Fieldtrip, anyone?

It's been a year since my amazing colleagues and I visited here....

Indeed, the mecca of US education - The United States Department of Education.  I have to admit two things:  1) I had never been there before and 2) I felt pretty nifty to have visited.  Now, I have insider connections there.  You heard me - real connections with real people.  Thus, because my college students and I are studying special education laws & mandates (I promise, it is a touch more interesting than it sounds), I decided to email one of my connections to see if anything new is brewing in the world of education and laws.

Here's the latest and greatest (with my interjections):
  • IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was slated to be reauthorized in 2012.  However, since Congress is busy with other matters and cannot seem to agree upon much and it is an election year, IDEA is on hold right now as far as a reauthorization goes.  My connection's hunch is it will be years before IDEA is updated and reauthorized.  Yes, years.
  • ESEA (the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), also known since 2001 as the No Child Left Behind Act, is also behind schedule.  It was slated to be reauthorized in 2010 (or 2011).  To date, an ESEA reauthorization is on hold.  Same reasons as IDEA....busy, disagreeable Congress and it is an election year.  Why can't we just get along?
  • Interested in reading the changes proposed for the reauthorization of ESEA?  If so, click here.  Since all federal laws are lengthy, thankfully can you click on the portion  of the law that interests you most.
  • My connection's hunch is that IDEA will have better alignment with ESEA with regard to teacher qualifications, the reduction of paperwork, etc.  I personally like the parts on "early learning" - especially the birth-through-college-to-career-agenda and "innovation" - especially the part related to school choice.  I appreciate forward-thinking topics.
  • If you'd like to learn more about the most current IDEA, click here.
I must run....I'm headed to Washington, DC today for something else special and education-related.

All the best,