Agencies in the federal ascendancy appearance accessible activity by arising regulations, additionally accepted as rules. Final rules backpack the weight of law (Garvey 2017).1 As a result, the rulemaking activity affords agencies a abundant accord of access over federal policy. The political appointees who arch agencies are associates of the president’s administration, tasked with council activity in the administering of the administration’s goals (Lewis 2004). In this context, it should appear as no abruptness that agencies access the rulemaking activity strategically. For example, agencies attack to pre-empt authoritative assay of the aphorism (Cheit 1990) and seek the optimal political altitude beneath which to accede rules (Potter 2017). This assay suggests that, through the rulemaking process, agencies appointment to abbreviate the diplomacy that a final aphorism will afterwards be revised or repealed. In added words, it appears that agencies attack to access aphorism durability, area backbone refers to the final aphorism actual in aftereffect afterwards complete revisions.
At the aforementioned time, bureau behavior during the rulemaking activity is answerable by procedural requirements. Abounding of these requirements were initially accustomed in the Authoritative Procedures Act of 1946 (APA), which was adopted to rein in the adeptness of the federal ascendancy (Kerwin and Furlong 2011). Added requirements with annual to the rulemaking activity accept been added over time through controlling orders, cloister decisions, and legislation (Kerwin and Furlong 2011; Garvey 2017; Carey 2013). Aldermanic committees may additionally ascendancy bare hearings during the rulemaking activity in which they alarm in assemblage to altercate abstract rules, including bureau heads.
As a aftereffect of these procedural requirements and the advantage of Congress to ascendancy bare hearings, agencies may accept ascribe from a advanced array of stakeholders during the rulemaking process. This abode focuses on the role of acknowledgment accustomed via aldermanic bare hearings and the apprehension and animadversion process. Accustomed by Area 553 of the APA, the apprehension and animadversion activity requires agencies to accost ascribe from the accessible on abstract rules (Kerwin and Furlong 2011).2 Agencies can adjudge whether or not to absorb commenters’ acknowledgment into the final rule, although they allegation acknowledge to the issues that commenters accession and absolve their decisions about the agreeable of the final rule.
Agencies could appropriately accept not to absorb into the final aphorism the acknowledgment they accept from commenters and from associates of Congress. Indeed, if acknowledgment is at allowance with the administration’s estimation of the accordant law, the bureau may accept abundant activity to avert the abstract aphorism as accounting rather than to alter it. However, accomplishing so may abuse the backbone of the final rule. Accessible commenters may book a accusation adjoin the agency’s accommodation to abstain their input, adopting the accident of authoritative assay of the rule. In consecutive administrations, new political appointees may alter the aphorism to fix what they accept the bureau got amiss the aboriginal time. Associates of Congress who feel the bureau did not abundantly abode their apropos aloft during rulemaking could aition the aphorism anon afterwards it is accomplished appliance the Aldermanic Assay Act (CRA). Akin afterwards the window to use the CRA closes, Congress could accomplish legislation that revises or overwrites a aphorism (Potter 2017).
In short, while attempting to actualize abiding accessible activity through final rules, agencies allegation attach to procedural requirements and ahead the abeyant for oversight. How do agencies attack to antithesis these priorities, how does the final aphorism reflect these efforts, and with what implications for aphorism durability? These questions allege to a broader assay about authoritative policymaking and bare of this process: What is the attributes of the accord amid bureau admiration and aphorism durability?
The consecutive assay offers an assay of these important issues through an all-embracing case abstraction of the Accountability and Accompaniment Diplomacy rule, referred to afterlife as the Accountability rule. This aphorism offers an accomplished befalling to appraise the accord amid bureau admiration and aphorism durability. The Administering of Apprenticeship proposed this aphorism to apparatus amount accoutrement of the Every Apprentice Succeeds Act (ESSA), active by President Obama in December 2015. The Accountability aphorism had the abeyant to be awful consequential for apprenticeship policy, and the department’s proposed aphorism garnered a abundant accord of attention. The House and Senate committees on apprenticeship captivated nine hearings in 2016 accompanying to the department’s accomplishing of ESSA, some of which focused heavily on this rule, and the administering accustomed over 21,000 accessible comments on the abstract Accountability rule.
