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Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016: DeVos, Trump, and the Every Student Succeeds Act

By Andrew Ujifusa — December 27, 2016 2 min read
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It’s been a busy year at Politics K-12. We’ve covered the rollout of the Every Student Succeeds Act extensively, after President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2015. But the list of our most popular blog posts for the outgoing year is dominated by President-elect Donald Trump. He didn’t talk about education a lot on the campaign trail, but Trump’s election could portend a major shift in how Washington handles K-12.

Below are the blog posts we wrote this year with the highest number of page views, starting with the most-read one:

  1. Betsy DeVos: Five Things to Know About Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary: DeVos, a major Republican donor and prominent champion of school choice, was selected by Trump to be his education secretary on Nov. 23.
  2. Trump Might Want to Scrap the Education Department; How Doable Is That? Although he mostly ignored K-12 during his election bid, Trump did say a few times that he was interested in getting rid of the department altogether. But it might be difficult for Trump to actually pull that off.
  3. ESEA Reauthorization: The Every Student Succeeds Act Explained: Our post breaking down the Every Student Succeeds Act was actually published in November 2015, before Obama signed the law. However, readers’ voracious appetites for ESSA’s key elements carried over into 2016.
  4. Trump Set to Shift Gears on Civil Rights, ESSA, Says a K-12 Transition-Team Leader: Trump was virtually silent about education civil rights issues during the presidential election, although civil rights groups have expressed grave concern about Trump’s potential approach.
  5. Every Student Succeeds Act Under Trump: Five Things to Watch: In this post, we explored the top ESSA issues facing the incoming Trump administration, including regulatory questions, the approval of state’s plans, and more.
  6. DeVos Would Be First Ed. Sec. Who Hasn’t Been a Public School Parent or Student: This would set DeVos apart from the 10 previous education secretaries. How this would impact her actions as secretary on various K-12 policy issues, or whether it would at all, remains to be seen.
  7. See Who’s Been Tapped to Lead Trump’s Transition Team for Education: We reported in September that former Education Department official Williamson Evers and former Florida chief state school officer Gerard Robinson were leading Trump’s education transition team. Earlier that month, Trump announced his $20 billion federal voucher plan.
  8. Trump to Meet Michelle Rhee as Education Secretary Search Continues: Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chief and controversial advocate for school choice and test-based teacher evaluations, had been out of the education spotlight for some time before meeting with Trump in November.
  9. ESSA Cheat Sheet: What’s in the New Testing Regulations? This run down of the testing environment under ESSA touched on which grades had to be tested in which subjects, reporting requirements for student subgroups, computer-adaptive tests, and more.
  10. The Education of Barron Trump and Other ‘First Kids’: From guest blogger Julie Depenbrock, this post focused on the schooling plans for Donald Trump’s son Barron. It also touched on the education of other “first kids” including Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton, and Malia and Sasha Obama.

Photo: President-elect Donald Trump calls out to the media as he and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., after meeting in November. Trump subsequently picked DeVos to be his nominee for education secretary. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)