restore comparison tool for College Scorecard: House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to USED Secretary DeVos regarding the recent changes to the College Scorecard. Ranking Member Scott urged the Secretary to restore the eliminated comparison tool for students to evaluate colleges based on academic and financial outcomes for graduates of the colleges. The comparison tool was removed from the Scorecard on September 28. “The elimination of the only national comparison point used on the College Scorecard renders the tool significantly less effective in guiding students’ enrollment decisions and requires consumers to spend more time doing their own research,” the letter reads in part. The full letter is here. A press release is here.
October 29. 2018
Cole calls for reform, not elimination of mandatory spending programs: Chairman of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Tom Cole (R-OK) published a weekly column on his Congressional webpage titled, “Responsibly Preserving Mandatory Programs.” In his column, Chairman Cole argues Republicans are not attempting to eliminate mandatory programs as a solution to the growing federal deficit. Instead, the Chairman states, “Without thoughtful reform, mandatory programs will eventually fail to deliver.” The Chairman continues to note potential solutions such as working with fellow Congress members to find at least $302 billion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years. The full column is here.
October 26, 2018
Yarmuth to pursue immigration, healthcare reform, infrastructure if leading Budget Committee: On October 29, POLITICO published an interview with House Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth (D-KY) on his priorities for the committee if Democrats regain the majority, and he is selected as Chairman. In his interview, Ranking Member Yarmuth outlines the Budget Committee will focus on how larger issues can affect the national budget; how Democrats will leverage reconciliation to address tax reform by increasing corporate taxes; how the national deficit can be addressed through immigration and healthcare reform; and pursuing a large infrastructure package, which could be partly paid for by a gas tax and a carbon tax.
White House event highlights ‘Pledge to America’s Workers,” vocational education efforts: On October 31, the White House held a “Our Pledge to America’s Workers” event featuring remarks by President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow. The event highlighted the President’s call to action for companies and trade groups across the country to sign a new Pledge to America’s workers – committing to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near retirement. The event also highlighted the President’s efforts to reinvigorate the workforce through his Executive Order that established the National Council for the American Worker. The National Council for the American Worker will create a national strategy to train and retrain workers for high-demand industries. The President described how the focus on worker “reskilling” is key to reinvigorating the economy. Ms. Trump, advisor to the President, mentioned the passing and signing of the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act reauthorization as an avenue to supporting the council as well. The President’s full remarks are here. A statement by House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is here. More information on the pledge is here. The original EO is here.
October 31, 2018
Pence calls for collaboration on vocational education, infrastructure in new Congress: POLITICO interviewed Vice President Mike Pence. During the interview, the Vice President discussed his opinions and perspective leading up to the midterm elections, as well as potential areas of compromise if Democrats regain control of the House. Vice President Pence specifically mentioned the possibility of pursuing an infrastructure package, as well as vocational education. “[The President] has great admiration for people who work with their hands and are involved in the building trades, and construction, and a whole range of manufacturing jobs. And the President is absolutely committed to expanding vocational education all over the country to support a growing economy.” The full interview is here.
October 30, 2018
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
Former North Carolina governor to chair National Assessment Governing Board: On November 2, USED announced former North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has been appointed to serve as chair of the National Assessment Governing Board. Perdue will be the first female chair in the 30-year history of the board, which she joined as a member in October 2017. During her time on the board, she has served on the committee on standards, design and methodology. During her 25 years of public service, she also represented North Carolina as a state representative, state senator, lieutenant governor and governor, as well as led the Education and Appropriations Committee while in the State Senate. Since she left office, Perdue has founded and chaired digiLEARN, a non-profit institution designed to accelerate personal learning options for students and instructional opportunities for teachers. USED press release can be found here.
November 2, 2018
Legal groups files amended complaint against DeVos, argues Title IX violates Fifth Amendment: Advocacy groups led by the National Women’s Law Center filed an amended complaint against Secretary DeVos regarding her interim Title IX guidelines. The groups argue the guidelines violate the Fifth Amendment because the policy “disproportionately burdens women and girls.” The amended complaint comes after a federal judge in California dismissed the groups’ original complaint against the Secretary and the Department. POLITICO has more information here.
October 31, 2018
October 29, 2018
Upcoming Events (Congressional & Administration):
- On November 8-9, the USED Office of Education Technology will host a convening in partnership with the Data Quality Campaign in Washington, D.C. The convening will bring together stakeholders for two days of “sketching, prototyping, and building solutions to help states design family-friendly approaches to report cards.” Teams will be asked to focus on two major “challenge points”: the landing page or “at-a-glance” pages, and data on per-pupil expenditures. More information and registration are here.