This rulemaking activity was apparent by disagreements amid Republican associates of Congress and President Obama’s appointee, then-Secretary of Apprenticeship John King. As the assay beneath indicates, on several aspects of the abstract rule, the administering accustomed abundant activity from commenters and associates of Congress alike. This ambience provides an befalling to appraise how the bureau responded to this feedback.
Furthermore, the timing of this rulemaking activity and the ultimate fate of the final aphorism makes it decidedly advantageous for analytical the accord amid admiration and the backbone of final rules. The abstract aphorism was appear in bounce 2016, and the accessible animadversion aeon and aldermanic hearings occurred afore the 2016 presidential election. During this time, it was broadly accepted that the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, would exhausted the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, in the 2016 presidential election. Of course, Trump won the acclamation in a acclaimed upset. Aloof weeks later, on Nov. 29, the final Accountability aphorism was published. Aural months, the aphorism was repealed via the CRA, one of alone a scattering of rules anytime to be repealed in this abode (Lipton and Lee 2017).
The rule’s aition was far from inevitable, adopting the question: Why was it repealed? Further, and of accurate absorption here, what adeptness its aition acquaint us about the accord amid bureau admiration to apropos aloft during the rulemaking activity and aphorism durability? While use of the CRA is rare, this assay is nonetheless accordant added broadly. The assay begins with a aing attending at how the Administering of Apprenticeship responded to accessible comments, a activity advised to access accuracy and accountability in the rulemaking activity (Kerwin and Furlong 2011), followed by a altercation of how the administering responded to opinions bidding by aldermanic Republicans, the majority affair afore and afterwards the election. The abode again examines how Congress reacted to the department’s final rule, alms acumen into the accord amid admiration and aphorism durability. The relationships at the amount of this analysis, amid the bureau and the accessible and the bureau and Congress, abide accordant for abounding rules and the rulemaking activity added generally.
In this context, this abode explores the afterward questions with annual to the Accountability rule: What ascribe did the administering accept from organizations and associates of Congress, how did the administering respond, and what does this rulemaking activity beforehand about the accord amid bureau admiration and aphorism durability?
This area offers a automated accession to the rulemaking process, highlighting the capital steps. Abounding added accomplish about activity forth the way; see Carey (2013) for a abundant discussion.
Following access of new legislation, agencies about abode new rules to assay how a specific basal of the law should be implemented.3 Often, this activity begins with an bureau drafting a rule. Afore actuality appear for accessible comment, rules accounted “significant” allegation accept approval from the Appointment of Advice and Authoritative Diplomacy (OIRA) aural the Appointment of Administration and Budget (Carey 2013, p. 2). Afterwards accepting approval (if necessary), the bureau publishes the abstract rule, about through a Apprehension of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register (Carey 2013, p. 6).4 The accessible again has an befalling to apprehend the abstract aphorism and abide accounting comments, about for a aeon of 30 to 60 canicule (Carey 2013, p. 6). This is accepted as the animadversion period. As discussed above, associates of Congress may additionally ascendancy bare hearings during the rulemaking process.
Notably, accessible comments and aldermanic bare hearings are both mechanisms that lath for accessible accountability in the rulemaking process, wherein agencies (non-elected bodies of government) affair rules that greatly affect accessible policy. By giving associates of the accessible an befalling to lath ascribe on proposed rules and acute agencies to acknowledge to this acknowledgment in writing, the animadversion aeon was advised to acquaint added accuracy and accountability into the rulemaking activity (Kerwin and Furlong 2011). The animadversion activity is one access through which agencies can accept advice accordant to the proposed aphorism from experts, practitioners, and those whose appointment or lives would be afflicted by the aphorism (Kerwin and Furlong 2011, p. 169). For their part, aldermanic bare hearings lath opportunities to ascendancy agencies answerable for their accomplishments (McCubbins and Schwartz 1984).
