For education reform advocates, Donald Trump is making a big move toward fixing a broken system. One of his forthcoming executive orders will begin the process of returning control of public education to the local level.
The order will call on Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to review and report on regulations and directives from the last several years that may hamper local control of K-12 education. That report will, according to White House sources, is said to be due in 300 days.
There is at least one good reason to do this: a move to give education back to local and state systems is a complete 180 from the policies of the Obama Education Department.
Arne Duncan, former Education Secretary under Obama, used money from the federal Race to the Top program as a means of getting states to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Essentially, what Duncan was doing was finding a way around the rules that state he couldn’t force states to adopt federal education policy. Instead of doing that, he just tied it adopting the CCSS to a lot of money that states desperately needed for their education systems.
Education reform advocates, as well as small government conservatives, have long advocated taking power over K-12 education away from the federal government, and presidential candidates in the past have promised to completely eradicate the federal Department of Education.
This is a solid move by Trump, and it renews hope in some of his critics that there are some things he will get right and some hiring decisions, like Betsy DeVos, that were nothing short of well-played.
Kudos to the President for the first of many strong steps that have to be taken.