With Republicans in control of all branches of government, they seem to be running on all cylinders to unravel the education legacy of President Obama. In fact, Republicans seem poised to put authority and funding back into the hands of the states.
The person leading this new charge is none other than the newly appointed House Education and Workforce Committee Chairwoman, Virginia Foxx. When interviewed, she clearly explained her mission for the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Her goal is to have the federal government involved as little as possible, and to let each state handle issues within individual borders. For those with a master of education in learning, this means there could be radical changes within school districts in the next four years.
Not Feasible to Abolish Department of Education
In fact, the staunch Republican from North Carolina does not have any problems with the idea of having the Department of Education completely abolished. She has admitted that if she could, she would definitely do so. However, she is aware that it is not politically feasible to do so.
So, instead the GOP is busy trying to chip away specific regulations from the Obama administration that are related to the recent education law, known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). The new administration also decided to axe the very controversial transgender restroom law called Title IX. Foxx was in approval of the repeal, and added that during his term in office, Obama attempted to ‘circumvent’ the due legislative process and interpreted this law into something that the law never intended.
A Strict Constitutionalist
There are those who describe Foxx as being a very strict constitutionalist. She has been a congresswoman for seven terms and she believes that powers that are not federally specific or are granted to the executive branch per the Constitution should be left at state level. This includes educational issues as well. Professionals with a cognition and development degree in education have mixed emotions about that idea. She has further asserted that previous federal intervention in the education sector has not been very effective.
Foxx also made a point of showing that the United States government has spent over $2 trillion on funding for Title I. This funding was given to help improve conditions and outcomes for students from low income homes. However, Foxx has claimed that the reading levels of these students have not improved since the mid-1960s.
The National Report Card, also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, shows that the reading scores for students in grades 4 to 8 have slightly improved over the past few decades. However, reading scores for 12th graders have remained the same, and has decreased slightly over the last few years.
A Straight Speaking Woman
Both in person and in interviews, Foxx is known as one who does not hold back on her words. Her direct style of speaking and undeniable moxie is partially shaped from an amazing personal journey from poverty to success. She frequently talks about the stress of growing up in a poor area, but she did not let it interfere with her goal to succeed. Now, her goal is to provide the same opportunity for anyone growing up in the same type of circumstances.