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A Busy Week

Hey Everyone! Whew. It’s been a busy week.
Let's start with Betsy DeVos' Senate confirmation hearing — all three hours and change. We finally know a little more about Donald Trump's pick to be the next education secretary. At the hearing, DeVos faced questions on a range of issues, from private school vouchers and charter school oversight to guns in schools.

"The answer is local control and listening to parents, students, and teachers," Devos said Tuesday.
This came from DeVos' opening remarks, and succinctly captures her education philosophy: Limit the role of government in America's schools and trust that the free market — and parent choice — will lead to innovation and improvement.

The vote on DeVos' confirmation has been pushed back a week to January 31. It's unclear exactly why, except that Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., the committee chairman, said he wanted to give senators time to review the material released.
Finally, if you haven’t had your fill of politics this week, we took a look at Obama’s legacy in American schools.  After eight years in office, his list of accomplishments is as long as it is controversial.

President Obama talked early and often about the importance of high-quality preschool for all. He even proposed a $75 billion plan to provide universal preschool to the nation's 4-year-olds, but congressional Republicans balked at his pitch to pay for it: a 94-cent tax increase on cigarettes.
In 2013 Obama floated a controversial proposal, a federal "rating" system designed to help students and parents compare colleges based on cost, financial aid and academic quality. While the rating idea didn't fly, the administration compromised by creating a "scorecard" that provides a wealth of data on colleges and costs, leaving students and parents to make their own comparisons.
Alright, hopefully we’ve gotten you all caught up for those water cooler conversations on Monday.

-- The NPR Ed Team

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