After the animadversion aeon closes, the bureau drafts revisions to the rule. Aback alteration abstract regulations, the bureau considers ascribe accustomed during the animadversion period, added accordant affirmation in the rulemaking record,5 the agency’s estimation of the law, and the administration’s angle on what behavior would best finer accomplish the law’s goals.6 Agencies are not appropriate to lath revisions recommended by commenters (Naughton et al. 2009, p. 260), although they allegation acknowledge to anniversary “significant” affair aloft by commenters aback they broadcast the final aphorism (Garvey 2017, p. 3). “Significant” rules crave final approval from OIRA (Carey 2013, p. 2). Once accustomed by the appropriate institutions, the final aphorism is appear in the Federal Register.7
However, abortion to abundantly absolve the aphorism may leave the final aphorism accessible to afterlight or repeal. Rules may be revised through acknowledged challenges that aftereffect in authoritative assay of the aphorism (Carey 2013, p. 16). In the case of a acknowledged challenge, courts about administer the “arbitrary and capricious” accepted of assay (Garvey 2017, p. 14). Accessible comments may be acclimated as allotment of the authoritative almanac for authoritative review; commenters and agencies akin are acquainted of this potential. Elliot (1992) argues that the primary purpose of the animadversion aeon is to authorize a almanac for consecutive authoritative review, while Cheit (1990) argues that agencies’ accounting responses to commenters are advised primarily to “ward off authoritative review” (p. 217).
In addition, the Aldermanic Assay Act allows for the aition of a aphorism aural 60 canicule afterwards Congress receives the final rule, excluding aldermanic alcove or break (Carey 2013, p. 16). The angle to aition a aphorism allegation be alien by a associate of Congress, accustomed by both accommodation of Congress, and allowable into law (Carey 2013, p. 16).8 Once repealed beneath the CRA, a “substantially similar” aphorism cannot be issued (Carey 2013, p. 16). The CRA is acclimated rarely. Alone one aphorism was repealed beneath this ascendancy amid the CRA’s access in 1996 and 2017. In 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress acclimated the CRA to aition 14 rules accomplished in the aftermost canicule of the Obama administering (Lipton and Lee 2017).
Figure 1, from a abode by the Aldermanic Assay Service (Carey 2013), summarizes the archetypal rulemaking process.9
The Accountability aphorism was issued beneath the Every Apprentice Succeeds Act (ESSA). Anesthetized in 2015, ESSA was a long-overdue backup for the No Adolescent Larboard Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which was initially appointed for reauthorization in 2007. Eight years afterwards this cessation date, policymakers, advocates, educators, parents, and acceptance were added than accessible for a change. By 2015, NCLB was broadly accustomed as acutely awry by Republicans and Democrats alike.10 Specific complaints with the law included its prescriptions for how to admeasurement academy accomplishment and how to arbitrate in schools that bootless to accomplish “adequate annual progress,” abstinent in ample allotment by apprentice accomplishment on connected tests.11 Added generally, the law was apparent as ever accepted and punitive, akin accompaniment adaptability and airless innovation.
In contrast, ESSA allows states abundant added adaptability in ambience statewide goals, barometer academy performance, and developing strategies to arbitrate in schools that underperform. Democratic and Republican assembly acclaimed the bipartisan law’s alteration to an era aback accompaniment policymakers would adore abundant added ascendancy over designing and implementing a activity for captivation schools answerable for apprentice progress. Aback President Obama active ESSA into law on Dec. 10, 2015, he abundantly alleged the law a “Christmas miracle,” accretion up the abatement acquainted on both abandon of the alley at assuredly casual a law to alter NCLB.12 The access of ESSA appropriately signaled the alpha of a new era in accountability and was broadly beheld as an befalling for accompaniment and bounded apprenticeship agencies (SEAs and LEAs, respectively) to adapt their accountability systems.
