Advocacy & Legislative Affairs

Fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students– particularly those of color or living in poverty.

Equity-Driven Data-Centered Student-Focused

The Education Trust promotes and supports policies that raise student achievement, close opportunity and achievement gaps, and ensure all students can succeed. Below is a list of recent actions The Education Trust has taken on issues related to our mission.

K-12 Policy Actions

Accountability

Done right, strong accountability systems create the conditions, supports, and pressure to improve opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Recent Actions

  • September 9, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the Innovative Assessments and Accountability Demonstration program of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • August 1, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the accountability, public reporting, and state plan requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • May 26, 2016: The Education Trust released a statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed ESSA regulations.
  • May 2, 2016: The Education Trust wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King urging the development of the Every Student Succeeds Act accountability regulations so as to maintain the law’s focus on progress for low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, and English learners.
  • January 21, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the implementation of Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
  • March 25, 2015: The Education Trust released Funding Gaps 2015, analyzing funding disparities across the nation and within states. Nationally, the highest poverty districts receive about $1,200 less per student than the lowest poverty districts.
  • February 11, 2015: The Education Trust issued a statement today on the Student Success Act, H.R. 5.
  • February 5, 2015: Prepared Testimony of Kati Haycock, president, The Education Trust, for U.S. House, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Forum on Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization.
  • February 2, 2015: Coalition of Business, Civil Rights, Disabilities and Education Groups releases Joint Principles for Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization.
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College- and Career-Ready Standards and Assessments

Because the road map and mile markers of learning — high-quality standards and assessments — are critical to ensuring all students get access to the rich learning and skills they need.

Recent Actions

  • September 9, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the Innovative Assessments and Accountability Demonstration program of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • October 28, 2015: Statement by Ed Trust President Kati Haycock calling 2015 NAEP results “sobering,” and analysis of this first consistent deviation from the gains the nation has seen for low-income students and students of color over the past 20 years.
  • September 2, 2015: After examining more than 1,500 classroom assignments, the Ed Trust report Checking In: Do Classroom Assignments Reflect Today’s Higher Standards? found that fewer than 4 in 10 middle grades assignments met a grade-appropriate standard.
  • February 9, 2015: Comments on the Every Child Ready for College or Career Act discussion draft submitted by The Education Trust to the U.S. Senate HELP Committee
  • February 2, 2015: Coalition of Business, Civil Rights, Disabilities and Education Groups releases Joint Principles for Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization.
  • January 27, 2015: Blog Post – Too Much Testing? Or Not Enough Quality Testing?
  • January 22, 2015: Blog Post – What Would Happen Without Annual Testing?
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Strong Teachers and Leaders

If teachers are the most important in-school factor for student achievement, school leaders are a close second. We want to ensure that low-income students and students of color get the effective, well-supported teachers and school leaders they need and deserve.

Recent Actions

  • December 1, 2015: The Education Trust and 10 other organizations send a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees opposing any appropriations rider prohibiting the promulgation or enforcement of the proposed teacher preparation program regulations.
  • May 27, 2015: In “Fears that Children Will Slip Back Into the Shadows” in Huffington Post, writer-in-residence Karin Chenoweth talks about a principal’s fear that without federal accountability, poor children and children of color could once again be ignored.
  • May 11, 2015: In “‘I Don’t Know If I Would Still Be a Teacher’: The Importance of Supportive Leadership” in Huffington Post, Writer-in-Residence Karin Chenoweth shares teachers’ perspectives on what it means to have a strong school leader.
  • May 1, 2015: Ed Trust releases a framework, “Ensuring Equitable Access to Strong Teachers,” to help state leaders refine state teacher equity plans.
  • February 9, 2015: Comments on the Every Child Ready for College or Career Act discussion draft submitted by The Education Trust to the U.S. Senate HELP Committee.
  • January 30, 2015: Comments on Teacher Preparation Programs Proposed Rulemaking submitted but The Education Trust to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • January 27, 2015: Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is needed, and overdue. Done right, a new law will pave the way for federal, state, and local leaders to improve education for all children, especially students of color and those from low-income households.
  • November 25, 2014: The Education Trust issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rule to improve teacher preparation programs announced today.
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The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015

The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, the long overdue reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, moves the country forward in its efforts to close the longstanding gaps in opportunity and achievement separating students of color and students from low-income communities from their peers. The law contains critical protections for these student groups and provides levers for equity-minded leaders and advocates to move the ball forward in accelerating the achievement of these students.

Recent Actions

  • November 7, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding equitable funding for high-need schools, Title 1 – Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged – Supplement Not Supplant, requiring that additional funds supplement, not supplant state and local dollars.
  • September 9, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the Innovative Assessments and Accountability Demonstration program of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • August 1, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the accountability, public reporting, and state plan requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
  • May 26, 2016: The Education Trust released a statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed ESSA regulations
  • March 4, 2016: The Education Trust and a coalition of civil rights, disabilities, education, and children’s advocates sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Education John B. King to urge the U.S. Department of Education to use its full authority to ensure that state and local implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • February 23, 2016: Kati Haycock testifies before U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • January 21, 2016: The Education Trust submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on the implementation of Title 1 of the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • December 15, 2015: Ed Trust statement on President Obama’s signing of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
  • December 2015: A preliminary overview of the key provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015
  • December 2, 2015: Ed Trust statement on the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Student Succeeds Act
  • December 1, 2015: Civil Rights and Education Groups Respond to Final ESEA Bill
  • December 1, 2015: Business Civil Rights Coalition Statement on the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
  • July 7, 2015: The Education Trust states that the Every Child Achieves Act must address with action any underachievement problems revealed by achievement data
  • April 7, 2015: The Education Trust issues a statement on the Every Child Achieves Act
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Other Efforts

Recent Actions

  • April 29, 2015: Ed Trust issues a statement in support of the Student Digital Privacy and Parental Rights Act of 2015, an update to student privacy laws from nearly 40 years ago.
  • May 6, 2014: The Education Trust penned a letter in support of H.R. 4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, to reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act.

