Department of Education
What Obama's New Task Force Should Do to Fight College Rape
January 23, 2014
Experts suggest the administration's way forward on campus sexual assault.
Meet the "Lexile," the absurd reading metric for the Common Core.
Unless Teachers Write the Tests, They Won't Improve Anything
September 27, 2013
Ezekiel Emanuel argues that more tests make students smarter, a proposition which is not as simple as it sounds.
Obama's Tax Hikes Won't Be Nearly Big Enough
December 28, 2012
Republicans want to reduce the size of the federal government, and they won’t take no for an answer. “I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” Grover Norquist famously declared. And in negotiations over the fiscal cliff, they have insisted on cutting spending rather than raising taxes. “The President wants to pretend that spending isn’t the problem,” House Speaker John Boehner has complained. Democrats, for their part, have responded defensively.
How the GOP’s New Education Policy Embraces the Market and Abandons Objective Standards
July 09, 2012
We all got a good laugh at the recent befuddlement (reported at TNR by Amy Sullivan) of a conservative Republican legislator from Louisiana who withdrew her support from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program when she realized that its open door to public support for religious schools was not limited to those catering to Christians. But the underlying principle of Jindal’s initiative—and arguably of Mitt Romney’s little-discussed proposal to convert the bulk of federal K-12 education dollars into vouchers—is no laughing matter.
When former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh* wrote Title IX forty years ago, his goal was very simple: to make sure women could get a good education.
Let’s Get Real, No One’s Eliminating Any Cabinet Departments
November 11, 2011
Rick Perry’s “Oops” on Wednesday joined the small canon of legendary phrases from presidential debates, right up there with “You’re no Jack Kennedy.” His inability to remember one of the three government agencies he would promise to eliminate as president, together with his smirking indifference to whether it even mattered, was probably the final moment of a candidacy that was already doomed by his lack of preparation for the national stage. But does it matter?
"Mass Resistance" To Education Reform
August 10, 2011
The Obama administration is pursuing a second round of its education reform agenda. The first round was "Race to the Top," which created a competition among states for extra federal grants that would be won by states with the most impressive reforms. This time around, instead of dollars -- there is no new money to hand out -- the Department of Education is using regulatory relief. The 2001 No Child Left Behind law imposed fairly rigid requirements and standards. Everybody agrees it needs updating, but Congress is too dysfunctional to update it, and has been for several years running.
Why Obama’s New Plan to Reform Education Is Likely Illegal
August 10, 2011
Faced with a looming deadline and a deadlocked legislature, Barack Obama is employing a strategy many wish he had in the recent debt ceiling talks: He’s bypassing Congress altogether. On Monday, Obama approved a Department of Education plan to grant waivers allowing states to bypass the most stringent and unrealistic requirements of the Bush-era education law known as No Child Left Behind, including its fairy-tale provision that all schools must be 100 percent proficient in reading and math by 2014, in exchange for the adoption of certain policy priorities.
The Paradox Of Local Control
April 21, 2011
Not long ago, Kevin Carey laid out the depressing possibility that Republicans would revert to their "local control" view of education, thus strangling reform. Today George Will reports, encouragingly, that John Kline -- the House Republican who chairs the education committee -- is trying to change the minds of Republicans in the House: Their theory is that education in grades K through 12, which gets most of the Education Department’s attention, is a quintessentially state and local responsibility, so the department is inimical to local control of education.