Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Education

U.S. Rep. Scott To Pursue Top Democratic Slot on Education Committee

By Alyson Klein — February 04, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia, is throwing his hat in the ring for the “ranking member” (aka top Democratic) slot on the House education committee, beginning in 2015. Right now, that position is held by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., but he’ll be retiring at the end of this year.

Scott’s announcement comes just hours after news broke that Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., will be stepping down from Congress this month to take a job at a Philadelphia law firm. Andrews is facing a House ethics investigation stemming from a potentially improper use of campaign funds. Andrews had told me just last week that he too was interested in the ranking member post.

Andrews is known primarily as a higher education guy, but Scott has a long interest in K-12, with a focus on equity. Back in 2007, for example, he sponsored a bill that would have held states accountable for improving graduation rates, including for poor and minority kids.

More recently, he introduced legislation that would officially authorize (Congress-speak for “create in law”) the Promise Neighborhood program, which helps communities pair K-12 schools with services such as healthcare or arts education. Scott, who also serves on the Judiciary Committee, has an interest in juvenile justice.He has released legislation that would use education, mentoring, and other interventions to help combat gang violence and keep kids out of prison.

Alice Johnson Cain, who served as an aide to Democrats on the House education committee, said Scott can dive down into the policy weeds on wonky issues like graduation-rate calculations. And she said he tends to be more wary of using standardized tests to gauge student progress than Miller has been. (Scott’s favorite line about the No Child Left Behind Act: “You can’t fatten a pig by weighing it.”)

“He’s somewhat skeptical of current accountability and test-based accountability,” said Cain, who now serves as the vice president for policy at Teach Plus, nonprofit organization in Boston that works to empower educators to have a voice in policy. “But I think he’s got the right goals and the right focus, particularly his passion for closing the achievement gap.”

And Alex Nock, another former top aide to House Democrats, who now serves as executive vice president of Penn Hill Group, a government relations organization, said Scott, “is very passionate about the issues in front of the committee.” If he’s tapped for the ranking member slot, “he’ll have to decide what his priorities are.”

Just because Scott is interested in the post doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. He’ll have to get approval from House Democratic leaders to take it over. But he’s a senior member of the committee—the most senior member, in fact, after Andrews and Miller. That should work in his favor.

Scott may not be the only Democrat interested in the gig, however. Reps. John Tierney, of Massachusetts, and Raul Grijalva, of Arizona, are also rumored to be considering a bid for ranking member, although neither has said so publicly.

Scott’s annoucement comes at a time of turnover for the education panel. Miller is leaving, and Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the committee’s chairman, may need a waiver from congressional leaders if he wants to stay at the helm of the panel.

Check out Scott’s statement announcing his move here.

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education California Makes Ethnic Studies a High School Requirement
California is among the first in the nation to require students to take a course in ethnic studies to get a diploma starting in 2029-30.
4 min read
FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, Democratic Assembly members, from left, James Ramos, Chris Holden Jose Medina, and Rudy Salas, Jr., right, huddle during an Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif. Medina's bill to make ethnic studies a high school requirement was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)