- On November 9 at 10:00 am, the USED Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiative will host a Faith Leader Summit. The summit will allow faith and community leaders the chance to hear from administration leadership about how the Department will use “multiple education options to help promote the success of every student, and how faith leaders can be involved.” More information can be received by emailing Carrie Jasper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- On November 15-17, the National Assessment Governing Board will hold a quarterly board meeting. Highlights for the upcoming meeting include: November 15, 2018 – Ad Hoc Committee on Measures of Postsecondary Preparedness will meet; November 16, 2018 – Full Governing Board and Assessment Development Committee will meet; and November 17, 2018 – Full Governing Board will meet. For a full agenda, the notice can be found here.
- On January 14-16, February 19-22, and March 25-28, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Distance Learning and Educational Innovation Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Faith-Based Entities Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
- On January 17-18, February 12-13, and March 11-12, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the TEACH Grants Subcommittee for the Accreditation and Innovation rulemaking committee will meet in Washington, D.C. USED will publish a separate notice in theFederal Register to announce the location of the meeting. The rulemaking committee announcement is here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On November 5, SETDA will hold their annual Leadership Summit titled, “Championing Education Leaders in the Digital Age.” The summit will focus on how state actions can help shift to more integrated and effective digital learning. The summit is by invitation only.
- On November 6 at 2:00 pm, WestEd will host a webinar titled, “Data-Driven School Improvement.” During the webinar, the WestEd Four Domains CALL System will be described as a tool for school improvement. The system delivers domain-specific feedback on your schools’ strengths and opportunities for improvement; a shared understanding of excellence and the required leadership skills necessary to achieve improvement; data comparisons against national norms; and tools to measure ongoing progress. More information and registration are here.
- On November 7 at 9:30 am, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will host an event titled, “What will the 2018 midterm elections mean for education?” The event will analyze the results of the 2018 Midterm Elections and discuss how K-12 education and higher education could possibly be impacted. More information and registration are here.
- On November 8 at 9:00 am, New America will host an event titled, “At the Breaking Point: How to Better Compensate and Support Teachers of Our Youngest Learners.” The event will focus on workforce well-being, and what actions can be taken in order to support early childhood educators. More information and registration are here.
- On November 9 at 10:30 am, Results for America will host an event titled, “The Secrets to Transforming Local Government.” The event will bring together Mayors and other local government leaders to discuss how they are using evidence and data to address critical local challenges and improve the lives of residents. More information and registration are here.
- On November 9 at 1:00 pm, the Education Writers Association will host a members-only event titled, “What Will the 2018 Election Results Mean for Education?” The event will include two panel discussions focused on what’s next for Preschool-Grade 12 policy and the post-election higher education landscape. At this time, it is not known yet if the event will be webcast. More information and registration here.
- On November 9 at 9:30 am, the Urban Institute, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, will host the 2018 Paul Offner Lecture, featuring Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who will discuss inequality and higher education. More information and registration here.
- On November 13 at 3:00 pm, Leaning Forward will host a webinar focused on State Supports for Title II Implementation. This webinar will feature an opportunity to hear how three key states are implementing Title II and to learn what resources, tools and messaging they are using to support districts and to build evidence on behalf of the program. The webinar will also include a forecast of what to expect from the new Congress and next year’s education funding process from Jon Bernstein of the Bernstein Strategy Group. More information and registration
- On November 13 at 3:00 pm, NASBE will host a webinar titled, “What the Midterm Election Results Will Mean for State Boards.” The webinar will discuss the election’s impact on federal and state education policymaking and forecast what issues are likely to top state board agendas in 2019. More information and registration here.
- On November 13 at 3:00 pm, the Learning Policy Institute will host a webinar titled, “Reaching Equity: Strategies for Solving Teacher Shortages in Underserved Communities.” The webinar will share strategies from advocates and policymakers as they tackle teacher shortages that disproportionately impact underserved communities. More information and registration
- On November 15 at 1:30 pm, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching will host a Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium. The showcase will highlight the work of groups engaging in improvement approaches to reduce the long-standing disparities in students’ outcomes. To register, email Jim Kohlmoos at email@example.com.
