Leonie Haimson explains here the significance–or lack thereof–of the Senate’s decision to kill former Secretary of Education John King’s highly prescriptive regulations to implement the 2015 federal law called Every Student Succeeds Act.

There were some who reacted with joy to see the King regs killed. King was known for his love of high-stakes testing.

Others worried whether the death of the regs meant that the states would be free to ignore the neediest kids because of the withdrawal of federal oversight.

I worked in the U.S. Department of Education for two years. What I learned is there are very few educators who work for ED.

The Feds have two important roles:

1. Supplying extra money for equity purposes

2. Protecting the civil rights of children

The federal government has zero capacity to direct or measure academic quality.

The people who work in the Department of Education are clerks, not educators.

THE ED has no capacity whatever to assure or ascertain quality of education. Very few people who work there have a view about what education is or should be. That is not their job. Most have worked for ED for many years, regardless of which party is in power. They do not express their views. They do their job. They write checks, collect data, review contracts. They can tell you how many students are served in which programs. They can determine how much money is allocated and spent. The Department consists of clerks and bureaucrats. I was there. Nothing has changed. Educators are in schools, not at the U.S. Department of Education.