Federal Policy & Reform
The Trump administration has big ambitions to ramp up school choice — both public and private — but those desires have quickly bumped up against political reality. Will the president and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos deliver? It remains to be seen, though speakers on a recent EWA panel expressed some skepticism.
Journalist Kelly Field recently won a top honor at EWA’s National Seminar for her compelling series, “From the Reservation to College,” on the education of Native American students. Field’s coverage for The Chronicle of Higher Education — supported by an EWA Reporting Fellowship — follows several students from the Blackfeet Indian reservation in Montana. Their experiences highlight the significant educational challenges facing Native communities in the U.S. today.
Education advocates are reacting with dismay to a report that President Donald Trump’s administration is recruiting lawyers within the U.S. Department of Justice for an initiative to investigate and potentially sue colleges and universities over racial preferences in admissions that discriminate against white applicants.
By most standards, Austin Jia holds an enviable position. A rising sophomore at Duke, Mr. Jia attends one of the top universities in the country, setting him up for success.
But with his high G.P.A., nearly perfect SAT score and activities — debate team, tennis captain and state orchestra — Mr. Jia believes he should have had a fair shot at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia and the University of Pennsylvania. Those Ivy League colleges rejected him after he applied in the fall of 2015.
The White House today marked a milestone in leadership on historically black colleges and universities, although probably not the kind President Trump had in mind when he promised in February that support of those institutions would be an “absolute priority.”
A new administration hasn’t made it to August without having named a leader of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities since that office was launched under President Carter. But Trump has not named a leader for the office.
Ted Mitchell, a top U.S. Department of Education official during the Obama administration and an architect of several of the college and student-loan accountability regulations the Trump administration is now trying to dismantle, was named on Thursday as the new president of the American Council on Education.
Mr. Mitchell said countering the “narrative that college doesn’t matter anymore for individuals and society” would be among his highest priorities for the organization, which represents about 1,800 college presidents on national policy issues.
Key Democrat Calls For Ouster Of Devos’s Civil Rights Chief In Light Of ‘Egregious’ Remarks About Sexual Assault
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, is calling for the ouster of the Education Department’s civil rights chief, saying she is unfit for the job.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education drew both scorn and praise Monday at a public hearing on its plans to revamp two Obama-era rules meant to protect students from shady schools that leave them saddled with debt and no viable way to pay it off.
Barmak Nassirian is director of federal policy for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Under current law, the major federal grants for low-income students cannot be used to pay for academic programs that are shorter than 600 clock hours or 15 weeks in length. But a bill introduced in January by Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, and Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, would expand Pell eligibility to shorter job-training programs, with a minimum cutoff of 150 clock hours of instruction time over a period of at least eight weeks.
When states began opting in to Medicaid expansion after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, among the beneficiaries were the teaching hospitals that train doctors and nurses and serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients.
A coalition of states is suing the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, and her department over its decision to roll back an Obama-era regulation aimed at reining in abuses by colleges that defraud students.
A new investigation by NerdWallet’s public-interest journalism team focuses on student loan debt-relief companies that promise consumers savvy fiscal help but too often do little to actually lighten their load — and, in some cases, actually increase borrowers’ financial burdens. Reporters Richard Read and Teddy Nykiel discuss who is — and isn’t — holding these companies accountable. What would need to change at the state and federal levels to improve consumer protections?
Educators have been wading through a sea of conflicting messages from President Trump’s administration about undocumented immigrants, trying to figure out how best to serve these students without breaking the law.
Alyson Klein of Education Week and Andrew Kreighbaum of Inside Higher Ed discuss recent developments on the federal policy front, and what’s been a busy month for U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The Education Department has hit the “pause button” on regulations aimed at reining in for-profit colleges, announced plans to scale back civil rights investigations, and suggested federal scrutiny of state accountability plans for K-12 education could be more forceful than some people — particularly Republicans — were expecting.
In recent months, millions of dollars in donations have rained down upon journalism organizations, prompted by President Trump’s verbal attacks on the news media and citizen support for the press’s role in America’s democracy. That’s been great news for worthy recipients such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, ProPublica and others. But one tiny outfit, working out of a windowless Washington office, has not benefited.
Cory Turner discusses the NPR education team’s deep dive into school vouchers, with a focus on Indiana, home to the largest voucher program in the nation. Among NPR’s findings: less than 1 percent of participating students transferred out of public schools that had been labeled by the state as low performers, and many students using vouchers were already attending private schools. With school choice as a centerpiece to President Trump’s education policy agenda, what does the evidence show when it comes to academic outcomes for students using vouchers?
Confusion and uncertainty. Gridlock and disagreement.
No, we’re not just talking about the political machinations on Capitol Hill. It’s also a pretty good characterization of the discussion on “The Changing Politics of Higher Education” at the 2017 Education Writers Association seminar at Georgetown University.
Jennifer Pignolet of the Commercial Appeal checks on the closure of an AmeriCorps program called City Year in Memphis, which is wrapping up a pilot year at Brownsville and Westside Achievement Middle, a state-run school in Frayser.
The Trump administration released a 2018 budget proposal Tuesday that delivered on expectations for drastic cuts to student aid programs and university-based research while substantially reshaping federal student loan programs.
Emma Brown of The Washington Post discusses President Trump’s budget proposal for education, with fresh analysis of the priorities and politics behind the line items. She also explains the prospects in the GOP-led Congress for the Trump plan. Overall, the president’s budget envisions deep cuts to the U.S. Department of Education budget, even as he wants to step up federal aid for school choice. Which education programs are up for major cuts or outright elimination and why? How do some of the largest programs, like Title I aid for disadvantaged students and Pell grants, fare?