Delivered every Monday by 10 a.m., Weekly Education examines the latest news in education politics and policy.
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By MICHAEL STRATFORD
01/10/2022 10:00 AM EST
Presented by Gradient Learning
BIDEN ADMIN TO START WRITING COLLEGE ACCOUNTABILITY RULES: The Biden administration this month is planning to finally put pen to paper on key parts of its college accountability agenda, drafting new regulations that restrict how and when colleges and universities — particularly for-profit institutions — can access federal funding.
— The Education Department’s higher education priorities over the first year of the Biden administration have largely been on doling out billions of emergency pandemic relief to colleges and overhauling an array of student loan programs (like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and income-based repayment). But the administration is now turning its attention to how the Education Department directly regulates higher education as it embarks on a new round of negotiated rulemaking in the coming weeks.
— For-profit colleges in cross hairs: On the campaign trail, Biden promised that he’d force for-profit colleges to “first prove their value” before getting access to federal funding. The Biden administration notched an early education policy achievement in its American Rescue Plan Act, which included a provision changing the “90/10 rule” that restricts the share of revenue that for-profit colleges can derive from the federal government.
— Implementing the changes Congress made to the 90/10 rule will be a key part of the upcoming negotiated rulemaking sessions. As part of a bipartisan compromise in the Senate, the American Rescue Plan Act delayed implementation of the tighter restrictions on for-profit colleges until 2023 and also left it up to the Education Department to decide key details of the policy.
— One expected fight will be over how broadly the Biden administration chooses to define which “federal education assistance funds” count as part of the 90/10 rule’s cap on federal funding to for-profit colleges. For-profit colleges have called for a narrow interpretation — such as including GI Bill education benefits and Pentagon Tuition Assistance funding — but critics of the industry and Congressional Democrats are seeking to include other federal sources of funding in the calculation.
— Another open question: How quickly will the Biden administration seek to punish for-profit colleges that run afoul of the new 90/10 rule? Critics of the industry want to see the rule implemented immediately but the colleges are seeking a transition period.
— Gainful employment: The Biden administration has said it wants to reinstate a version of the Obama-era “gainful employment” rules that cut off federal aid to career college programs that left students with large amounts of debt compared to their earnings — and also required a slew of disclosures to prospective students about the outcomes of those college programs. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tossed out the rules in their entirety, arguing that they were too heavy-handed and unfairly targeted for-profit colleges.
— There’s already some progressive pushback on how the Biden administration has approached the “gainful employment” issue so far. Progressives have been irked that the Biden administration has continued to defend the legality of DeVos’ repeal of the gainful employment in court and hasn’t moved more quickly to reinstate the Obama-era rules.
— Education Department officials have insisted that they believe they must go through an entire new rulemaking process to reinstate the Obama-era rules. And they’ve also argued in court that the department in any event is ill-prepared to immediately return to those rules.
— But the Biden administration hasn’t yet tipped its hand on how it wants to rewrite the “gainful” rules — and whether they’ll use the Obama-era policy as a starting point or seek a new direction entirely. Those details will start to emerge in the coming weeks.
— Also on the negotiating table: The Education Department is planning to take up changes to how it approves for-profit college conversions to non-profit status as well as the financial standards that all for-profit and non-profit colleges must meet to receive federal student aid. Some colleges have long complained that the Education Department’s rules, which are designed to prevent federal funding from flowing to colleges that are on the verge of collapse, don’t accurately assess the nuances of their finances.
— What’s next: The Education Department this week is expected to release the names of individuals who will comprise the rulemaking committee that will meet over the coming months to hash out the details of the regulations. Negotiations around the (virtual) table begin on Jan. 18. The Education Department has already slated two additional sessions beginning Feb. 14 and March 14.
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Get inside the minds of teachers. Gradient Learning surveyed 1,418 educators across the country and found 95% of teachers agree that every student can benefit from a mentor. Educators also believe that mentoring improves academic performance, helps students become independent learners, and contributes to the success of their schools. During National Mentoring Month, learn more about the benefits of 1:1 mentoring in schools in the first installment of the Gradient Learning Poll, The Power of Mentoring.
CDC DIRECTOR URGES SCHOOLS TO STAY OPEN: Rochelle Walensky, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says that her agency’s updated guidance on Covid precautions in K-12 classrooms gives schools the tools they need to stay open.
