Where Karen Nussle Goes Wrong with Advice for Betsy DeVos

Photo credit: School Choice Week

Karen Nussle, the executive director for Conservative Leaders for Education (a group chaired by William Bennett), wrote a piece entitled “5 Ideas for Secretary-Nominee to Devolve Education Policy from Washington, DC to the States” in the Daily Caller.

I was with her for the first two ideas as stepping stones.

Rethink ESSA Accountability Rules: In order for states to have full control of education policy, federal requirements on assessments for school improvement and state approved lists for school intervention options must be removed. Additionally the Department of Education needs to streamline peer review to give more states deference. ESSA already provides the basic requirements for peer review.

Create State Leaders Advisory Panel: Comprise a group of conservative leaders and other top education officials to review regulations and provide thoughts on revisions and any unfunded federal mandates that should be removed. Many groups including CL4E have opposed the implementation of the Supplement, not Supplant rule on state fund allocation. Review of the Maintenance Effort requirements in Perkins funding could also provide states with additional flexibility.

The third idea is to meet with Conservative Leaders for Education members… Based on who makes this group up I think a more apt name is Chamber Republicans for Education. I can think of a better use of her time, but meh….

She goes off the rails in her 4th suggestion.

Support States with High Standards:┬áStates need to continue to provide quality education for students. There is no need to reopen the Common Core fight. Forty-two states have adopted high standards through local initiatives. States have set their standards high and the Department of EducationÔÇÖs focus needs to keep Washington politics out of local policy.

Supporting “states with high standards” is how Common Core was foisted on the states. Also, she doesn’t want to reopen the “Common Core fight” because she’s in favor of Common Core.

I will admit that the Secretary of Education can do very little to see these standards repealed at the state level. The best thing Betsy DeVos can do is not to get involved in the standards discussion at all. The fifth idea to “explore teacher preparation and teacher development programs” I’m not exactly sure how that devolves any power back to the states. She also touts working with local leaders to “to help grow these programs through the effective use of data to drive individual instruction.” (Emphasis mine)

Where is that data coming from? Students? I didn’t realize student data mining was a conservative idea.