Congress Moves to Kill ESSA Accountability Rules, Giving States Lots of Room to Do as They Please

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Media Outlet: The 74 Million

Conor P. Williams wrote for the 74 Million about Congress striking ESSA accountability rules:

No one likes to be held accountable. It’s neither comfortable nor fun to take responsibility for ourselves. This is baked into human beings pretty much from the beginning — ask anyone who spends time with the immature. Ask a parent. Ask a teacher. Ask reporters who cover thin-skinned reality stars or presidents (and especially those stuck with amalgamations of the two).

Yes, resistance to accountability. It’s become a theme in the new era of Republican-controlled federal government. When embarrassing facts leak, the leader of the GOP caroms between denying their existence, denying their veracity, and insisting that — while they may be true — the public should not know them.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that Republicans in Congress are marching toward erasing education accountability regulations finalized in the last months of the Obama administration. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives resorted to the rarely used Congressional Review Act (CRA) to start the process. Republican senators have signaled that they intend to follow suit, which would wipe the federal government’s main K-12 accountability regulation from the books (along with another Obama administration rule governing teacher preparation programs).

Author:

Conor P. Williams is a senior researcher in New America's Education Policy Program. His work addresses policies and practices related to educational equity, dual language learners, immigration, and school choice.