By Ken Wackes December 2016
What comes next? With very few in Washington or in state education departments envisioning a Trump victory, state and local education leaders are now uncertain what to do next. On the one hand President Obama is frenetically signing executive orders, filling government posts with new hires, and during the first week of December issued new testing regulations for ESSA.
On the other hand, Donald Trump will be sworn in on Jan 20th and soon after a new secretary of education will be appointed. Both Trump and his selection to lead the department of education, Betsy DeVos, are outspoken critics of Common Core.
States that signed on to Common Core have already modified it with their own footprint and will probably retain it. Many, however, have bristled recently at the Obama Administration releasing final testing regulations for ESSA during its last month in office.
EducationWeek notes that the teachers unions are likely to find few friends in the new administration and few dollars. And the current Department of Education staff fear that they will watch much of their ESSA planning go down the drain.
“These folks spent months setting up (and sitting through) negotiated rulemakings, crafting regulations for ESSA, and sifting through more than 20,000 public comments on a proposed accountability regulation alone. Now all that work may go up in smoke, if Trump and Company withdraw some or all of the Obama administration’s regulatory proposals, as most folks expect. What’s more, Trump has said he wants to downsize or even scrap the department. Even though it would be very, very hard to get rid of the department and most of its programs, it can’t be the most fun talking point to hear if you work at 400 Maryland Ave. At a minimum, the agency probably can’t expect mega-spending increases or tons of new hires under Trump.”