DeVos Approves Two ESSA Plans: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approved to ESSA plans from Alaska and Iowa this week, bringing the number of approved state plans to 44, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Alaska’s plan focuses on chronic absenteeism, using data to inform eligibility for Alaska Performance Scholarships, and interim testing to address school quality. Iowa will track school performance through student surveys, test scores and postsecondary readiness. They also set goals for increasing the number of students who score “proficient” on state exams.
Mick Zais Confirmed as Deputy Education Secretary: In a 50-48 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Mick Zais for the number two position at the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, Zais was the state Superintendent of Education for South Carolina from 2011 to 2014, and before that he served as president of Newberry College. He is a strong supporter of school choice and opposed Common Core State Standards. Zais is a retired brigadier general in the U.S Army.
DeVos Mulling Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Reshuffle: Promised changes to the office of elementary and secondary education (OESE) structure could also mean a reconfiguration of the offices of academic improvement, early learning, Impact Aid, Indian education, migrant education, safe and healthy students, school support and rural programs, and the office of state support. The structural shifts are aligned with the Trump administration’s desire to “streamline” government.
Trump Names Pick for Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education: This week the White House nominated Scott Stump, chief operating and people development officer at Colorado learning services firm Vivayic Inc., for the Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education position . Stump previously served as the Colorado Community College System’s provost for career and technical education (CTE), and in 2014 he was president of Advance CTE. Advocates have expressed early optimism for Stump, citing his direct experience with job training.