Conservatives across the country fought throughout Obama’s presidency to take control away from Big Government overreach and return it to the people.
Nowhere was the overreach of the federal government more apparent than in education regulations, which increasingly took decision-making away from parents and teachers.
And now, President Trump is working to give the power over the education of our nation’s children back to the parents and teachers who know the needs of the children best.
Although states receive less than ten percent of school funding from the federal government, the U.S. Department of Education under Obama severely overstepped the boundaries of executive authority in educational decisions.
Trump signed H.J.Res. 58, which overturns the U.S. Education Department’s (USED) rule that relates to how teacher training programs are assessed. Additionally, the president signed H.J.Res. 57, which nullifies USED’s rule relating to state accountability requirements under ESSA.
The teacher training program requirement, part of the Higher Education Act, mandated states to rate training programs for teachers each year based, in part, on student outcome measures. The Washington Post describes the Obama rule as “broadly unpopular.”
In his remarks about these two House joint resolutions, Trump said they “eliminate harmful burdens on state and local taxes on school systems that could have cost states hundreds of millions of dollars.”
“So it’s the states and local-tax school systems, and that was very important,” the president added. “Parents, teachers, communities, and state leaders know the needs of their students better than anyone in Washington by far. So we’re removing these additional layers of bureaucracy to encourage more freedom and innovation in our schools.”
With the rise of Common Core in public schools, and the ever-strengthening grip of government regulations to control state education standards, parents and teachers have been in an uproar, and have even demanded the Department of Education be dismantled altogether.
Under Obama, standardized testing to rate students’ performance has been irrevocably tied to school funding, in an area where the federal government should not be involved in the first place.
Teachers have been disciplined or fired for poor student performances on standardized testing.
And parents and teachers across the country have acknowledged for years that standardized education and testing is harmful to all students who learn in different ways and at a different paces.
Teachers said the regulations wrongly tied ratings of teacher-training programs to the performance of teachers’ students on standardized tests; colleges and states argued that the rules were onerous and expensive, and many Republicans argued that Obama’s Education Department had overstepped the bounds of executive authority.
The Washington Post reported on the comments of one parent activist regarding the dangers of federal education regulations:
How is it that the Federal government, which only contributes 10% or less of a state’s education budget, has full authority over a state’s standards and assessments?
“President Trump needs to sit down with the anti-Common Core parents who have led the fight in their states across the country if he truly wants to understand the nature of this beast,” she urges. “And he’d be well served in the process. We are tireless, fearless, and dedicated to winning this war. We are fighting for our children. Defeat is not an option.”
President Trump has listened to the views of those who best understand the educational needs of our nation’s children.
And rolling back these Obama-era restrictions on state and local education is a good first step in restoring control of our children’s education back to the people who understand their needs best.