Senate confirms John King Jr. as U.S. Education Secretary

From The Washington Post:

The Senate voted on Monday to confirm John King Jr. as U.S. Education Secretary, a move that shows that education has become a rare issue on which a polarized Washington can reach bipartisan compromise.

Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting 49 to 40 in favor of King’s confirmation…

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — chairman of the education committee who previously served as education secretary under President George H.W. Bush — urged his colleagues to confirm King, arguing that the education department needs a leader who can be held to account as the nation implements a sweeping new education law that replaced the long-maligned No Child Left Behind.

King, 41, has been serving as acting secretary since his predecessor Arne Duncan stepped down at the end of 2015. A former teacher, principal and charter-school founder, he led New York’s state education department from 2011 until 2014, when he joined the U.S. Education Department.

One of King’s main jobs during the next 10 months will be shepherding the implementation of the new education law known as the Every Student Succeeds Act. Signed into law in December, it shifts much of the authority over public schools from the federal to states and school districts.

King pledged to uphold the spirit of that shift to local control during his confirmation hearing last month. But he also emphasized that the federal government will continue to have an important role in making sure that states and school districts are adequately serving all children, especially those who are disadvantaged.

Read More: Education Week; Associated Press (Time); USA Today; Politico