Skip to content

EdNC. Essential education news. Important stories. Your voice.

The feds give up on education

Many educators at the state and local level were happy when Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education legislation that is the follow-up to No Child Left Behind. It was hailed as a step forward in local control, with the federal government relinquishing some of its power to states.

But Bill Daggett, Chairman and CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education has a less sunny view.

“They gave up,” he says.

After years of backlash over the Common Core standards, the perceived weaknesses of No Child Left Behind and a myriad of other issues, the federal government threw up its hands, Daggett says.

“And we got bigger issues that are going to hit us in the immediate future than education,” he described the federal lawmakers as saying. “So we’re done.”

Daggett spoke at day two of the the NC School Superintendents Association Next Generation Superintendent Development Program last week at High Point University. We wrote about this program yesterday. Go here to get the scoop.

On day two, Daggett covered a broad swath of topics, from ESSA, to social media, and even the presidential race.

He told the superintendents about the importance of communication, using a controversial example to illustrate how it could be done effectively.

“Whether you like him or hate him, Donald Trump has got that mastered,” he said.

He told the superintendents that in North Carolina’s recent primaries, Trump won the support of millennials with school-aged children. And the more blue collar they were, the more likely it was they voted for Trump.

“They are the very parents that you can’t get to back-to-school night,” he said. “They are the very parents who are disenchanted, disenfranchised with the system.”

And their ire was focused on the federal government. But with ESSA, Congress gave up some of its education power to the states, and thus, to superintendents around the state.

“You’re the new establishment for that group,” Daggett said.

In the videos below, we’ve broken up Daggett’s talk. In them, you will hear him talk about ESSA, Donald Trump, how technological innovation could disrupt public education, and what schools need to do to make sure students are truly both college and career ready.

While they aren’t complete summaries, we’ve included a brief description of the content before each video.

To see Daggett’s powerpoint presentation, go here.

The first video talks about ESSA and the communication success of Donald Trump:

The second video talks about the disruptive potential of technological innovation:

The third video explores weaknesses in the current education curriculum and begins to talk about the need to make career-ready education as much a priority as college-ready education:

The fourth video talks about technology in education:

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.