Episode 55: A big week on the Beltway

Usually, state and local education policy takes center stage around here.

This week was, well, not usual.

  • Betsy DeVos was confirmed as education secretary — after opponents waged an intense campaign to try to sink her nomination. And she still was confirmed by the barest of margins. For the first time in American history, a vice president broke a tie Senate vote on a Cabinet nomination.
  • Rep. Raul Labrador joined a handful of other House Republicans, endorsing a bill to eliminate the U.S. Department of Education. If this idea sounds familiar, it should. President Reagan first tried to mothball this agency — in 1981.
  • The House also voted to roll back rules governing the creation of state school accountability systems. For now, that puts Idaho’s accountability framework on hold. And keep in mind, Idaho hasn’t had a school accountability system since 2014.

In this week’s Extra Credit podcast, Kevin Richert and Clark Corbin break down the crazy week on the Beltway, and talk about what it means at the Statehouse.

And we’ll also catch you up on the news from the Legislature — including the latest on the science standards saga.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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