Casting a Wide Net for EdSec

“Safe choices like Eskelsen Garcia, Hrabowski, or even U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia would all be solid nominees and cabinet secretaries in the Biden Administration. But what if we tabled the safe, solid considerations for a moment and began to consider the bold, the innovative, and the atypical. At such a time of change and uncertainty in both our nation and our educational systems, considering the alternatives may be just what our schools, our educators, and our learners need.”

From Eduflack’s latest on Medium (and also published on Project Forever Free and The Education Post)

A New Ed Department

“Yes, our educational priorities and needs have shifted over the last decade. Despite these changes, though, we are still focused on important issues such as teacher development, 21st century and STEM skills, education technology, and the P-20 education continuum. How we address these issues and the outcomes we expect from them have changed dramatically, though. A new approach, with new foci, serves as a strong rhetorical tool to make clear that education, edu-investment, edu-transformation, and edu-innovation are central to the rebuilding of our nation. And such rhetoric is all the more important when current economic concerns make it difficult to fund new policy ideas straight out of the gate, a fact that is all too real today.”

From Eduflack’s latest over at Medium, exploring the need for a new structure and new foci at the US Education Department

A Presidential Knife into the Charter School Back?

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump offered his recommendations for the FY2021 federal budget. Surprising no one, there was very little love for education, with proposed cuts this year resembling those that have come in previous Trump years.

Also unsurprising was the belief that education decisions are better made by states and localities, as the a Trump Administration seems to eliminate a number of federal education programs, replacing them with a “block grant” to states.

Curiously, one of those programs slated for elimination is one that funds school choice initiatives. But by proposing the programs closure and proposing a block grant that is largely DOA in Congress, is POTUS providing a lane for charter opponents to now kill federal funding for school choice?

We explore the topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!

Can We Edu-Dream a Little Bigger?

Education supporters of the Trump Administration continue to talk about the “big plan” EdSec Betsy DeVos et al are trying to move into law. And while it is great to final hear that education may be a priority moving forward, is it really “big” thinking to be solely focused on a tax credit program for families with kids in private school?

We explore the issue on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen!

Do We NEED a Teacher in Chief?

In her pursuit of the White House and the teachers unions endorsements to get there, US Senator Elizabeth Warren recently pledged that, when elected, she would insist that her US Education Secretary would be a union teacher.

It makes for good politics with union teachers, but is such a pledge good policy? Are the skills needed to be an effective educator the same skills needed to successfully manage a multi billion dollar federal agency that has the highest percentage of political appointments in the government?

We explore this topic on the most recent episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network, noting that one of the most effective EdSecs in history (Dick Riley) was not a teacher, while one of the most disappointing EdSecs (Rod Paige) brought just the experience Senator Warren is promising. Give us a listen!

Trump’s EduBudget … Not Again!

Another federal budget proposal, another attempt from President Donald Trump and his administration to dramatically cut the budget of the US Department of Education.

The two previous years have shown us that Trump’s edu-budget is nothing more than bad theater, with virtually no chance of proposal becoming law. But the annual effort to slash ED tells a disturbing story.

And what is that story? We try to tell it on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen here.

And Now We Have … Choice Tax Credits

The education community has been waiting two years to see a major education policy initiative come out of the Trump administration. And now the wait is over.

No, it isn’t focused on charter schools. No, it isn’t higher ed related. No, it isn’t even tied to past Trump rhetoric around early childhood education or career/tech education.

The major initiative is about providing $5 billion in tax credits to families. More specifically, it is providing billions to families who choose to send their kids to private schools. Essentially, they are offering a financial cousin to school vouchers.

But with the vast majority of school-aged kids attending traditional public schools, can we really have the tremendous impact on education that EdSec Betsy DeVos promised by offering tax breaks to private school families?

We explore the topic on the most recent episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen here . It’s your choice.

Some New Thinking on Higher Education?

It has now been a decade since the U.S. Congress last reauthorized the Higher Education Act. Back then, we still believed the “average” postsecondary student was an 18-year old fresh out of high school. No one knew what MOOCs were. Free college was barely a glimmer in some policy wonk’s eye. No one foresaw that liberal arts colleges, particularly those in the Northeast, would face potential closure because of financial concerns.

Back then, we didn’t know all that we didn’t know. But in the past decade, it is safe to say that higher education in 2019 is vastly different than higher ed in 2009.

So with all of those changes, isn’t it time we start looking at reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and start rethinking what higher education really is today?

We ask the question and explore the topic on the latest episode of TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network. Give us a listen.