department of education

House Committee Holds Hearing on Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs of Students

On September 20, the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee within the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing to discuss how to best meet students’ academic, social, and economic needs in the upcoming school year, especially after the disruption of online learning during the pandemic. The witnesses were Phyllis Jordan, Associate Director of FutureEd, Dr. Aaliyah Samuel, President and CEO of Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, Dr. Penny Schwinn, Tennessee Commissioner of Education in the Tennessee Department of Education, and Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, Commissioner of Education in the Nebraska Department of Education. Committee Chair Gregorio…

ICYMI: Department of Education Creates New Chief Economist Role, Appoints Jordan Matsudaira

In June, the Department of Education created a new Chief Economist position to work with the Chief Data Officer, the Institute for Education Sciences, the Budget Service, Financial Aid, and many other departments and organizations to streamline new innovations for students and borrowers, leading with evidence-based research to improve the education system. Specifically, the new position will work with partners to: 1. “Provide the best-possible analysis and advice to guide real-time policymaking. 2. Conduct rigorous research to further key elements of the Department’s learning agenda. 3. Build a culture of experimentation, including partnerships with leading social science researchers to pilot-test…

Education Department Inviting Comments on Changes to Title IX

On June 23, the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Title IX law enforcing protections against sex-based discrimination in schools, the Department of Education released a proposal to change Title IX regulations and invited stakeholder feedback on the proposed changes. The proposal would implement several changes aiming to expand protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in schools. According to the announcement, the new Title IX rules would: Protect students and employees from all forms of sex discrimination and provide full protection from sex-based harassment. Protect the right of parents and guardians to support their school…

Department of Education Seeking Comments on Education Research, COVID-19, and Equity

On May 3, the U.S. Department of Education released a request for comments on proposed priorities and definitions within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program. The request cites two proposed priorities that will be used to tailor the EIR program to address timely issues: (1) Measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and teachers; and (2) Promoting equity in students’ access to educational opportunities. The request also proposes three new definitions to be used for applications of the EIR program: “High-quality tutoring”, defined as tutoring based on evidence-based strategies to support…

Applications Open for FY 2020 Title VI International Research and Studies Program

The International and Foreign Language Education Office (IFLE) within the U.S. Department of Education is accepting applications for the International Research and Studies (IRS) program for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The IRS program provides competitive grants to institutions and individuals to conduct research on improving education in foreign language and other international fields. Each year, the IRS program awards up to five additional points to applications that meet one of several competitive preference priorities. The priorities for FY 2020 are: Research on more effective methods of providing instruction and achieving competency in modern foreign languages, area studies, or other international…

COSSA Joins Call for Department of Education to Halt Proposed Title IX Amendments

COSSA joined over 60 other organizations in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to halt its proposed amendments to Title IX implementing regulations that would restrict the definition of sexual harassment in academic institutions and the overall scope of the Title IX regulation. The letter recognizes that “existing legal structures (including Title IX) alone are insufficient to create the needed changes of conduct to reduce barriers to full participation,” adding that the proposed regulations “are without an evidence-based justification and are not consistent with Title IX.” The signatory societies, including COSSA, emphasize the importance that rules concerning sexual…

Trump Appoints James Woodworth to serve as Commissioner of Education Statistics

James Woodworth of the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute has been appointed to lead the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) at the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Woodworth has also worked as Distinguished Doctoral Fellow at the Arkansas Department of Education Reform and as a public-school teacher. NCES is the principal statistical agency within the Departments’ research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences. Mr. Woodworth was appointed for the remainder of a six-year term expiring in 2021. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Department of Education Issues Request for International Research and Studies Program Applications

The Department of Education issued a request for fiscal year (FY) 2017 applications for the Title VI International Research and Studies Program. The program supports surveys, studies, and development of instructional materials to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields. Priorities for funding in FY 2017 include research, surveys, or studies about U.S. school-based dual language immersion programs or about outcomes of international education programs for U.S. postsecondary students. This request for applications marks the first time the International Research and Studies Program has been funded since FY 2011. Applications are due by…

Department of Education Seeks Nominations for National Assessment Governing Board

The Department of Education seeks candidates for four open seats on its National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). The Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a nationally representative measure of U.S. students’ knowledge and abilities in core academic subjects. NAEP is broadly recognized as the gold standard in testing. NAGB is composed of 26 members consisting of “governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, a local school superintendent, local and state school board members, principals, classroom teachers, curriculum and testing experts, a business representative, a representative of nonpublic schools, and members of the general public, including…

House Panel Discusses Department of Education’s FY 2016 Budget Request

On March 4, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies to discuss the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request for the Department of Education. Subcommittee Chair Tom Cole (R-OK) opened the hearing by noting the “education of America’s children is critical, not only to prepare them for the workforce, but to strengthen the economic health of our nation as a whole.” Cole noted that he also sits on the House Budget Committee and expressed his hope for a bigger deal between Congress and the Administration…

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