Rochelle Walensky speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response. | Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Images
— Walensky, during a rare solo CDC press briefing on Friday, echoed the Biden administration’s message that it wants the nation’s schools to continue in-person learning amid the surge of cases from the Omicron variant. The CDC last week updated its guidance for K-12 schools, reducing the quarantine and isolation period for students, staff and teachers to five days — in line with what the agency had already recommended for the general public.
— Those updated K-12 education guidelines “and our prior publications and continued assessment of test-to-stay protocols in schools provide the tools necessary to get the schools reopened for in-person learning and to keep them open for the rest of the school year,” Walensky said.
— Walensky noted that during the fall nearly 100 percent of schools across the country were open amid the wave of cases from the Delta variant. “This fall we saw that these strategies worked,” she said. “Vaccines, masks, increased ventilation and testing are all important layers of prevention that keep our children safe and keep them in school for in-person learning.”
— On Sunday, Walensky also weighed in on how colleges were responding to the Omicron surge. She dismissed a question on Fox News Sunday about whether it’s “extreme” for universities to keep quarantine periods longer than the new five-day period endorsed by the CDC for the general public.
— “Many of these universities have kids living in multi-person rooms, so they’re going to have to adapt our guidance for the safety of their congregate settings,” Walensky said.
— “Our updated guidance actually says you can leave isolation after five days if you can wear your mask all of the time, including being able to eat meals alone so that you are not infecting others while you eat,” Walensky added, suggesting that longer quarantine and isolation periods may therefore be appropriate for densely populated campuses.
MEANWHILE, THE LABOR SHOWDOWN CONTINUES IN CHICAGO: Classrooms in the nation’s third-largest school district are set to remain closed again today as a bitter stalemate between Chicago and its teachers union continues into a second week. The city and union said that negotiations were continuing Sunday night but still were unable to reach a deal.
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, photographed in 2020, is at odds with the Chicago Teachers Union over opening schools to in-person instruction. | Getty Images file photo by Timothy Hiatt
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier on Sunday continued her bruising attacks against the city’s teachers union but also said she remains "hopeful" a deal can be reached to get children back into their classrooms. “What the Chicago Teachers Union did was an illegal walkout,” Lightfoot said Sunday on NBC’s "Meet the Press.” “They abandoned their posts and they abandoned kids and their families.”
— Negotiations between the city and union were continuing on Sunday night. Over the weekend, the union publicly released its proposal to restart virtual learning on Wednesday and in-person learning on Jan. 18 — which Lightfoot rejected.
A message from Gradient Learning:
CARDONA APPROVES FINAL STATE PLAN FOR K-12 COVID RELIEF: The Biden administration on Friday approved Florida’s plan for spending more than $7 billion of Covid relief money for schools after federal and state officials clashed over the funding.
— Florida was the final state to have its American Rescue Plan spending outline for K-12 schools approved by the Biden administration. The Education Department has now approved state plans from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
— Cardona signed off on Florida’s plan but noted that the administration remains at odds with the state’s law preventing local schools from mandating masks for students. In a letter to state officials, Cardona wrote that his approval of Florida’s funding plan in “no way reflects a determination” that the state’s law against masking requirements complies with federal civil rights laws. “It is Florida’s responsibility to comply with these civil rights requirements,” he added. More from Andrew Atterbury in Tallahassee.
CARDONA TALKS SCHOOL SPORTS IN INDIANA: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is in Indianapolis this morning, touring Decatur Central High School with Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.). They’ll “talk with high school athletes about the importance of athletics in education,” according to the Education Department.
ON THE HILL THIS WEEK: The Senate HELP Committee will again vote on the nomination of Amy Loyd, who is President Joe Biden’s pick to lead career and technical education at the Education Department. The panel advanced Loyd’s nomination on a voice vote last October but the full Senate never acted on her nomination so it expired when the first session of Congress ended in December. Biden re-nominated her earlier this month. Loyd, who previously was a vice president at Jobs for the Future, has been serving as a senior advisor at the Education Department since last year.
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BIDEN, HARRIS PICK HBCUs AS BACKDROP FOR VOTING RIGHTS PUSH: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks on voting rights on Tuesday from the Atlanta University Center Consortium on the grounds of Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, the White House announced on Sunday.
