Secretary DeVos Delivers on Promise to Provide Students Relevant, Actionable Information Needed to Make Personalized Education Decisions

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered on her promise to provide students more information than ever before as they make decisions about their postsecondary education options. Thanks to the groundbreaking redesign of the College Scorecard, students can now find customized, accessible, and relevant data on potential debt and earnings based on fields of study (including for 2-year programs, 4-year degrees, certificate programs, and some graduate programs), graduation rates, and even apprenticeships.  This total Scorecard “rethink,” as Secretary DeVos says, builds on President Trump’s Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities and will truly help students find the right fit for them.

“Every student is unique,” said Secretary DeVos. “What they study, as well as when, where, and how they chose to pursue their education will impact their future. Students know this instinctively. That’s why we worked to deliver a product that is customizable and transparent—a tool that provides real information students need to make informed, personalized decisions about their education. The Scorecard also ensures students can make apples-to-apples comparisons by providing the same data about all of the programs a student might be considering without regard to the type of school.”

Full story at the Department of Education

DeVos Subpoena On Hold – For Now

HOUSE DEMOCRATS WERE set to subpoena Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday for documents related to her department’s handling of borrower defense claims from students defrauded by for-profit colleges – the latest escalation in a public feud over the fallout of the secretary’s changes to Obama-era rules meant to rein in the sector and protect students.

The subpoena, which would have compelled the secretary to turn over certain records, would have been the first issued to DeVos by Rep. Bobby Scott, Virginia Democrat and chairman of the Education and Labor Committee.

But according to his committee staff, department officials agreed to turn over the requested papers by close of business Friday after learning the subpoena had been cleared by the House counsel and clerk.

Full story at US News

Secretary DeVos Names New Members to the National Assessment Governing Board

WASHINGTON— Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the appointment of seven leaders from around the country to four-year terms as members of the National Assessment Governing Board.

This year’s slate includes six new members and one re-appointed member. The appointees’ terms officially began on Oct. 1, 2019, and will end on Sept. 30, 2023.

The appointees will help set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. NAEP offers to the public and to education policymakers at the national, state and local levels, objective data on student performance in nearly a dozen subjects. The information NAEP provides helps education stakeholders evaluate the progress of American education. The 26-member nonpartisan, independent Governing Board determines the subjects and content of NAEP tests, sets the achievement levels for reporting and publicly releases the results.

Full story at U.S. Department of Education

DeVos Sued Amid New Evidence About Whether Her Agency Aided For-Profit Operator

TWO STUDENT ADVOCACY groups have filed separate lawsuits against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, one alleging her Department of Education allowed an operator of for-profit schools to mislead students and sack them with debt they are now unable to repay, and another that accused her of continuing to refuse to discharge the student loan debt of borrowers previously enrolled in for-profit schools that abruptly shuttered.

The lawsuits were filed Tuesday, the same day House Democrats threatened to subpoena DeVos for obstructing their investigation into the department’s role in allowing the operator of for-profit colleges to mislead students and continue operating the schools despite losing their accreditation.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by National Student Legal Defense Network is directly related to the subpoena issued by House Democrats. It alleges that the Education Department’s actions “caused students at the schools to borrow money and waste months of their lives in pursuit of an education they did not know was unaccredited.”

Full story at US News

U.S. Department of Education Finalizes Regulations to Protect Student Borrowers, Hold Higher Education Institutions Accountable and Save Taxpayers $11.1 Billion Over 10 Years

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Department of Education finalized regulations that will protect student borrowers, hold higher education institutions accountable and provide financial protections to taxpayers. The Institutional Accountability regulations, posted on the Department’s website today, come after more than two years of deliberations, public hearings, negotiated rulemaking with a wide variety of higher education stakeholders and careful consideration of tens of thousands of public comments.

“If a school defrauds students, it must be held accountable,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “There is no place for fraud in higher education, and it will not be tolerated by this Administration. From the recent college admissions scandal and intentional misrepresentations by schools to boost their U.S. News & World Report rankings to fraudulent marketing practices from proprietary intuitions, too many institutions of higher education are falling short. The new regulations are aimed at preventing this behavior because students deserve better, and all institutions must do better.

