Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) yesterday made the following statement on the Trump Administration executive order ensuring faithful implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act – the new education law that Alexander sponsored to restore local control of classrooms:

“In 2015, there was a consensus that No Child Left Behind needed to be fixed and, remarkably, there was a consensus on how to fix it: Continue the law’s important measurements of academic progress of students but restore to states, school districts, classroom teachers and parents the responsibility for deciding what to do about improving student achievement,” Alexander said. “Parents and teachers should welcome the president’s commitment to ensuring that the Education Department is faithfully executing the education law as Congress wrote it – putting states and local communities back in charge of their classrooms.”

The Trump Administration executive order issued today instructs Secretary DeVos to ensure “strict compliance” with laws passed by Congress related to K-12 education “that prohibit Federal interference with State and local control over education” including statutory provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

As a result of ESSA and other federal education laws, the federal government is specifically prohibited from interfering with:

  •         State standards;
  •         State assessments;
  •         Curricula or programs of instruction;
  •         How state or local educational resources are allocated;
  •         Weights of indicators in State accountability systems;
  •         How to identify and fix low-performing schools;
  •         State goals for student achievement and graduation rates; and
  •         Teacher evaluation systems.

The directive also instructs Secretary DeVos to review all regulations and guidance documents related to K-12 education and ensure those regulations or documents comply with the laws passed by Congress.