Streamlining the US Department of Education?

We often say that change is a good thing. Years ago, dear ol’ Eduflack had a boss who believed that did an organization to truly thrive, it needed to be reconceived and reorganized every five years or so.

After more than a year, the education community is still looking for EdSec Betsy a DeVos to take strong action or reveal a strategy for P-20 education in the United States. With DeVos now talking about reorganizing and streamlining operations at USED, are we about to see a peek into that strategy?

Over at the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the subject, asking if a little reorganization every now and then can be a good thing. Give it a listen!

What About Special Ed Parents, Mr. President?

Last month, the Trump Administration dismissed, en masse, hundreds of special education complaints filed with the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

In doing so, the EdSec said they were charges without merit, as the hundreds were filed by just a handful of individuals. But in doing so, the Trump Administration demonstrates a lack of understanding of advocates in special education, while dissing the sped family community across the nation.

On the latest episode of TrumpED, we explore the topic and the chilling affect it can have on a sped community believing President Trump may have meant more, not less, respect in the public schools. Give it a listen!

Trump Signature Ed Legislation?

By this point in their presidencies, George W. Bush had already signed No Child Left Behind into law and Barack Obama has already sounded the starting gun in his Race to the Top. Now that we are 15 months into the Trump Administration, we have yet to see any real education movement, let alone a landmark bill.

That could change. President Trump and EdSec Betsy DeVos COULD lend their collective powers behind a key education issue. And if they were truly smart, they WOULD get behind major career and technical education policy. But could and would are from from will and did.

We explore this topic on the latest issue of TrumpED on the BAM! Radio Network. Give it a listen. It’s not like we are watching major education law get signed into policy.

NAEP Response: More than Words?

Now that the dust has finally settled on the most-recent dump of NAEP scores, we must admit that the results just aren’t good. For a decade now, student performance on our national reading and math tests have remained stagnant. And that stagnation is only because a few select demographics managed gains that kept everyone afloat.

At a time when we all seem to agree that today’s students need stronger and greater skills to succeed in tomorrow’s world, how can we be satisfied with stagnation? And how we can respond simply with words, with the rhetoric of how our students can and should do better?

Over on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the topic, reflecting on both how we cannot be satisfied with our students treading water and how we need to take real action to improve teaching and learning in the classroom. Give it a listen. Then show your work.


Crediting DeVos Where Credit Is Due

Earlier this month, the US Department of Education announced a new effort to pilot flexibility when it comes to student assessment. After years of gripes from the education community about the problems with tests and the concerns of wonks in DC telling educators in the localities what to do and how to measure, the Feds are finally offering a little flexibility and local control when it comes to testing.

What was the response? Largely crickets. Almost no one tipped the cap or offered kudos to EdSec Betsy DeVos for following through on this effort to pilot assessment flexibility. And that’s a cryin’ shame.

On the most recent episode of #TrumpEd on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the most-recent testing actions from ED and how this should be seen as a good thing in the evolution of federal/locality education policy. Give it a listen!

Would Betsy DeVos be Welcomed at Your School?

It’s easy to attack Betsy DeVos for her remark that she hasn’t spent time visiting failing schools. And it is easier to criticize the EdSec for spending much of her school visit time walking the hallways of charter schools and private schools receiving voucher money.

But even if DeVos were to begin a whistle-stop tour of all sorts of traditional public schools, would she be welcome? From her first try where she was physically barred from originally entering to graduates turning their backs on her at graduation, the education community hasn’t been all too welcoming to Secretary DeVos when she does visit.

Over at the BAM! Radio Network, we explore the good, bad, and ugly truth when it comes to DeVos visits and the general resentment they seem to bring. Give it a listen, and tell me I’m wrong. Would your schoolhouse warmly greet the EdSec?

Like It or Not, DeVos Acts as Promised

Throughout the education community, we like to offer faux outrage regarding everything that EdSec Betsy DeVos says or does. We are shocked that she isn’t visiting a failing public school. We are dismayed when she goes to see a public charter school or the recipient of voucher dollars. We are apoplectic when she doesn’t march in lockstep with the teachers unions or the AASA.

But should we? From the day she was nominated to be Trump’s education secretary to today, hasn’t DeVos done and said everything that we expected from her? While we may have wanted more, sought a deeper strategic approach, or hoped for a change of heart on issues of importance to us, isn’t the EdSec delivering as promised?

Over on the BAM! Radio Network, we explore this topic, acknowledging that when it comes to the EdSec, what you see is indeed what you’ve gotten. Give it a listen.