We discussed Chris Reykdal, Washington's newly installed State Superintendent of Public Instruction, at great length last year. His opponent in last year's election, Erin Jones, was exceptionally qualified and the first Black woman to run for statewide public office in Washington, and we instead elected Reykdal, a white male career politician.
Now, after less than two months in office, Reykdal is already falling behind.
On Friday the Eatonville Dispatch published an op-ed from Superintendent Reykdal in which he vaguely pledged to "fight for supporters of public education."
He started by highlighting Congress' effort to repeal the regulations on school accountability (emphasis is mine):
On Feb. 9, Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as our nation’s 11th secretary of education. A few hours after the confirmation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal certain rules for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The rules clarify how ESSA will be implemented in regard to teacher preparation programs and how schools and districts measure success.
The Senate must now vote on the repeal. If the Senate votes in favor of the repeal, the DeVos administration will write its own rules.
I don't expect most parents to track all the policy developments happening in our nation's capitol, but I do expect the state superintendent to keep up. The U.S. Senate voted to repeal the regulations on March 9, more than a week before this op-ed posted.
Here's a screenshot just in case they figure it out before something posts and take it down.
Reykdal got one thing right: the Betsy DeVos puppeteers will write their own rules if left unchecked, and we can count on those rules to be oppressive in ways both familiar and newly alarming.
Let's hope this is Reykdal's wake-up call, and maybe a reminder that he's the one, as our elected champion for students, who's supposed to be on top of these things.