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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.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, CDC director, speaks during an event in Wilmington, Del., to announce then-President-elect Joe Biden's health care team on Dec. 8, 2020.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Lawmakers Press CDC About Teachers' Union Influence on School Reopening Guidance
Republican senators asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky about reports a teachers' union had input on guidance for schools on COVID-19.
Evie Blad, May 11, 2021
3 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, right, talks to 12th grade art student Madri Mazo at White Plains High School in White Plains, N.Y. on April 22, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, left, talks to 12th grade art student Eugene Coleman at White Plains High School in White Plains, N.Y. in April.
Mark Lennihan/AP
Education Funding Miguel Cardona's First Budget Hearing Becomes Forum on In-Person Learning, 1619 Project
In his first public testimony to Congress as education secretary, Cardona also touched on standardized testing and student discipline.
Andrew Ujifusa, May 5, 2021
6 min read
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 20, 2021.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks on Capitol Hill in Washington earlier this month.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Social Studies GOP Leader: Biden Grant Plan Referencing Anti-Racism, 1619 Project Is 'Divisive Nonsense'
Sen. Mitch McConnell's letter to the Education Dept. about a small history program amplifies a political scrum dating back to last year.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 30, 2021
3 min read
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Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 29, 2021
5 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
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Federal Biden Taps Ex-Obama Aide Roberto Rodriguez for Key Education Department Job
Rodriguez served as a top education staffer to President Barack Obama and currently leads a teacher-advocacy organization.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 28, 2021
3 min read
President Joe Biden addresses Congress from the House chamber. Behind him are Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, as Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., applaud.<br/>
Chip Somodevilla/AP
Federal Biden Pitches Plan to Expand Universal Pre-K, Free School Meal Programs, Teacher Training
The president's $1.8 trillion American Families Plan faces strong headwinds as Congress considers other costly administration proposals.
Evie Blad, April 28, 2021
8 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic on March 3, 2021.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, left, talks with Fort LeBoeuf Middle School teacher Laura Friedman during a discussion on safely returning to schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Greg Wohlford/Erie Times-News via TNS
Federal Education Department Kicks Off Summer Learning Collaborative
The Summer Learning and Enrichment Collaborative will boost programs for students acutely affected by COVID-19 in 46 states.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 26, 2021
2 min read
First Lady Jill Biden and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tour Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, in Meriden, Ct., on March 3, 2021.
First lady Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tour Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, in Meriden, Ct., in March.
Mandel Ngan/AP
Federal As 100-Day Mark Approaches, Has Biden Met His School Reopening Goal? And What Comes Next?
President Joe Biden faces a self-imposed deadline of having most K-8 schools open for in-person learning by his hundredth day in office.
Evie Blad, April 23, 2021
6 min read
Image of a test sheet.
sengchoy/iStock/Getty
Assessment Biden Administration's Level of Tolerance for Cutting Standardized Tests Comes Into Focus
A distinction has grown between states having to make tests available, and districts deciding it's not practical to make students take them.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 23, 2021
8 min read
Rycc Smith welcomes Montello Elementary School students as they board his bus outside the Lewiston, Maine school after the first day back in nearly a month on Jan. 21, 2021. The entire school district switched to all remote learning after an uptick in COVID-19 cases last month.
Elementary school students board a bus in Lewiston, Maine, after their first day back to in-person school in nearly a month on Jan. 21. Advocates say it has been more difficult to identify homelessness during remote learning, in part because they can't track changes in students' use of school transportation.
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal via AP
Student Well-Being Cardona Releases First Wave of Aid to Help Schools Identify, Assist Homeless Students
Citing the urgency of identifying homeless students, the Education Department will release some relief aid targeted at their needs.
Evie Blad, April 23, 2021
3 min read
Image of data.
monsitj/iStock/Getty
Federal How the Pandemic Is Affecting Schools' Mandated Collection of Key Civil Rights Data
COVID-19 has complicated the work of gathering a vast store of civil rights data about schools that is required by the Education Department.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 22, 2021
7 min read
an illustration of a boat made from a folded dollar bill.
Todd Bates/iStock/Getty
Federal To Get Remaining COVID-19 Aid, Schools and States Must Detail In-Person Learning Plans
Among other things, states and schools must detail the extent to which they will meet CDC recommendations on universal mask-wearing in schools.
Evie Blad, April 21, 2021
3 min read
Jefferson County Elementary School children sit at desks and eat their school-supplied breakfasts in Fayette, Miss., on March 3, 2021. As one of the most food insecure counties in the United States, many families and their children have come to depend on these meals as their only means of daily sustenance.
Jefferson County Elementary School children sit at desks and eat their school-supplied breakfasts in Fayette, Miss., on March 3, 2021. As one of the most food insecure counties in the United States, many families and their children have come to depend on these meals as their only means of daily sustenance.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Student Well-Being Citing Pandemic, USDA Waives School Meal Regulations Through June 2022
The USDA has extended regulatory waivers that will allow schools to more easily serve free meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evie Blad, April 20, 2021
2 min read
The statue of President Abraham Lincoln is seen at the Lincoln Memorial on June 4, 2017 in Washington.
The statue of President Abraham Lincoln is seen at the Lincoln Memorial on June 4, 2017 in Washington.
Cliff Owen/AP
Social Studies Biden Administration Cites 1619 Project as Inspiration in History Grant Proposal
The Biden administration's proposal is part of a heated battle over racism and what students should learn about America's past.
Andrew Ujifusa, April 19, 2021
6 min read