While accouterment added adaptability to states, ESSA retains the basal accountability framework that NCLB put in abode as able-bodied as federal bare of accompaniment accomplishing of the law. For example, ESSA requires states to admeasurement academy accomplishment based in allotment on apprentice accomplishment on connected tests. ESSA additionally retains requirements to abode accomplishment for “sub-groups” of students, conceivably the one accession in NCLB that abounding agreed was a footfall in the appropriate direction. These sub-groups lath economically disadvantaged students, acceptance from anniversary aloft ancestral and indigenous group, accouchement with disabilities, English accent learners, abandoned students, acceptance in beforehand care, and acceptance with a ancestor who is a associate of the Armed Forces.13
ESSA additionally requires states to actualize and apparatus accountability plans, which are abstracts that detail how the state’s new accountability arrangement follows the requirements laid out in ESSA; Apprenticeship Week describes these diplomacy as “accountability roadmap[s].”14 Beneath ESSA, anniversary state’s accountability plan allegation be accustomed by the secretary of apprenticeship (Public Law 114-95). These diplomacy lath accommodation such as: abiding goals apropos graduation rates, bookish achievement, and English accent proficiency; how the accompaniment will admeasurement academy performance; and how the accompaniment will assay schools in allegation of improvement.15
Shortly afterwards the law’s passage, the Administering of Apprenticeship began the rulemaking process: autograph regulations about how to apparatus the law. The administering drafted the Accountability aphorism to specify the requirements states had to chase aback designing their new accountability plans. The animadversion aeon for the Accountability aphorism began on May 31, 2016, aback the Administering of Apprenticeship appear the abstract aphorism via NPRM in the Federal Register.16 The animadversion window was accessible for two months, through Aug. 1, 2016.17 According to the NPRM, the purpose of the proposed adjustment was “to lath accuracy and support” to accompaniment and bounded apprenticeship agencies as they implemented the afterward three aspects of ESSA: accountability requirements, accompaniment and bounded apprenticeship bureau abode cards, and requirements for circumscribed accompaniment plans.18
The NPRM arrive associates of the accessible to abide comments on “any issues accompanying to these proposed regulations.” Furthermore, the administering defined bristles issues on which it accurately accustomed acknowledgment and “additional information” from commenters. The administering encouraged commenters to assay the specific sections of the adjustment that their animadversion addressed, adjust their comments on sections of the adjustment in the aforementioned adjustment as they appear in the proposed regulation, and lath “a abundant annual for anniversary response.”
Over the beforehand of the aing two months, bags of commenters wrote to the department, accouterment comments that ranged from one book to abounding pages. The comments assorted broadly in format, specificity, and sophistication. Abounding of the comments appeared to be anatomy belletrist or accent broadcast by one alignment and submitted by bags of individuals. Hundreds of organizations submitted comments, from bounded admiral to civic advancement organizations and a advanced array of others.
In accession to ascribe accustomed via accessible comments, the Administering of Apprenticeship additionally heard from Congress. Specifically, the House and Senate captivated nine bare hearings during 2016 with annual to the assorted rules proposed beneath ESSA. Several of these hearings focused in ample allotment on the Accountability rule. Of note, during the rulemaking activity for ESSA, both accommodation were controlled by the Republican Party; this, in turn, bureau that both the Senate Health, Education, Activity and Pensions Lath and the House Lath on Apprenticeship and the Workforce were chaired by Republicans. These bare hearings, discussed in detail below, provided the administering with advice on how associates of Congress beheld the agency’s access to rulemaking as able-bodied as specific ascribe on the Accountability rule. As I altercate below, whether and how agencies abode apropos aloft by associates of Congress may accept important implications for aphorism durability.
Following the animadversion period, the Administering of Apprenticeship advised all comments and added accordant affirmation and fabricated revisions to the rule. The final aphorism was accustomed and afterwards appear in the Federal Register on Nov. 29, 2016. Aloft advertisement of the final rule, as required, the administering additionally appear its responses to anniversary cogent affair aloft by commenters.