— The remarks are part of a renewed push by the White House to pass voting rights legislation that has stalled in the Senate. Biden is expected to expand on his endorsement of a filibuster carveout to pass the legislation, report POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López and Christopher Cadelago. White House officials chose to travel to Georgia because they view it as “ground zero” for GOP-led election suppression efforts.
A message from Gradient Learning:
Now more than ever, student well-being is a top priority for schools and families—and educators are looking for innovative ways to keep students engaged and supported in and outside of the classroom. The Gradient Learning Poll explores practices and trends shaping the future of education—like school-based mentoring. The first installment of the Gradient Learning Poll finds widespread support for mentoring from educators—95% of teachers believe every student can benefit from a mentor. As we celebrate National Mentoring Month, let’s make sure that each student has access to a trusted adult who knows and supports them—check out the Gradient Learning Poll for insights you can act on.
— A rural school board race in Washington state shows how far-right extremists are shifting to local power: The Washington Post.
— Massachusetts schools are using dogs to detect Covid-19: CNN.
— “I’m barely clinging onto work”: Exhausted parents face another wave of school shutdowns: The Washington Post.
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TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition
As an increasing number of students seek assistance with their academic assignments, the demand for reliable essay writing services continues to grow. With so many options available, it can be challenging to identify the best service providers. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023. These services have been carefully evaluated based on their reputation, quality of work, customer satisfaction, and affordability. Read on to discover the top essay writing services that can provide you with the support you need to excel in your academic journey.
What Makes a Great Essay Writing Service
Before delving into the top essay writing services reddit, it’s essential to understand the criteria we used to evaluate them. A great essay-writing service should possess the following qualities:
- Quality of Work: The service should deliver well-researched, original, and high-quality essays that meet academic standards.
- Professional Writers: The service should have a team of qualified writers with expertise in various subjects who can handle diverse topics.
- Timely Delivery: The service should be reliable and capable of delivering essays within the given deadline.
- Customer Support: The service should provide excellent customer support, ensuring effective communication throughout the writing process.
- Affordability: The service should offer reasonable pricing plans that are affordable for students while maintaining the quality of work.
Now, let’s explore the top 4 essay writing services in the USA for 2023.
TOP 4 Essay Writing Services in the USA: 2023 Edition
EssayPro is a highly reputable essay writing service known for its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. They have a diverse team of experienced writers who can handle a wide range of subjects. EssayPro offers a user-friendly platform, allowing students to place orders easily and track the progress of their essays. Their pricing is competitive, and they offer additional features such as plagiarism reports and unlimited revisions.
Grademiners is a popular choice among students due to its excellent track record and reliability. They have a team of highly skilled writers who are proficient in various academic disciplines. Grademiners ensures on-time delivery and provides 24/7 customer support to address any concerns. They also offer free revisions and a money-back guarantee, ensuring customer satisfaction.
Ultius is known for its exceptional writing services and commitment to customer privacy and security. They have a rigorous writer selection process, ensuring that only qualified professionals handle the essays. Ultius offers a wide range of writing services, including essay writing, editing, and proofreading. They also provide a mobile app for convenient communication and order tracking.
EduBirdie is a trusted essay writing service that offers a unique feature called “choose your own writer.” Students can browse through profiles and select a writer who matches their requirements. This personalized approach allows for effective collaboration and ensures that the final essay meets the student’s expectations. EduBirdie also provides 24/7 customer support and guarantees 100% original and plagiarism-free content.
How We Evaluated the Services
To evaluate the essay writing services, we considered several factors, including:
- Reputation and reliability
- Quality of work and adherence to academic standards
- Customer reviews and satisfaction
- Pricing and affordability
- Additional features and guarantees
- Customer support and communication
By carefully analyzing these aspects, we identified the top 4 essay writing services that offer outstanding support to students.
Choosing a reliable essay writing service is crucial for students seeking academic assistance. The top 4 essay writing services mentioned in this article – EssayPro, Grademiners, Ultius, and EduBirdie – have proven their worth in terms of quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. Whether you need help with an essay, research paper, or any other academic assignment, these services can provide you with the support you need to succeed in your studies.