Federal Policy

The latest news about federal policy, including articles, opinion essays, and special features.

Timeline: Party Platforms & Charter Schools

A look at the two major political parties' platforms since the first charter school law was passed shows how Democrats' positions on school choice have evolved, including increased calls for accountability. (June 18, 2019)

Spotlight on ESSA

In this Spotlight, learn what ESSA's implementation will mean for teacher evaluation, early-childhood programs, literacy, and more.


Subject-matter experts featured for this topic include:

Issue Backgrounder

Politics K-12 Blog

08/05 12:47 pm | Feds Seek New Data About Pandemic's Effects on School Funding, Accountability | The Education Department's request for a new data collection focuses on waivers from the Every Student Succeeds Act and how schools are using federal coronavirus relief.

Special Collections

At a Glance: U.S. Secretaries of Education
he U.S. Department of Education has had 11 secretaries since its birth as a Cabinet-level department in 1980. Check out these pages for a deep look at each secretary's tenure, challenges, and accomplishments.

Special Report: ESSA on the Runway
The Every Student Succeeds Act makes its classroom debut this fall. Here’s a look at where things stand after more than two years of preparation by states and school districts that must make ESSA legislative blueprint a reality.


Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About ESSA?
What is the "Weighted Student Funding Pilot", how do select states plan to use Title II funding, and how does ESSA influence state flexibility in determining teacher evaluation criteria?

On-Demand Webinars

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Webinars
Professional development opportunity: This collection of webinars on the Every Student Succeeds Act covers what the law means for classroom teachers, schools, districts, and education companies.

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The education secretary's main message to educators lately has been: Meet your obligations and don't assume the feds will remove major mandates.
August 1, 2020 – Education Week
Principals and superintendents are caught between politicians’ demands, an anxious public, and experts’ contrary advice about the path forward during the pandemic. The unspoken message: You’re on your own.
July 16, 2020 – Education Week
The 5-4 decision involving a dispute in Montana appears to cast doubt on as many as 30 state constitutions that bar aid to religious schools.
July 15, 2020 – Education Week
The best guide to the future is the recent past, writes Pepperdine University professor Kfir Mordechay. Here are the most urgent lessons from the Great Recession.
July 15, 2020 – Education Week
The court rules that the decision to unwind deportation relief for nearly 700,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children was done in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.
June 18, 2020 – Education Week
The sweeping 6-3 civil rights ruling has implications for school districts as employers as well as for continuing legal battles over the rights of transgender students.
June 15, 2020 – Education Week
The doctrine known as “qualified immunity” is under scrutiny in the uproar over police misconduct. But public school employees are also among the government workers it shields from civil suits in federal court.
June 11, 2020 – Education Week
The swift, deep collapse of revenue brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could devastate school district budgets. Here's what veteran school leaders and finance experts say can be done to prepare for a prolonged downturn and limit the damage.
June 3, 2020 – Quality Counts
The EdWeek Research Center surveyed more than 300 district leaders nationwide about the financial outlook for their systems, vulnerable areas of their operations, and their experiences during the last major economic downturn.
June 3, 2020 – Quality Counts
Masked staff, closed cafeterias, and reconfigured classrooms are among the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as schools weigh how to reopen and keep staff and students safe from the coronavirus.
June 3, 2020 – Education Week

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