E-Update for October 14, 2016
- Congress is in recess until after the election.
- On October 9, the second Presidential debate took place between Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. While the debate did not include any substantive discussion on education issues, Secretary Clinton did discuss her previous experience working against segregation in schools and in support of children with disabilities. The final debate will be held on October 19.
- On October 12, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released final regulations on teacher preparation programs. According to USED, the rules aim to increase transparency, increase flexibility for states, and ensure that prospective teachers are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed in the classroom.
Congressman Urges USED to Restore Pell Grant Eligibility to ITT Tech Students: Representative Luke Messer (R-IN) sent a letter to USED urging the Department to restore Pell Grant eligibility to the approximately 16,000 students who attended the now-closed ITT Technical Institute. In the letter, Rep. Messer noted that many of these students relied on Pell Grants in order to be able to pursue a postsecondary education, and added that these students should not be penalized for the institution’s closing, which was out of their control.
October 12, 2016
USED Announces Pay for Success Grants: USED announced its first-ever awards supporting Pay for Success (PFS) strategies. The funds will be used to support PFS models for career and technical education (CTE) such as implementing or scaling up existing high-quality CTE programs. Funding will also support the study of how PFS strategies can improve educational outcomes for English learners in dual language programs. These grants continue the Administration’s efforts to offer new ways to support social sector innovation and drive better results.
October 11, 2016
USED Supports Physical and Nutrition Education: USED announced the awarding of over $24 million to local education agencies (LEAs) and community-based organizations in nine states for physical education and nutrition education. The grants will support the implementation of comprehensive, integrated physical activity and nutrition programs for K-12 students to help students make progress toward meeting state standards for physical education. The goal of the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) is to support efforts to create safe schools, ensure students’ health and well-being, and prevent drug and alcohol abuse.
October 7, 2016
USED Releases Final Teacher Preparation Rule: The Department published final regulations on teacher preparation programs. The regulations aim to increase transparency on the effectiveness of preparation programs, encourage continuous improvement, and ensure that teachers are better prepared for the classroom. According to USED, the regulations provide transparency on certain program measures such as placement and retention rates; allow states flexibility to report additional measures; incentivize aspiring teachers in high-need fields and low-income schools to attend high-quality programs; and require increased stakeholder engagement between states and stakeholders. Secretary John King noted that the regulations will help to strengthen preparation programs to generate educator pipelines that better prepare teachers with the knowledge and skill necessary to meet the needs of their classrooms. The final regulations can be found here.
- Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released a statement criticizing USED’s final rule, noting that the regulation appears to violate the Higher Education Act (HEA) which authorizes states to evaluate whether a teacher preparation program gives teachers the necessary skills for the classroom. Chairman Alexander’s statement is available here.
- House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) also responded to the release of USED’s final rule. Chairman Kline criticized the rule for taking a one-size-fits-all approach that will have unintended consequences. Chairman Kline’s statement is available here.
October 12, 2016
President Obama Announces New My Brother’s Keeper Commitments: During a town hall meeting at North Carolina A&T State University, President Obama announced new commitments in support of his My Brother’s Keeper Initiative by both the federal government and the private sector. The White House’s Office of Social Innovation and the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force announced that they will host the inaugural MBK What Works Showcase to feature over 30 organizations with rigorous evidence of positive results for underserved youth. Additionally, USED announced the commitment of 40 companies that signed on to the #FirstJob Hiring and Recruiting Compact, which is a commitment from businesses to implement best practices for recruiting, hiring, and supporting youth who are out of school and out of work.
October 11, 2016
White House and USED Release College Planning Guide for Hispanic Students: USED and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) released “¡Gradúate! Financial Aid Guide to Success,” a college planning resource guide for Hispanic students. The guide, available in Spanish and English, includes information on preparing for college in the early stages of the application process, applying and enrolling in college, preparing for the first semester of college, and paying for college with financial aid resources, packages, and awards. The guide can be found here.
October 11, 2016
Administration to include Earnings Data in Student Aid Data Center: USED announced that it will soon provide Social Security Administration earnings data on the Federal Student Aid (FSA) National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). The changes will provide earnings data to each institution, including mean and median 2014 calendar year earnings data for all Gainful Employment programs with ten or more students. The data will be provided to institutions through a Gainful Employment SSA Earnings Data Report.
October 7, 2016
USED Announces Settlement with DeVry University: USED announced a settlement agreement with DeVry University (DeVry), a subsidiary of DeVry Education Group Inc., resolving the charge that the institution used unsubstantiated job placement claims in recruitment and advertising materials. The settlement enhances USED’s oversight of DeVry.
October 13, 2016
USED Announces Agreement with Wesley College on Title IX: USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced an agreement with Wesley College in Delaware after finding the college in violation of Title IX on the issue of sexual violence and sexual harassment. In the agreement, Wesley College committed to equitably addressing sexual violence and sexual harassment for all parties involved.
October 12, 2016
Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in the Every Student Succeeds Act: The Data Quality Campaign released a report on creating opportunities for states to use data to ensure that every child excels. The report outlines opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to use data to examine what is and is not working for students to meet states’ education goals. It also describes how states can go above and beyond the letter of the law to maximize the data foundation that they have already built over the past decade.
Opportunities in ESSA for Improving Early Education: The National Association of State Boards of Education released a guide on early childhood education in ESSA. The report details provisions in Titles I, II, III, IV, and IX that provide opportunities for state education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) to improve early childhood education through grant funding, improved coordination, and a well-supported early childhood education workforce.
NCES Release Two New Publications: NCES released two publications on English learners (ELs) and survey results on newly hired teachers, respectively. “Programs and Services for High School English Learners in Public School Districts: 2015–16” provides the first nationally representative data on the issue from the 2015-16 survey. “Sources of Newly Hired Teachers in the United States: Results from the Schools and Staffing Survey, 1987–88 to 2011–12” examines changes in the sources of newly hired teachers and public and private schools between 1987-88 and 2011-12. The report on EL services can be found here. The report on newly hired teachers can be found here.