December 2014 Education Insider: Gainful Employment, Federal Legislation, and a Look Ahead at 2015

For our final Education Insider report of 2014, we asked Insiders to revisit a few of the leading topics in education policy this year and to take a look ahead at the policies that will be front and center in 2015. In addition to our tracking measures on topics such as ESEA and HEA, we asked Insiders to look at gainful employment, for-profit colleges, student data privacy, and the newly-proposed teacher preparation regulations, among others. As always, our Insiders provided a unique perspective on these topics, giving us much to consider as we head in to the new year. Here are a few highlights from the report‰'s executive summary:

  • Insiders indicate that the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is gaining some traction. Some Insiders believe ESEA could be a legacy issue for President Obama and others cite the need for Republicans to prove they can lead as a potential driver for the legislation. Many still see political gridlock as a hurdle.
  • Insiders think action to address gainful employment is very likely to occur in 2015. Respondents are divided on the potential impact of the current regulations, which are set to take effect in June of 2015. Opinions on the regulations range from ‰"illegitimate‰" to ineffectual.
  • More Insiders believe that federal action to address student data privacy concerns is likely, as compared to their responses in March of this year. Action via legislation is seen as more likely than action via regulations.
  • There is increasing optimism about the Common Core‰'s durability over the next 5 years. More Insiders believe that states will have standards that are mostly aligned with the Common Core and that broad repeal is unlikely.
  • Insiders are pessimistic about the future of for-profit colleges and universities, with 72% describing the outlook as either ‰"poor" or ‰"fair."