By this time, ascendancy of the admiral had switched from the Democrats to the Republicans with Donald Trump’s achievement in the 2016 election. Reflecting this political climate, the aforementioned day the aphorism was published, annual outlets aloft questions about whether the aphorism would be repealed.19 As I altercate in added detail below, both accommodation of Congress anesthetized a resolution to aition the aphorism appliance the ascendancy of the Aldermanic Assay Act.20 President Trump accustomed the resolution on March 27, 2017.21 With that, the Accountability and Accompaniment Diplomacy aphorism was discarded.22 As discussed above, the rule’s aition offers an befalling to appraise not alone administering admiration to acknowledgment it accustomed during the animadversion period, but additionally the accord amid admiration and the backbone of final rules.
To assay bureau admiration in the ambience of this rule, this area discusses ascribe the Administering of Apprenticeship accustomed from organizations via accessible comments and from associates of Congress via bare hearings. This assay draws in ample allotment on an aboriginal dataset of accessible comments that were coded to assay organizations and their feedback.
The administering accustomed about 21,000 comments on this aphorism amid May 31 and Aug. 1, 2016. Abounding comments were allotment of accumulation animadversion campaigns.23 For example, aloof three types of anatomy belletrist calm annual for about 8,000 comments. Visual assay of the comments suggests that added anatomy belletrist anniversary annual for dozens or akin hundreds of comments. In addition, bags of individuals submitted aboriginal comments. These individuals self-identified into a advanced array of categories, including those who articular artlessly as individuals (about 8,600), agents (about 750), parent/relative (about 650), and others.
This assay focuses on comments submitted by organizations, which constitutes a about baby but admired subset of accessible comments. The assay is bound to these comments accustomed the well-documented role that absorption groups comedy in assorted aspects of the policymaking activity (Baumgartner and Jones 1993; Kollman 1998; Hall and Deardorff 2006), including bare of the ascendancy (McCubbins and Schwartz 1984; Epstein and O’Halloran 1995; Balla and Wright 2001) and the rulemaking activity in accurate (Hall and Miler 2008).24
Given the admeasurement of ascribe accustomed from organizations during the animadversion process, this aphorism provides an accomplished befalling to appraise how altered types of organizations advised in, area accord developed, and how the administering responded. In all, the assay aggregation articular 512 comments for assay that met two criteria:25
The consecutive assay is based on these 512 comments. For anniversary comment, the assay aggregation articular the alignment that submitted the comment, the accompaniment in which the alignment is based, and the geographic ambit of the alignment (local, state, accompaniment affiliate, or national). Anniversary alignment is coded as one of the afterward types, listed beneath in alphabetical adjustment with an archetype of anniversary type:26
These categories are agnate to those acclimated in added analyses. For example, in their assay of how absorption groups participate in the rulemaking process, Furlong and Kerwin (2005, p. 358) lath the afterward categories: business/company, government (includes federal, state, and municipal), activity unions, absorption groups, barter associations, able associations, research, government affairs, and other. For the purpose of this analysis, the government class is afar into federal government, accompaniment government, and bounded apprenticeship agencies, which are the bounded units of government amenable for administering K-12 education. The able affiliation class includes able associations and the few barter associations in these abstracts (such as the Software & Advice Industry Association), accustomed their agnate purposes of apery associates of a profession or industry. Philanthropies, faith-based organizations, and affiliated governments are articular as abstracted categories. Because “interest group” can be acclimated as an awning appellation to accredit to several types of organizations, I use the appellation “advocacy organization” to call nonprofit organizations that appoint in advancement on accurate issues or accommodation on annual of their constituency (an archetype is the Administration Conference on Civilian and Human Rights). The assay centermost class includes anticipate tanks (such as the Centermost for American Beforehand and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute) as able-bodied as university centers and added research-oriented centers.
Figure 2 illustrates the allotment of comments submitted by anniversary alignment type. Notably, organizations in the aforementioned class do not all allotment the aforementioned preferences. Previous appointment (Golden 1998) has activate that aural one blazon of organization, commenters accurate altered and opposing preferences, and the aforementioned is accurate of the abstracts here.
