Top state education officials detail objections to federal regulations
California’s top two education officials on Monday spelled out their complaints with proposed federal regulations that they said would conflict with and undermine the state’s new plan to help schools improve and hold them accountable for student achievement.
In a 10-page letter, State Board of Education President Michael Kirst and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson stated that the draft rules for the new federal education act, unless changed, “will derail the significant progress being made in our state towards creating a single, aligned system” that would meet both federal and state requirements. Without more flexibility than the rules allow, the state won’t be able to effectively shift from a school improvement system defined by standardized tests results to one that evaluates a broad range of factors, like school climate, that affect student achievement, they said.
The letter was one of a flurry of comments on the final day of a 60-day comment period for the federal regulations proposed under the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Although Kirst and Torklanson said they were writing on behalf of the state’s 6.2 million students, 14 California education advocacy groups also submitted a letter Monday that supported some of the provisions that Kirst and Torlakson criticized. They also blamed the state, not the new federal law or regulations, for not yet developing a unified accountability system.
“Whether inaction on these issues is because the state does not have the will or lacks the technical capacity to address them,” strong regulations are needed to ensure state compliance with the new federal law, the letter said. EdVoice, Children Now, the California Charter Schools Association, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Education Trust-West are among those who signed the letter.
Congressional passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015 reflected a bipartisan agreement to move federal education policy from a Top state education officials detail objections to federal regulations | EdSource: