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The following update comes from Education Liberty Watch.

With the January 20th inauguration of Donald Trump as our 45th president, there is a new era of education leadership in Washington DC. Here is a report on status of Secretary-designate Betsy DeVos and what parents and citizens will need to monitor under the Trump administration.

1) National Parent Coalition Letter to Senate HELP Committee – Because of many grave concerns about DeVos’ record on Common Core, pushing Common Core on to private schools via school choice, and data privacy issues outlined in our previous alert, ELW was pleased to lead a national parent coalition that sent a letter to the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Although likely coincidental, it is still very interesting that the DeVos

confirmation hearing was postponed from January 10th to the 17th within a few hours of receiving the letter the first time containing about 60 national, including Eagle Forum, and state parent and policy organizations from 23 states.

2) Coalition Grew & Received Major Coverage – By the time of her hearing, 89 national and state grassroots parent groups and policy leaders from 28 states. The letter received coverage from Breitbart News, Sunshine State News, a statewide Florida news site, and was tweeted by Michelle Malkin:

3) Final Committee Vote Delayed Due to Ethics/Financial Concerns & Rocky Confirmation Hearing – the decision was made to delay the final vote in committee for one week due to her refusal to divest in an education related company and other complexities.The three and a half hour confirmation hearing gave people on many points of the political spectrum much to be concerned about. Her lack of experience and the lack of support for true states’ rights, decreasing the federal education footprint, parental rights, 2nd Amendment rights were all alarming. While glad to hear her say she would not push Common Core and federal school choice from her position, it will be important to see how she implements the Every Student Succeeds Act regulations on standards, tests, data mining, social emotional learning, & preschool. You can read our full report on Devos here.

Regulatory Freeze – The great news is that regardless of what happens with DeVos, President Trump has signed an order freezing new regulations not yet implemented for 60 days which includes those for the onerous Every Student Succeeds Act.

 

 

We will keep you posted on the progress of this cabinet appointment.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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