In an ESEA/ESSA Update (#230) of the NEA, dated Feb. 26, 2016, the updates’ contents indicated that Acting Secretary of Education John King, Jr. appears headed toward official confirmation after a Senate HELP committee hearing on his nomination yesterday focused in part on implementation of ESSA. In prepared testimony, King applauded the new law:
With ESSA, Congress has reinforced the federal commitment to holding our nation’s schools accountable for the progress of all students. In this new era, the locus of decision-making around the most appropriate supports, interventions, and rewards in our schools is rightly shifting back to states and districts-and away from the one-size-fits-all mandates of No Child Left Behind. As a former teacher, principal, and state commissioner, I know from personal experience that the best ideas come from classrooms, not conference rooms. …. [ESSA] preserves the critical federal role to ensure guardrails to protect civil rights. But it also gives educators and state and local leaders the freedom to establish better, more balanced ways of assessing student learning, including looking beyond just test scores.
Further encouragement came when HELP (Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee Chairman Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) told King that he had urged the President during the December 10 ESSA signing ceremony to send a nominee for confirmation to facilitate ESSA implementation.
Contrasting the delay of his own nomination as secretary of education 25 years ago, Alexander told King: “I don’t suspect you are going to have any of that sort of problem today.”
Read the complete article from the ESEA/ESSA Update (#230) entitled, “NEA urges stakeholder collaboration at Senate hearing” for in-depth information on the new ESSA and its implementation in America’s schools one step at a time.