Saturday, November 19, 2016

Update: Trump camp calls off meeting with state school chiefs from across U.S.

Update: Trump camp calls off meeting with state school chiefs from across U.S. | National |

Update: Trump camp calls off meeting with state school chiefs from across U.S.

Updated at noon Friday: State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister and other state education leaders from across the U.S. gathered at an annual policy forum were informed Friday morning that their planned meeting with a representative of President-elect Donald Trump has been cancelled.
The agenda for the three-day, annual gathering of the Council of Chief State School Officers in Baltimore, Maryland, originally included a Saturday morning session on the transition to a new presidential administration.
The event agenda stated that “the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump is sending a senior representative to discuss and answer questions about the education priorities of the incoming Administration.”
Steffie Corcoran, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, said shortly after Council officials informed Hofmeister and the other state chiefs that the Trump camp meeting was off, the organization issued an official statement.
"The Council of Chief State School Officers has been in discussions with President-Elect Trump’s transition team on the priorities state leaders in education have set to ensure every child – regardless of background –graduates prepared for college, careers, and life. At this time, we understand the new administration is working on its transition in a number of areas as they prepare to take office. We look forward to continuing to work with the transition team and new Secretary of Education and to facilitate a conversation with state education chiefs in the near future," said Melissa McGrath, communications director at the CCSSO, in the written press statement.
Questions abound in public education about what Trump’s advocacy for major new investments in school choice will look like, as well as implications on their ongoing implementation of the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
“There are definitely questions that we all have and we’re in the middle of implementing ESSA while awaiting guidance from the (U.S. Department of Education),” Hofmeister told the Tulsa World.
“I don’t know if Trump will have a new secretary (of education) announced by then, but every state is wondering what this means.”
ESSA, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, offers little wiggle room on the school accountability systems every state must maintain.
It specifies five required indicators of school performance, Hofmeister said: academic achievement as measured by the annual state assessments, a “valid and reliable” statewide academic indicator for elementary and middle or junior high schools, high school graduation rate, progress in English-learners achieving English language proficiency, and, finally, at least one indicator of school quality and success “with greater weight placed on the first four indicators.”
States are still waiting on the U.S. Department of Education to adopt final regulations for how they are to implement ESSA.
Rumors are swirling about whether Trump will select a non-traditional individual as U.S. secretary of education — or whether he will forgo having a cabinet member over education altogether.
That move could signal his campaign vow to greatly reduce or even eliminate the federal government’s role in public education.
The implications of what happens next could quickly trickle down to the local school level.
“With the (ESSA) law being fairly new and the regulations just now under development, it certainly makes it uncertain for those of us in school districts and states,” said Tulsa Superintendent Deborah Gist, who previously served as the state education leader for Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.
“As far as accountability systems and assessments, I don’t think there will be shifts that will be noticeable to the public because they’re much more technical, but we’re just standing by to see will there be a shift in philosophy in the way in which those are implemented.”
As for other opportunities for the president-elect’s philosophies on education to affect students and families relying on public schools across the U.S., Gist said all indications point to one particular area.
“The only real education policy that President-elect Trump talked regularly about during the campaign is school choice, so we are standing by to see what exactly that will mean to him and for the rest of our programming,” she said.
Andrea Eger 
Twitter: @AndreaEger
This article originally ran on
Update: Trump camp calls off meeting with state school chiefs from across U.S. | National |

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