Publications (Congressional & Administration):
- On October 30, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) published a report titled, “Presenting School Choice Information to Parents: An Evidence-Based Guide.” The report analyzed an online experiment of 3,500 low-income parents and assessed their reaction to a variety of different displays of information. Key findings of the report include parents generally preferred looking at school information that has visual displays (e.g. graphs) as well as numbers; parents preferred more data rather than less data; preferred a list of school choices based on distance from home; and found that when schools were ordered by academic performance, parents were more likely to select a school that was higher performing, regardless of location. The full report is here.
- On October 25, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report titled, “Child savings accounts: Advancing the field to better serve traditionally underserved consumers.” The report summarizes key conversations, insights, and principles that were captured during the CFPB Child Savings Account Forum in May 2018. Key takeaways include the development of the child savings field; approaches to engage consumers in child savings opportunities; promising funding strategies for child savings accounts; and next steps in advancing the availability and strength of child savings account programs. The full report is here. A press release is here.
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On November 1, the National Center for Teacher Quality published a brief titled, “Walking the tightrope: Teacher effectiveness and personnel policies.” The brief analyzed how states are approaching teacher effectiveness and how teachers are dismissed. Key findings of the brief include fewer than half of all states require their districts to use effectiveness data when making dismissal decisions; 39 states incorporate some type of objective measure of student growth in teacher evaluations; and only 19 states require the use of evidence when making layoffs or reduction in force decisions. The full report is here.
- On October 31, New America published a report titled, “Undermining Pell: Volume IV – How the Privatization of Public Higher Education is Hurting Low-Income Students.” The report is an installment in a larger collection of pieces that demonstrate how public colleges and universities have “steadily become less affordable for low-income students.” This section of the report argues measures will need to be taken in order to reverse the current course, including relying less on merit aid and focusing more on graduating low-income and minority students. Further, the report recommends exploring performance-based funding as another solution. The full report is here.
- On October 31, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) published a report titled, “Inequities Persist: Access and Completion Gaps at Public Flagships in The Great Lakes Region.” The report analyzed six universities – Ohio State University, Indiana University, University of Illinois-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin. The report found that while the universities are enrolling more low-income and students of color, the progress has not kept pace with the change in state demographics. Further, completion rates for said students still trails those of white students. The full report is here.
- On October 31, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a report titled, “Understanding Infant and Toddler Child Care Deserts.” The study analyzed a sample of states’ child care access opportunities and costs associated. Key findings of the report include finding there were more than five infants for every one licensed child care slot in the states studied; more than 95 percent of counties analyzed would be classified as a child care desert (where there are three or more children for every one licensed child care slot); and, shortages are most pronounced in rural areas and counties with lower median family incomes. The full report is here.
- On October 30, the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) released a report titled, “Early Childhood Education: The Public is Ready for Action.” The report analyzed aggregate polling around early childhood and public support, and found the majority of the American public supports expansion of high-quality early childhood education. Key findings of the report include that Americans are aware of what is high-quality early childhood education; Americans see it as a supplement to family lift, not a replacement; and candidates for office benefit politically from supporting increased investment in early childhood education. The full report is here.
- On October 30, the RAND Corporation published a report titled, “Launching a Redesign of University Principal Preparation Programs.” The report analyzed the Wallace Foundation’s “University Principal Preparation Initiative (UPPI).” Key findings of the report include noting that every UPPI program began with some evidence-based features; each UPPI team focused on redesigning its curriculum and instruction; UPPI prompted partner states and districts to consider issues and activities they may not have otherwise addressed or taken; and UPPI leadership teams developed strategies to address challenges such as turnover and capacity. The full report is here. A press release is here.
- On October 29, Third Way published a report titled, “Lessons Learned: A Case Study of Performance Funding in Higher Education.” The report analyzed the national landscape of performance funding policies in higher education and determined the impact on student outcomes. Key findings include performance funds that are embedded in base budgets have increased stability; programs with too many metrics for evaluation make data collection and reporting more difficult compared to more simple programs; and performance funding models should incorporate additional incentives or premiums for historically disadvantaged students. The full report is here.
- On August 2, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity published a study titled, “Racial Disparities in Student Debt and the Reproduction of the Fragile Black Middle Class.” The study examined data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1997 to determine if racial disparities exist in student loan debt. Key findings include finding that black individuals have larger sums of student loan debt compared to their white peers in early adult life; growth in the disparities are largely attributed to social backgrounds, postsecondary experiences, and economic status. The full study is here.