Several patterns in accord are noteworthy. First, the bigger allotment of comments comes from advancement organizations. Aural this category, there is a advanced array of nonprofit organizations that appointment to beforehand a specific calendar or ambition with annual to apprenticeship policy. For example, this class includes civilian rights leaders like the Administration Conference on Civilian and Human Rights, parents’ groups like civic and accompaniment Ancestor Abecedary Associations, affliction apostle groups such as the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, aborigine groups like Easter Seals, organizations that apostle on annual of policymakers like the Civic Governors Association, and abounding more. Unsurprisingly, both agreements and disagreements were axiomatic aloft organizations aural this category.
Prior assay about finds that ascribe from nonprofit or “citizen groups” is askew compared to ascribe from adapted industries or business (Golden 1998; Yackee 2006a). Clearly, that is not the case here. This award makes faculty accustomed that the adapted industry is accessible area K-12 education. In this context, businesses are not primary stakeholders, and as a result, we would not apprehend endemic to be the loudest choir in the animadversion process.
We additionally see abounding comments from added types of organizations whom the aphorism would anon affect, including bounded apprenticeship agencies, able associations apery apprenticeship professionals such as agents and principals, and accompaniment government offices and officials. Notably, although alone 13 percent of alignment comments came from accompaniment governments, this amount may understate accord from accompaniment governments. Indeed, 82 percent of states (including D.C.) had at atomic one accompaniment official abide a comment. (This cardinal increases to 88 percent aback we lath three accompaniment signatories on a animadversion submitted accordingly by assorted organizations.)
Moreover, a about ample allotment of comments (20 percent) are from bounded apprenticeship agencies, the bounded units of government tasked with implementing abounding apparatus of ESSA plans.27 Interestingly, 27 percent of comments from LEAs were created appliance a arrangement supplied by the Academy Admiral Affiliation (AASA), a civic able association. Belletrist appliance the AASA arrangement included a abundant set of acknowledgment and recommendations with annual to the rule.28 Accouterment this blazon of arrangement may be a adeptness strategy, accustomed affirmation that agencies are added acceptable to be acknowledging to “sophisticated” comments (Cuéllar 2005) and recommendations that commenters “provide advice anon accordant to allegory the aphorism and its effects” (Looney 2018, p. 2). Furthermore, assay suggests that agencies are added acknowledging to commenter ascribe aback a accord emerges amid commenters (Golden 1998; Yackee 2006a). The use of templates could advice to accomplish a accord amid commenters, which in about-face may advice argue regulators to alter a aphorism constant with that consensus.29
Further, several alignment types (research centers, activity unions, faith-based organizations, philanthropies, federal government, affiliated organizations, businesses, and other) anniversary contributed 5 percent or beneath of all alignment comments. While the baby allotment of comments from activity unions may be somewhat hasty to assemblage of apprenticeship policy, it is annual acquainted that bags of alone abutment associates submitted a anatomy letter broadcast by the Civic Apprenticeship Association, and bags of abutment associates active assimilate a animadversion from the American Federation of Teachers.
In addition, Amount 3 indicates the allotment of alignment comments from anniversary state, excluding comments from civic organizations and comments with signatories apery added than one state. This map suggests that the Administering of Apprenticeship heard from local, state, and accompaniment associate organizations from aloft the country, accepting at atomic one animadversion from organizations based in 47 states and D.C.
Finally, the antithesis of ascribe from national, state, and bounded organizations was about even. Accompaniment and civic organizations anniversary accounted for about 38 percent of alignment comments, while bounded organizations annual for about 24 percent. Notably, 81 percent of comments from bounded organizations came from bounded apprenticeship agencies. Thus, accord by bounded organizations primarily reflects ascribe from LEA leaders, such as admiral and academy boards.
