The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

After Criticism the DOE Modifies its Process

on July 29, 2017

Today, an article in “Education Week”, entitled “Trump Ed. Dept. Changes Process for ESSA Feedback” by Alyson Klein, told of the reactions to the DOE’s criticism of states’s ESSA plans.  Although I don’t have much to say about the changes, I think it is important to inform readers about what has happened.


As you already know, ESSA plans from nine states were harshly criticized by the DOE. What I learned today was that several state officials and members of Congress quickly chastised the DOE for its harshness, accusing it of “nit-picking”.

As a result, the DOE, quickly moved to make changes in their Feedback process. Instead of sending written critiques to states right off the bat, it will first hold two hour phone discussions with state representatives over anything they find disturbing or inadequate in their plans.  If disagreements are resolved through those discussions, no mention of the original problems will be appear in the final written feedback that follows .

The DOE also made the following public quote to reassure state representatives and the public of their commitment to cooperation and fairness:

“The department is committed to working with states to help ensure their plans align with the statutory requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.  Part of that commitment, in addition to the required peer reviews, is maintaining an open dialogue with state leaders. That feedback is intended to provide an informal opportunity to address any potential concerns prior to plans being submitted to Secretary DeVos for review. Secretary DeVos looks forward to reviewing plans and approving every plan that complies with the law.”

My reactions to these events are mixed. I was pleased to see state representatives and Congress members stand up for respectful treatment of all state plans, and also to see the DOE’s quick change in its way of conveying disapproval or confusion about state submissions. But, in its public statement I still sense the DOE’s resistance to state proposals that would modify some of the harsh school practices of the past several years. It looks like states will still not be able to make their schools places where students want to be.

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One response to “After Criticism the DOE Modifies its Process

  1. sara eck says:

    It is interesting that would hold only a two hour phone conference with leaders. In Oregon that may include our corporate affiliated Stand for Children which was not elected by the Oregon voters to serve.

    Like

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