Full story at the US Department of Education

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Calls on National Education Association to Drop Lawsuit that Puts Financial Aid for Students in Jeopardy

WASHINGTON—U.S.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos called on the National Education Association (NEA) today to drop its politically-motivated lawsuit and stop standing in the way of students working to complete their post secondary education program.

The NEA recently sued the department over its delay in implementing Obama-era rules that govern state standards for online education. The rules require, among other things, that all institutions providing distance education to students in another state document that the state has a process for those students to complain against that institution.

Unfortunately, not all states have the required complaint processes or interstate agreements in place. As a result, the 2016 regulation would deny federal aid to a number of students receiving distance education because their institutions cannot meet the complaint process requirement in one or more states.

Full story at ed.gov

DeVos Wants to Prioritize Education Funding for Opportunity Zones

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION Betsy DeVos wants to prioritize federal education funding for areas of the country that qualify as opportunity zones – a move that if finalized, could shift hundreds of millions of dollars away from some communities and to others.

As part of the 2017 tax law, the Trump administration has certified more than 8,700 opportunity zones, which provide tax incentives to attract investment in business or real estate located within certain economically disadvantaged neighborhoods with the goal of revitalizing those areas. But it’s unclear whether policies like opportunity zones actually benefit distressed communities at all, let alone move the needle on education achievement.

DeVos’ proposal, published Monday in the Federal Register, would give priority to applicants who propose projects in those opportunity zones for more than 80 education grant competitions, which collectively total more than $700 million.

Full story at US News

Secretary DeVos Builds on “Rethink Higher Education” Agenda, Expands Opportunities for Students Through Innovative Experimental Sites

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the launch of the first new higher education experimental site during her tenure and is inviting new participants to join another experiment already underway.

The new Federal Work-Study (FWS) Experiment will provide institutions with increased flexibilities that will enable students to earn work-study benefits while participating in apprenticeships, internships and work-based learning programs, as well as earn work-study wages while completing required clinical rotations, externships and student teaching.

“For decades, the Federal Work-Study program has allowed students to support themselves while earning a college degree, but for too long, the majority of the work options students have had access to have been irrelevant to their chosen field of study,” said Secretary DeVos. “That will change with this experimental site. We want all students to have access to relevant earn-and-learn experiences that will prepare them for future employment.”

Full story at ed.gov

Warren Pledges to Tap Public School Teacher as Education Secretary

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, the Massachusetts Democrat running for president, pledged that if elected, she would tap a public school teacher to be her secretary of education.

“In my administration, the Secretary of Education will be a former public school teacher who is committed to public education,” Warren, herself a former special education teacher, wrote in a campaign email blasted to supporters Monday.

“Let’s get a person with real teaching experience,” she wrote, taking direct aim at current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “A person who understands how low pay, tattered textbooks, and crumbling classrooms hurt students and educators. A person who understands the crushing burden of student debt on students and young professionals and who is committed to actually doing something about it.”

Full story at US News

The Solution to School Discipline: Undercover School Leaders

AS EDUCATION POLICY experts and politicians continue to clash over whether Obama-era discipline guidance meant to stem the school-to-prison pipeline creates better environments for students of color or makes classrooms more disruptive, one Republican congressman has an idea: school district leaders should go undercover into their schools to see for themselves.

Rep. Phil Roe, a Republican from Tennessee, pitched the idea Tuesday during a hearing at the House Education and Labor Committee, which was supposed to focus on school segregation 65 years after the landmark Supreme Court ruling Brown v Board of Education.

But the issue of the previous administration’s discipline guidance – and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ recent and contentious decision to rescind it – took center stage for most of the hearing. The guidance, which prodded schools to use methods of discipline other than suspensions to keep more kids in the classroom, has become a clarion call for civil rights advocates who see it as essential to address the disproportionate rate at which black students are disciplined. But others see the guidance as a federal overreach that pressures teachers and principals not to report disruptive students to the detriment of others.

Full story at US News