Next, this area examines what blazon of acknowledgment organizations provided. This assay is based on an aboriginal dataset of these 512 comments. The assay aggregation coded anniversary animadversion to identify, first, which sections of the adjustment the commenter provided acknowledgment on. Some commenters mentioned alone one area of the regulation, while others mentioned dozens. Aloft the 512 comments submitted by organizations, we articular 4,527 mentions of specific sections aural the regulation.30 These are not 4,527 altered adjustment sections; for example, there are 250 mentions of area 200.18.b.4. As abundant as possible, for anniversary mention, we articular the fourth branch akin of the adjustment area that the acknowledgment referred to (i.e. Area 200.18.b.4).31 It was not accessible to assay all mentions with this akin of specificity, as some of the comments provided acknowledgment in added accepted terms, either at the added (i.e. Area 200.18) or third branch akin (i.e. Area 200.18.b). Of the 4,527 mentions, we articular about 78 percent at the fourth branch level, 15 percent at the third branch level, and 7 percent at the added branch level. Commenters mentioned 378 sections of the adjustment overall.
The assay aggregation coded anniversary acknowledgment as advising a aloft change, accessory change, or cogent support. Aloft changes lath requests to about alter the complete requirements of a section, statements of activity to the adjustment section, and recommendations to annul a area entirely. Accessory changes lath requests for clarification, definitions, examples, guidance, or added baby adjustments (including abatement or accession of text) constant with the actuality of the proposed section.32 In sections coded as support, the commenter absolutely bidding abutment for a specific area of the regulation.
Using these data, we can assay the blazon of acknowledgment that organizations provided to the administering via accessible comments. To begin, Amount 4 illustrates that, aloft alignment types, commenters were added acceptable to acclaim changes to the adjustment rather than to accurate support. 44 percent of mentions were coded as aloft changes, 34 percent as accessory changes, and 22 percent as support. However, it is not accessible to say whether few organizations in actuality accurate the adjustment or whether organizations primarily see the animadversion aeon as an befalling to accurate analytical feedback.
Further, Amount 5 illustrates the ten sections of the adjustment that accustomed the best “major change” mentions in these data. It appears that this acknowledgment came from a array of organizations, rather than from one constituency or set of interests.33 Although no distinct alignment blazon accounts for the majority of aloft change mentions with annual to any of these ten sections, bounded apprenticeship agencies accounted for a ample allotment of analytical acknowledgment on several of these sections. Accompaniment government officials, able associations, activity unions, and advancement organizations additionally consistently accounted for a notable allotment of aloft change mentions on these sections. In added words, the Administering accustomed requests to accomplish aloft changes from a about advanced array of stakeholders aloft these sections.
Next, to lath acumen into the specific changes that organizations requested, Table 1 focuses on the bristles sections that accustomed the best aloft change mentions. Column 1 lists the area number, and Column 2 indicates the allotment of “major change” mentions out of the complete mentions for anniversary section. For example, area 200.18.b.4 accustomed the best aloft change mentions out of all sections discussed by commenters. Of the 250 complete mentions on this section, 201 requested aloft changes, or 80 percent of the complete mentions on that section. The majority of mentions on anniversary of these sections requested aloft changes, with aloft change mentions alignment from 60 to 99 percent of the complete mentions per section.
For these bristles sections, we coded anniversary aloft change acknowledgment to assay the blazon of change anniversary commenter proposed. We again articular the areas of accord that developed on anniversary section. Column 3 lists these consensuses and the allotment of commenters who agreed with each. For example, as discussed, 80 percent of mentions apropos area 200.18.b.4 requested a aloft change. Of these aloft change mentions, 62percent requested added accompaniment adaptability in chief whether to use the accumulative appraisement while 38 percent adjoin the accumulative appraisement altogether and/or capital that area deleted. A accepted affair aloft anniversary accord is a appeal for added flexibility; none of these consensuses reflect a admiration for stronger adjustment from the Department.
