Advocacy Update: Tracking ESSA

This is Your Last Chance to Register for the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference!

Today is the final day to register to be part of the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-26. Programming includes sessions on the Trump administration’s education agenda and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act; federal advocacy training; a debate on school choice; meeting with your representatives in Congress; and more! There is no registration fee to attend, but travel and lodging expenses may be required. Please contact Zachary Scott with any questions.

Tell Us How You’ve Used the ESSA Toolkit

Have you made the most of NASSP’s ESSA Toolkit? If the answer is yes, tell us how! NASSP is looking for information from individuals who have used the toolkit to help them navigate the ESSA implementation process. If the toolkit helped you, let us know how by drafting a blog post or providing a short statement highlighting your experiences and why others should use it. Your contributions will be used to illustrate the impact of this resource throughout our network, website, and beyond.

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

Last week, the Senate followed the House’s lead and voted to repeal the ESSA accountability regulations that were implemented by the Obama administration. The final step in removing these regulations now falls on President Trump, who has stated that he plans on eliminating them very soon.

Last Friday, the House Oversight Committee advanced a bill that provides a private-school voucher program for children in the Washington, D.C. area. This D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (SOAR) is the only federal voucher program in the country, and has been a key piece of school choice supporters in recent years.

Why Should Principals Care?

Upon taking office, President Trump halted the ESSA accountability regulations and now the final step to removing them altogether is nearing. Eliminating these regulations will leave state boards of education left wondering what will be required of them by the federal government as they continue the drafting and implementation of their ESSA plans. ED has stated a plan to release a new framework for state plans, but as of yet no new plan has been released.

The D.C. SOAR Program will once again be considered before Congress for a five-year reauthorization, possibly as soon as next week. Many believe that President Trump and Secretary DeVos will look at the SOAR Program as they attempt a broader system of school choice and vouchers in the future.

 

In the Press

Vouchers are Ineffective for Many in America, Center for American Progress

A new report from the Center for American Progress has found that voucher systems are unlikely to play a beneficial role for many Americans. The report focuses mainly on rural areas and the public schools located there.

The Lack of Proof Surrounding School Vouchers, Economic Policy Institute

Secretary DeVos and President Trump have touted voucher systems as a proven method of improving student growth. However, a new study has found that the risks of voucher systems can often outweigh the insignificant gains in test scores and limited gains in graduation rates.

ED Seeks Comments on a New IDEA Website, U.S. Department of Education

ED is planning a new website related to IDEA and would like your input. Visit ED’s website and leave a comment on what you would like to see in the new website.

State by State Comparison on Vouchers, Education Commission of the States

While there has been much talk surrounding a federal voucher program lately, it is important to know that there are many different policies surrounding state voucher systems. The Education Commission of the States has compiled a comprehensive resource that examines these policies and points out the differences between each system.

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