Monday, September 14, 2015

Commentary: Congress Working To Gut Education Secretary’s Powers.

In a Washington Post (9/11, Carey) op-ed, Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at New America, writes about Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s contributions to addressing the dropout crisis in US schools, resulting in a record-high graduation rate. However, “instead of seeing this as a success story to be replicated, lawmakers in Congress are on the verge of preventing future secretaries of education from taking similar action.” As Congress works to reconcile ESEA reauthorization bills, “a potentially sweeping set of changes to the education secretary’s authority has gone largely unnoticed.” Carey describes the political pressures that could drive President Obama to allow passage of such language, but argues that this “would betray a bedrock principle that has guided Obama and Duncan for the past seven years: that the federal government has a bounded but vital responsibility to act on behalf of vulnerable children who are being systematically failed by public institutions and society at large.”

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