E-Update for the Week of November 18, 2019
- On November 14, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a statement after receiving a number of documents from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) related to debt relief under the Borrower Defense rule. The statement indicated the Committee will review the documents and may invite USED Secretary Betsy DeVos to testify at a hearing to discuss the documents further.
- On November 13, USED Secretary DeVos announced the appointment of new members to the National Assessment Governing Board. The seven appointees will serve from October 2019 through September 2023.
- On November 12, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) met with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) to discuss the fiscal year (FY) 2020 spending bills and how to move forward after the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 21. Following the meeting, the two appropriators announced they expect the next CR, which will be voted on the week of November 18, to last until December 20.
Budget and Appropriations:
Pelosi, Mnuchin to negotiate FY2020 topline spending levels: POLITICO reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) met with U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss the outstanding issues with completing fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bills. According to reports, the meeting was productive, and the two individuals intend to negotiate a deal on the topline spending limits (referred to as 302(b) allocations) for each of the 12 appropriations bills by early next week. The government is currently being funded by the continuing resolution (CR), which will expire on November 21.
November 14, 2019
Shelby, Lowey expect next short-term CR to last until December 20: Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) met with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) to discuss the FY2020 spending bills and how to move forward after the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on November 21. Following the meeting, the two appropriators announced they expect the next CR, which will be voted on the week of November 18, to last until December 20.
November 12, 2019
DeVos finally sends Chairman Scott student loan relief records, Secretary still invited to testify Tuesday: House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) issued a statement after receiving a number of documents from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) related to debt relief under the Borrower Defense rule. “For the past year, we have been asking the Department to explain why they are refusing to provide debt relief to more than 210,000 defrauded borrowers. Late tonight, the Department finally agreed to provide the documents we have requested,” stated the Chairman. The statement indicated the Committee will review the documents and may invite USED Secretary Betsy DeVos to testify at a hearing to discuss the documents further. As of November 15, the Committee is still scheduled to conduct a hearing titled, “’With Extreme Displeasure’: Examining the Education Department’s Refusal to Provide Debt Relief to Defrauded Students,” at which the Chairman has requested the Secretary testify; however, the Secretary has stated she will not be able to attend the hearing due to a scheduling conflict and has offered to appear at a later date. The full statement from Chairman Scott is here.
November 14, 2019
Foxx touts Republican committee to expanding apprenticeships: House Education and Labor Committee Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) delivered floor remarks in recognition of National Apprenticeship Week. During her remarks, the Ranking Member stated, “Apprenticeships offer one of the strongest solutions to closing the skills gap and strengthening the American workforce. This is why Republicans on the [Committee] are committed to expanding apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.” A press release is here. A recording of the Ranking Member’s remarks is here.
November 13, 2019
Trump announces first appointees to science and technology advisory council: President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate two individuals to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Shannon Blunt of Missouri and Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska of Ohio will be nominated to the newly formed council charged with advising the president on issues related to science, technology, education, and innovation policy. The nomination announcement is here.
November 14, 2019
U.S. Department of Education (USED):
USED ELL office director to resign at end of month: On November 14, Education Week reported that Jose Viana, director of the USED office of English-language acquisition will resign by the end of the month. Viana has been director of the office since April 2017. An Education Week article is here.
November 14, 2019
Seven new appointees added to National Assessment Governing Board: USED Secretary Betsy DeVos announced the appointment of new members to the National Assessment Governing Board. The seven appointees will serve from October 2019 through September 2023. The National Assessment Governing Board is responsible for setting policy and direction for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The appointees are Alberto Carvalho (school superintendent), Frank Edelblut (Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire), Eric Hanushek (Stanford University researcher), Reginald McGregor (Indianapolis business owner), Martin West (Massachusetts state board of education member), Grover “Russ” Whitehurst (former Institute of Education Sciences director); and Carey Wright (Mississippi Superintendent of Education). A press release is here.
November 13, 2019
DeVos cites Title IX proposed rule, focus on First Amendment protections, Education Freedom Scholars as examples of limiting government role in education: USED Secretary DeVos delivered remarks to the annual awards gala of the Independent Women’s Forum. During her remarks, the Secretary stated, “Government has never made anything better or cheaper, more effective or more efficient. And nowhere is that more true (sic) than in education.” The Secretary then went on to describe the Department’s efforts to “dismantle the government social engineering in education” including through Title IX (which addresses sex-based discrimination on campuses). The Secretary described the intent of the Department’s recently proposed Title IX rule as recognizing the need to combat sexual misconduct “without abandoning due process” and providing schools with actions they can take to help survivors “heal from trauma and continue their education.” Furthermore, the Secretary acknowledged the proposed rule places a greater emphasis on “basic due process protections” for those accused of sexual misconduct. The Secretary also described the Department’s efforts to protect First Amendment rights on college campuses, and to promote school choice through the Education Freedom Scholarships proposal. The full remarks are here.
