Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
John King, Obama’s education secretary, to head advocacy group for disadvantaged students
John B. King Jr., who served as education secretary during the last year of Barack Obama’s presidency, has a new job: He will become the new president and chief executive of the Education Trust, an organization that advocates for vulnerable students and supports many of the education policies embraced by the Obama administration. (The Washington Post)
What SCOTUS Nominee Neil Gorsuch’s Past Rulings on Education Cases Could Mean on the High Court
President Trump on Tuesday evening nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, currently serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Colorado, to fill the seat on the Supreme Court left empty after Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death nearly a year ago. Gorsuch was student body president at Georgetown Prep in suburban Washington, D.C., where his mother was the first female head of the Environmental Protection Agency. He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School while also studying at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. He and his wife, Marie Louise, have two teenage daughters, Emma and Belinda. (The 74)
Will DeVos be a weakened education secretary?
If Betsy DeVos survives her confirmation process, the political bruising she’s taken on Capitol Hill could hamper her ability to govern and build support for President Donald Trump’s sweeping $20 billion school choice plan. The tens of thousands of calls and emails to derail her confirmation all but guarantee she would begin her tenure as education secretary as a polarizing figure without the usual honeymoon period to get her bearings — or to repair fraught relationships with school groups and Capitol Hill. (Politico)
Equity and deeper learning in public education. What works?
Every three years the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), made up of the world’s richest countries, publishes an international student assessment. They test 15-year-olds for comprehension in reading, math and science. One goal is to understand which countries have the most successful education programs and why. In 2015 the United States ranked 25 out of 72 countries. (KUOW.ORG)
State lawmakers may reverse course on class size law
One of the state General Assembly’s first significant acts this year may be a U-turn.
Support appears to be building for legislation sponsored by Rep. Chuck McGrady to significantly ease restrictions on class size in kindergarten through third grade for the 2017-18 school year. The 2016 measure approved in the state budget bill as legislators were rushing to finish their regular session mandated smaller classes but did not appropriate enough money to hire teachers needed to make the switch. (Citizen-Times)
Bill Dunn’s Tennessee school voucher bill resurfaces
True to his word that he would again take up the issue upon the bill’s tabling on the Tennessee House floor last year, Rep. Bill Dunn, R-Knoxville, filed Wednesday morning his school voucher bill. House Bill 0336 is almost exactly similar to the controversial education bill he was forced to table last session after not having enough votes for the measure. His school voucher bill has made it the furthest of any voucher bill ever filed in the House. (The Tennessean)