E-Update for April 8, 2016

E-Update for April 8, 2016


  • The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released draft regulations for provisions on assessment and supplement, not supplant in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Those draft regulations are currently being discussed in the second convening of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, which began this Wednesday, April 6 and ends today.
  • Due to both the House and Senate being in recess last week, EducationCounsel did not publish an E-Update. This E-Update covers information from March 29 through today.
  • The Senate reconvened on April 4; the House is still in recess and will reconvene next Tuesday, April 12.

U.S. Congress

HELP Committee Leaders and Secretary King Deliver Remarks at CCSSO Annual Legislative Conference: Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the respective Chairman and Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee,  addressed the State School Chiefs at the Council of Chief State School Officer’s (CCSSO) annual legislative conference this week. Ranking Member Murray noted to state leaders that she will remain focused on holding states and schools accountable for providing high quality education and implementing the preschool program effectively. Secretary King discussed the ongoing regulation and implementation process for ESSA, as well as USED’s priorities and timeline in the transition process from No Child Left Behind to ESSA.
April 5, 2016


USED Releases Draft Regulations on Assessments and “Supplement, not Supplant”: USED released draft regulations for two provisions in Title I-A of ESSA to be considered by the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. The regulations were drafted after the conclusion of the Committee’s first meeting in March. The Committee will now try to reach consensus around negotiated language prior to an opportunity for public comment. Negotiators may have one additional opportunity to meet from April 18-19, if this option is selected. If consensus is not reached on language, USED will have to decide whether to proceed with regulations based on negotiated language or new language.  A period of public comment would then occur after a period of Congressional review. Draft regulations are available here.
April 1, 2016

Secretary King Addresses NASBE Representatives: Secretary King addressed the National Association of State Boards of Education’s (NASBE) legislative conference on the ESSA regulations process and the transition timeline moving forward.
April 5, 2016

USED Invites Comments on Streamlining the FAFSA: USED posted in the Federal Register an announcement inviting public comment on further reducing the information collection burden for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Comments must be submitted by May 31, 2016.  This builds on the Administration’s efforts to streamline the FAFSA process and alleviate the burden of applying for student aid.
March 30, 2016

USED Announces Plans to Issue Guidance for Accreditors on Supporting Struggling Institutions:  USED announced in a blog post that they will soon be publishing guidance to encourage accreditors to use the flexibility they have to target their resources to problematic and poorly performing institutions and programs.  USED also is soliciting public comment to inform its review of accreditation agencies that will be subject to review at the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) meeting in June.  Comments must be submitted by April 8.  The agenda for the June meeting is here.
March 29, 2016

USED Reopens Proposed Rule Regarding Distance Teacher Preparation: USED released a notice in the Federal Register reopening the public comment period on the previously proposed rule on Teacher Preparation Issues.  USED is considering revising the proposed rule to clarify how the proposed State reporting requirements would affect teacher preparation programs provided through distance education, and TEACH Grant eligibility for students enrolled in teacher preparation programs provided through distance education. Comments will only be accepted on these narrow provisions and USED will not consider comments on topics beyond these issues.
March 29, 2016

President Obama Signs Bipartisan Bill Establishing Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking: President Obama signed a bipartisan bill creating the 15-member Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.  The Commission could provide context to discussions about protecting student data privacy and the updating of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
March 31, 2016

USED and Mississippi Dept. of Education Host Educator Equity Lab: USED in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education and Partners for Each and Every Child (Partners-for) hosted the first Educator Equity Lab at Jackson State University.  The lab, the first of a series to be held across the country, was held to examine the strategies designed to address equity gaps in teacher quality across the state.  In addition, attendees discussed actionable steps to facilitate the implementation of these strategies.
March 29, 2016


On April 12, the Senate HELP Committee will host a hearing entitled, “ESSA Implementation in States and School Districts: Perspectives from the U.S. Secretary of Education.” Education Secretary John King is set to testify. More information and a live webcast of the hearing will be made available here.

New Legislation

S.2753 : A bill to amend title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Sponsor: Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [UT] (introduced 4/6/2016)      Cosponsors (3)
Committees: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions


Leading with Data: How Senior Institution and System Leaders Use Postsecondary Data to Promote Student Success: This brief from the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) examines how institutional leaders across the country are using postsecondary data effectively, and highlights promising practices for institutions looking to use postsecondary data to improve student outcomes.
April 7, 2016

Trends in Public and Private School Principal Demographics and Qualifications: 1987-88 to 2011-12: This brief from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) examines trends in principal demographics and other characteristics. This study examines how principals’ education, experience, and compensation compare with that of earlier decades. It also examines the differences between public and private school principals, and how those differences have changed over time. The study is based on data from seven administrations of the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), a sample survey of elementary and secondary schools in the U.S.
April 7, 2016

How Do School Districts Mentor New Teachers?: This report from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) provides a brief overview of school district policies for mentoring new teachers in five states. Specifically, the report examines “who provides mentoring, how time spent mentoring changes after the first year, whether mentors are required to observe mentees, whether mentors are required to receive training, whether districts provide stipends to mentors for their work, and what barriers districts identify to implementing mentoring programs.” Among the report’s findings was that, across all districts, a lack of funding, time, and stipends were most commonly identified as barriers to mentoring.
April 6, 2016

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