November 13, 2019
Publications (Outside Organizations):
- On November 14, the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) published a report titled, “Driving Down Default: How to Strengthen the Cohort Default Rate to Further Reduce Federal Student Loan Default Risk.” The report summarizes an analysis of the cohort default rate (CDR) which is a measure of student debt outcomes. Key suggestions offered by the report to improve the CDR include publishing five-year default rates and holding schools accountable when patterns of default emerge; preventing colleges from evading CDR accountability; and introducing interim consequences for schools with CDRs below the failing threshold. The full report is here.
- On November 14, the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools published a report titled, “Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools: A Bi-Annual Analysis of the Civil Rights Data Collection.” The report summarizes a study of suspension and expulsion data of students attending charter schools in 2015-2016. Key findings of the report include identifying that charter schools enroll fewer students with disabilities compared to traditional public schools; that all schools discipline students with disabilities almost twice as often as students without disabilities; and that charter schools suspend students with disabilities more frequently than traditional public schools. The full report is here.
- On November 12, the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) published a report titled, “State Policymakers Must Include Information About Teachers on Report Cards.” The report summarizes an analysis of state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans for the inclusion or description of data related to teachers. Key findings of the report include identifying that 46 state plans included a description of effective teaching; that five states included information about teacher effectiveness; and that 26 states included at least one ESSA-required teacher indicator. The full report is here.
- On November 12, the Education Commission of the States published a report titled, “Postsecondary Workforce Development Policies.” The report summarizes an analysis of state legislative activity for 2019 related to career pathways and skills, partnerships and working groups, financial incentives, and workforce data. Key findings of the report include identifying that 258 bills were introduced in 49 states; and, that 49 bills were enacted in 26 states. The full report is here.
Upcoming Events (Congressional and Administration):
- On November 19 at 10:15am, the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a full Committee hearing titled, “’With Extreme Displeasure’: Examining the Education Department’s Refusal to Provide Debt Relief to Defrauded Students.” The hearing will focus on efforts of the U.S. Department of Education (USED) related to assisting students who attended the now closed Corinthian Colleges. Secretary DeVos has declined to testify at the hearing due to a scheduling conflict. A press release by Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) is here. More information will be posted here.
- On November 20 at 2:00pm, the House Education and Labor Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled, “Examining the Policies and Priorities of the Labor Department’s Apprenticeship Program.” No witnesses have yet been announced. More information is here.
Upcoming Events (Outside Organizations):
- On November 19 at 12:45pm, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will hold an event titled, “Countdown to PISA 2018.” The webinar will feature Andreas Schleicher and will discuss the upcoming results of the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). More information and registration are here.
- On November 20 at 2:00pm, Capita and KnowledgeWorks will hold an event titled, “Discussing the Futures of Young Children and their Families.” The webinar will discuss the social, economic, and technological developments that are happening know and how they will shape the experiences of children in American society. More information and registration are here.
- On November 21 at 1:00pm, Education Week will hold an event titled, “Personalized Learning Summit 2019.” The webinar will discuss the use of personalized learning in K-12, how teachers are employing such practices, and what is ahead of the curve of the trend in American education. More information and registration are here.
- On November 21 at 3:00pm, the Carnegie Foundation will hold an event titled, “Spotlight on Quality in Continuous Improvement Symposium.” The event will honor exemplary organizations and improvement networks who have leveraged the core concepts of continuous improvement to address challenges and problems in K-12 schools. The symposium will feature the Literacy Design Collaborative of New York, the Northwest Regional Education Service District of Oregon, and the Queensland Department of Education of Australia. More information and registration are here.
- On November 21 at 3:30pm, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will hold an event titled, “Entitlement reform: The effectiveness of the safety net and evidence for responsible policy.” The event will discuss reforms needed to ensure the sustainability of entitlement programs, including an evaluation of their current effectiveness in supporting Americans who rely on them. More information and registration are here.
A bill to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to provide grants to States to establish a comprehensive school career counseling framework.
Sponsor: Rep. James Langevin (D-RI)
A bill to ensure full labor protections for graduate student workers, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
A bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to count military and veterans’ education benefits as Federal educational assistance, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE)