Archives: K-12 Education

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Concrete Results: The Reg Reform Effort at U.S. Department of Education

Late last week the Department of Education (“ED”) announced the release of the second report of its Regulatory Reform Task Force.  The report recommends ED withdraw nearly 600 antiquated guidance documents–a big step forward in cleaning-up its regulatory and guidance portfolio. Under Executive Order 13777, the Task Force continues to review ED’s regulations and sub-regulatory guidance as … Continue Reading

An Unfortunate Commentary on Charter Schools

As the editorial boards of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal have ably pointed out, the anti-charter resolution adopted this past weekend by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People represents an unfortunate commentary for inner city communities longing for better schools.  Why put up the roadblocks?  Why stifle … Continue Reading

Preliminary Injunction Halts Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom/Locker Room Policy

On Sunday, August 21, 2016, a federal court in the northern district of Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the Obama Administration’s highly controversial transgender bathroom/locker room guidance first-announced in the spring of this year.  The court’s decision is here. Significantly, the decision stated the U.S. Department of Education failed to follow Notice and … Continue Reading

Oversight Hearing on Proposed ESSA Title I Regulations

On Thursday, July 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM, the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee will hear from education stakeholders about what they think about the proposed Title I regulations to Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), published earlier today (July 11) … Continue Reading

House Implementation Hearing on Every Student Succeeds Act

Earlier today the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held its first hearing (“Next Steps for K-12 Education:  Implementing the Promise to Restore State and Local Control”) on the recently-enacted Every Student Succeeds Act.  The Act reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It was my privilege … Continue Reading

House Passes ESEA Reauthorization; Senate Reaches Interest Rate Deal

Last Friday, July 19, the House passed H.R. 5, the Student Success Act–its version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA)–by a vote of 221-207. The message?  State and local control. Last reauthorized under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the ESEA has continued in recent years under annual appropriations … Continue Reading

ESEA Reauthorization Set to Move in U.S. House

The House of Representatives is expected to take up the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (H.R. 5, the Student Success Act) as early as Thursday, July 18, 2013. Reported from the Education and Workforce Committee by a vote of 23-16, the legislation devolves much to the state and local levels, eliminates a … Continue Reading

School Safety: To Be Center Stage at Ed and Workforce Hearing

Updates on my earlier post (February 20) on school safety:  The House Education and Workforce Committee hearing set for Wednesday, February 27, 2013 will focus on school safety in the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.   Witnesses will include Bill Bond–School Safety Specialist with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (KY), Mo … Continue Reading

House and Senate Hearings Set For Next Week on Schools, Workplace, and NCLB Waivers

Next week the House Education and Workforce Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold hearings on February 5 (Tuesday) and 7 (Thursday) respectively.  Ed and Workforce meets at 10:00 a.m. on the fifth in Room 2175 to consider training and workforce issues, federal actions that impede job growth, K-12 education reform … Continue Reading

Roll-Out of Immigration Reform Framework

In what for the moment has trumped discussions of Mali, Egypt, the debt ceiling, and the Ravens/49ers match-up, a group of four Republican senators (John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Jeff Flake) and four Democrats (Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Robert Menendez, and Michael Bennet) released today a “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform.” What does … Continue Reading

Congratulations to Nina Rees, the New CEO for NAPCS

The National Association for Public Charter Schools announced its new chief executive officer last week–our former U.S. Department of Education colleague, Nina Rees.  Nina is an excellent choice, and was an admired senior official at the Department when she served as the first Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement from 2002-2006.  Nina comes to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Affirms Highly Qualified Teacher Regulation

In a May 10, 2012 opinion in the case of Renee v. Duncan,  the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held:  (1) that prior to enactment of an appropriations amendment (Section 163 of the Continuing Appropriations and Surface Transportation Extensions Act of of 2011, Pub. L. No. 111-322), the highly qualified teacher regulation (34 C.F.R. … Continue Reading

Talbert to Speak at Heritage Foundation Panel Discussion

I have accepted an invitation to discuss legal aspects of the Common Core Standards, the U.S. Department of Education-funded ($362 million) Race to the Top student academic assessments, and the Department-initiated conditions required in order to receive a No Child Left Behind Waiver. Hosted by The Heritage Foundation, the panel discussion will occur tomorrow, April 17, … Continue Reading


In his column today, nationally syndicated columnist George F. Will discusses our paper, The Road to a National Curriculum:  The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers, released on February 9 by the Pioneer Institute.  With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education … Continue Reading

Committee Mark-up Scheduled for Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Bills

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce has scheduled a mark-up of two more Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) bills–the Student Success Act (H.R. 3989) and the Encouraging Innovation and Effective Teachers Act (H.R. 3990)–on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 10:00 am in Room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.   Collectively, … Continue Reading

Bill Introduced Limiting Department-Imposed Conditions on NCLB Waivers

On February 9, 2012, the White House announced that ten states had been approved for Conditions-Based Waivers (“ESEA Flexibility”) under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  As a part of the approval, states must comply with Department-imposed conditions.  Strangely silent, the Department provided no explanation … Continue Reading

The Erosion of National K-12 Curriculum Legal Restrictions

Those responsible for elementary and secondary education know that federal law prohibits the U.S. Department of Education from establishing a national curriculum, instruction, and the like.  Or at least they should know.  With only minor exceptions, the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of … Continue Reading

Public School Accountability Hearing Set For September 14, 2011

The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold a hearing on public school accountability and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (as provided for under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 10:00 a. m. in room 2175 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  The hearing will delve into … Continue Reading

House Presses Ahead on ESEA: Endorses Charter School Bill

On September 13, 2011, the U. S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (365-54) to approve H.R. 2218.pdf, the Empowering Parents Through Quality Charter Schools Act.  The bill is the first of a handful of Ed and Workforce Committee measures that reauthorize parts of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Among other things, the legislation … Continue Reading

Interview on “The Politics of NCLB Renewal”

In an August 25, 2011 interview with Kyle Palmer, I offered comments on recent actions of the House Education and Workforce Committee to push forward legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as spoke about the U.S. Department of Education’s preliminary plans to attach conditions to waivers.  The interview can be … Continue Reading

Harvard Conference on Learning from the International Experience

Last week I had the occasion to attend an outstanding conference organized by Paul Peterson and hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Education Policy and Governance. Entitled “Learning from the International Experience:  Lifting U.S. Students to World Class Levels of Performance,” the panel discussions focused upon the following questions:  What can be learned … Continue Reading

House Committee Asks Government Accountability Office (GAO) to Examine Regulatory Burdens

Earlier this year the House Education and Workforce Committee held hearings to examine the impact and burden of federal, state, and local regulations upon school districts. In a related vein, yesterday Chairman John Kline and Rep. Richard Hanna sent a letter.pdf to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking a number of questions about federal regulatory burdens, … Continue Reading

Title IX Suit Filed Against ED

You will recall that I wrote last March about the controversy that was brewing over the application of Title IX’s “three-part test” to high school athletics.  (You can locate my post here.)  Now, the American Sports Council, formerly known as the College Sports Council, has filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Education over the issue.    In … Continue Reading