Two Initial Steps Trump Can Take Toward Restoring Local Control

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

When President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office one of the first actions he can take to show that he is serious about his campaign promise to send power over education back to the states is to provide direction to Betsy DeVos, who will likely be confirmed as Secretary of Education, with a simple instruction – Approve all state assessment/accountability plans that states submit for approval under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Every Student Succeeds Act gives the Secretary of Education broad authority to approve or disapprove these plans. If the Secretary claims that any part of the plan submitted by the state fails to fulfill the requirements of the Act – that is, that in the Secretary’s opinion, it fails “to [prepare students to] graduate from high school prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce without remediation” then the Secretary can deny the plan.

This of course pressures states into keeping Common Core or, at the very least, rebranded standards rather than risk having their plans disapproved for using different standards or aligned assessments.

President-elect Trump can direct the Secretary of Education to act as a rubber stamp in order to maximize the flexibility states can have under the Every Student Succeeds Act until further, long-term action can be taken.

The second step is to order the Secretary to rescind every single “Dear colleague letter” sent by the U.S. Department of Education under President Obama.

These are stop-gap measures mind you, but they are actions that can happen immediately.

4 thoughts on “Two Initial Steps Trump Can Take Toward Restoring Local Control

  1. That is not restoring local control. How about advising Mr. Trump to task Ms. Devos with shutting down the US Department of Education, repealing ESSA/ESEA and returning ALL education funds and decisions to the states, LEAs and parents. Now THAT is local control. Having her just rubber stamp state education plans is probably the silliest thing I have heard in a long time. Sorry. National standards and all standards need to be ended. PERIOD. You cannot educate children by standardizing them. Prior to 1992 we didn’t have standards in the US and we educated some of the greatest minds in the history of the world without standards. No it is time to get really serious and shut down the UNCONSTITUTIONAL department of education. If Trump is serious and YOU are serious about restoring our country and our Constitution lets start with shutting down some of the unconstitutional agencies and we can start with the department of education. Then get the US out of the UN. Then shut down the EPA, HUD, DOE and many more.

    1. I said these are steps toward restoring local control, not that they restore local control in and of themselves. You do realize shutting down the U.S. Department of Education (which I would LOVE to see) will take an act of Congress right? I merely suggested two things that Trump can do with executive authority. This is not the end game, and these are not the only things that should be done.

  2. And I do understand these are what you call stop gap efforts but no state is going to rewrite there standards. They have spent a fortune on these standards and the best we would get would be a rebrand. The states have invested millions on books, broad band, curriculum, teacher training and they are not going to undo that. So these stop gap measures will not do any good at this point. Maybe a few years back before the states spent millions on the change over but not now. I know you mean well but it is time to stop playing around and get serious. We are already at the point where we have lost a generation of children to Common Core. We cannot afford to play Mr. Nice Guy any longer.

    1. Will they hurt? Getting states to rewrite standards will have to be a battle at the state level, not the federal level. This takes the excuse away.

Comments are closed.