Higher Ed Policy Actions

Access

We advocate on behalf of low-income students and students of color to ensure they have equitable access to high-quality, postsecondary opportunities.

Recent Actions

  • July 12, 2016: The Education Trust tells Congress “Don’t Walk Away From Low-Income Students” in a statement on the Labor-HHS-Education FY 17 Appropriations bill to be considered by the House Appropriations Committee.
  • June 23, 2016: The Education Trust’s statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding University Of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action plan.
  • June 9, 2016: Statement from The Education Trust on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations passage of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
  • April 13, 2016: The Education Trust joined with a coalition of education advocates and higher education associations to urge House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reject any effort to redirect funding for the Pell Grant program to other uses.
  • May 29, 2015: Kati Haycock spoke on a panel at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Briefing on Effect of College Access, Persistence and Completion Rates on the Socio-Economic Mobility of Minorities.
  • May 19, 2015: The Education Trust joined with Generation Progress, The Institute for College Access & Success, United States Student Association, and Young Invincibles to send a letter to Chairmen Alexander and Kline and Ranking Members Murray and Scott urging additional research on how prorating student loans based on attendance might affect college affordability, access, and success.
  • April 28, 2015: Dr. José Luis Santos spoke at a convening at the University of Texas, El Paso entitled, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in 21st century U.S. higher education.
  • April 13, 2015: Dr. José Luis Santos spoke at the 2015 Economics Executive Roundtable discussion on Higher Education and the Future of the American Dream at the Ford Chapel, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA., where he explored higher education’s influence on social mobility, opportunity, and economic prosperity in a changing, globalized world.
  • March 19, 2015: Statement from The Education Trust on the Maximum Pell Grant Award Level in the House FY16 Budget.
  • March 16, 2015: Dr. José Luis Santos spoke at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual Capitol Hill policy briefing series about college access, affordability, and accountability.
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Affordability and Financial Aid

We work to improve federal, state, and institutional financial aid policies to better serve students with the most financial need.

Recent Actions

  • August 1, 2016: The Education Trust joined a coalition of consumer and civil rights advocates in a letter to Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. urging the Department to strengthen new rules to protect students and taxpayers from student loan fraud and other misconduct.
  • July 12, 2016: The Education Trust tells Congress “Don’t Walk Away From Low-Income Students” in a statement on the Labor-HHS-Education FY 17 Appropriations bill to be considered by the House Appropriations Committee.
  • June 9, 2016: Statement from The Education Trust on the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations passage of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill
  • April 13, 2016: The Education Trust joined with a coalition of education advocates and higher education associations to urge House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reject any effort to redirect funding for the Pell Grant program to other uses.
  • March 4, 2016: The Education Trust and a coalition of student, veteran, civil rights, consumer, and civil justice organizations sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Education John B. King to protect students and taxpayers and prevent colleges from hiding fraud and other wrongdoing through “forced arbitration” clauses.
  • February 8, 2016: The Education Trust and a coalition of other civil rights organizations submitted comments to the Acting Secretary of Education, John King, providing recommendations on the proposed Enterprise Complaint System, which will accept complaints about loans, other aid, and institutions participating in the Title IV program. The systematic tracking of student and borrower complaints is essential to providing quality customer service, ensuring college and loan servicer and collector accountability, and preventing waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
  • September 24, 2015: The Education Trust releases a report, The Pell Partnership: Ensuring a Shared Responsibility for Low-Income Student Success, and an online data tool, which together show the average graduation gap between Pell and non-Pell students at the institutional level to be 5.7 percentage points. This contradicts the narrative by some Pell opponents that the program is not a good use of taxpayer dollars. Still, more needs to be done to fulfill the promise of the Pell Grant program.
  • August 10, 2015: Along with TICAS, Ed Trust submitted comments to the Secretary of Education on Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE), which would let all federal Direct student loan borrowers cap their monthly payments at 10 percent of their discretionary income, regardless of when they borrowed or their debt-to-income ratio.
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Completion and Success

We focus on improving student success, particularly for low-income students and students of color.

Recent Actions

  • December 2, 2015: Although college graduation rates are up for African America, Latino, and Native students at many four-year public institutions, large completion gaps remain, according to the new Ed Trust report Rising Tide: Do College Grad Rate Gains Benefit All Students?
  • May 19, 2015: The Education Trust joined with Generation Progress, The Institute for College Access & Success, United States Student Association, and Young Invincibles to send a letter to Chairmen Alexander and Kline and Ranking Members Murray and Scott urging additional research on how prorating student loans based on attendance might affect college affordability, access, and success.
  • April 6, 2015: Comment by The Education Trust on the Secretary of Education’s Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Selection Criterion, and Definitions for the First in the World Program.
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Highlighting Successful Models

We identify and learn from high-performing institutions that produce positive outcomes for all students.

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