Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Will Pass the Senate According to Arne Duncan

The final vote on S1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act, will be tomorrow morning, Wednesday, 12/9/2015, at 10:45 am EST.  Short of Divine intervention, this bill will pass the Senate.

  • After Cloture vote today, which was successful 86-12 with both Senators Thune and Rounds voting in the affirmative, Sen. Lamar Alexander said, “I don’t think there is any doubt what the vote will be.”
  • Before the cloture vote was even complete I received an email from the Department of Education with the title: Excerpts from Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s prepared remarks at the Learning Forward conference today, Dec. 8. Let me share just a few of his comments.
    • This new law will mean that you can continue challenging your kids to live up to new, higher standards that you have been working so hard to implement. Congress re-committed us as a nation to the work you’ve been doing to raise standards.
    • It also commits to wraparound services and place-based interventions like Promise Neighborhoods,
    • This bill builds on our Administration’s vision for education, and the fact is, this new agreement actually embodies and codifies much of it. Let’s talk about 4 key ideas:
      • College- and career-ready standards
      • Focused support and attention for the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools
      • Expanding preschool opportunity
      • Support for local innovation and investing in what works
    • None of those existed in previous versions of ESEA. They’re ideas that this Administration put forward, and they’re in this bill. They’re here to stay(emphasis mine)
    • Incredibly, this is a stronger bill than either the House or the Senate versions – it actually got stronger through bipartisan cooperation when the two bills were blended in a conference committee. I know this is inside baseball, but let me be clear: that pretty much never happens. (emphasis mine)

“Congress has re-committed us as a nation…” We have no local control. We are no longer a school board or a state,  PreK-12 education is now under federal control.

“College and career ready standards” is code for Common Core.

This bill codifies the fundamental transformation from a classical K-12 education of reading, math and science, to preparing children for the workforce pipeline and moves that transformation into pre-school.

Secretary Duncan has been assured that this bill will pass through Congress, no matter what evidence is shown to prove that this bill will harm students and teachers. No matter how many parents and grassroots education organizations oppose this bill.  This bill was a back door, middle of the night deal, put together with the help of organizations that have an agenda separate from what is best for children.

So, you see, Senators Thune and Rounds will more than likely join Rep. Noem to stand with the Obama Administration and give us Fed Ed.

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