Bipartisan negotiations have broken down on the reauthorization of the Education Sciences Reform Act or ESRA, which governs the Institute of Education Sciences. There is nothing complicated or controversial about ESRA. Why then, you might ask, is this going on? The answer: spending levels. According to Alexadra Sollberger, a spokesperson for Rep. John Kline (chairman of the House education committee), "We got about 95 percent agreement on a final product, but there are a couple outstanding issues that have been difficult to resolve…. While we are disappointed that all that hard work has stalled, we remain hopeful that progress can still be made to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act in the new year." For more information, see Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog.
Meanwhile, the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual States & Nation meeting was overshadowed by damaging evidence of misconduct revealed by The Guardian. ALEC is the organization that, through the development of model educational legislation, has had a significant impact on educational policy over the last few years. Most recently, The Guardian, in collaboration with the Texas Observer and Portland Herald Press, revealed a well-orchestrated and well-funded plan across 34 states targeting public sector services like education (K-12 and Higher Educated). For more information see the Guardian’s analysis online.