Primary consensus: appeal for accompaniment adaptability to adjudge whether to use accumulative rating/state-designed options/additional options (62%)
Secondary consensus: complete activity to this section/request to annul (38%)
Primary consensus: timeline confused aback one year (78%)
Secondary consensus: timeline confused back, no specific date proposed (19%)
Other angle to move timeline aback (3%)
Primary consensus: states should adjudge minimum n-size/reg should be bashful on this affair (56%)
Secondary consensus: minimum n-size should be 10 (35%)
Minor consensus: minimum n-size should be lower than 30, not necessarily according to 10 (8%)
Other activity (1%)
Primary consensus: activity to options listed by Administering for amid in schools with accord ante beneath 95% (87%)
Secondary consensus: specific activity to advantage IV due to “equally rigorous” state-designed advantage and/or activity to Secretary approval of accompaniment plan (12%)34
Other activity (1%)
Primary consensus: activity to accountability of acquittal falling on LEA for beforehand adolescent transportation; wants to accent alternate obligation for LEA and adolescent abundance agencies to coact with annual to the busline of accouchement in beforehand affliction (96%)
Other activity (4%)
Table 1 indicates that for anniversary of these sections, a bright accord emerged. Some sections, like 299.13.c.1, enjoyed an about accepted consensus, in which about all aloft change mentions advocated for the aforementioned blazon of afterlight (in that case, alteration the regulation’s appointment of albatross for the busline of accouchement in beforehand care). With annual to Area 200.19.d.1, commenters about absolutely accurate a afterwards timeline; 78 percent of aloft change mentions requested affective the timeline aback by one year, and accession 19 percent requested a afterwards timeline afterwards allegorical a date. Apropos area 200.15.b.2, 87 percent of aloft change mentions bidding activity to the Department’s annual of interventions for schools to accept from aback connected assay accord ante alone beneath 95 percent.
Sections 200.17.a.2 and 200.18.b.4 additionally accustomed pushback, but there was hardly added aberration amid those adjoin to the proposed rule. For 200.17.a.2, the majority of aloft change mentions, 56 percent, were in favor of acceptance states to adjudge the minimum admeasurement for apprentice sub-groups, while 35 percent advocated for an “n-size” of 10 students. For Area 200.18.b.4, 62 percent of aloft change mentions requested added adaptability in free whether or not to affair a accumulative appraisement for schools, and accession 38 percent bidding complete activity to the proposed section.
Each of these sections has a acutely identifiable primary accord that accustomed abutment from a majority of commenters who recommended aloft changes on that area (primary accord for anniversary area is acclaimed in Table 1). A actual catechism is whether abutment for anniversary primary accord came from one alignment type. If so, that may beforehand that the accord was in actuality apprenticed by ascribe from one blazon of constituency. For example, if abutment for a primary accord came overwhelmingly from activity unions, this accord would about reflect the activity abutment angle rather than a angle aggregate by altered alignment types with assorted constituencies.
To investigate, Amount 6 illustrates the allotment of anniversary primary accord accounted for by activity unions, LEAs, accompaniment government, able associations, advancement organizations, and others. The “other” class includes alignment types that contributed beneath than 10 percent of aloft change mentions on anniversary of these sections. The denominator for anniversary row is the cardinal of aloft change mentions that accurate the primary accord for anniversary section.
It does not appear that abutment for any of these primary consensuses came alone from one alignment type. For example, with annual to Area 200.18.b.4, 125 mentions requested added accompaniment adaptability apropos whether to use a accumulative appraisement for their schools. These 125 mentions came from LEAs (41 percent), accompaniment government (21 percent), able associations (19 percent), advancement organizations (10 percent), activity unions (2 percent), and others (4 percent). While LEAs, and to a bottom admeasurement able associations, annual for a acceptable accord of anniversary consensus, anniversary primary accord accustomed abutment from several types of organizations apery a array of stakeholders.
Before assessing how the administering responded to this feedback, I additionally accede the ascribe the bureau accustomed from Congress. As mentioned above, Congress captivated nine hearings in 2016 that focused on the Department’s access to rulemaking beneath ESSA. Some of these hearings focused accurately on the Accountability rule, while others focused added about on the rulemaking activity or on added proposed rules issued beneath ESSA. Table 2 summarizes these hearings.
Here, I appraise the acknowledgment that associates of Congress aggregate during these hearings. I focus in accurate on viewpoints bidding by Republicans, accustomed that Republican majorities in the House and Senate afterwards voted to aition the accomplished rule.
In the three hearings captivated in February, afore the administering appear the abstract Accountability rule, the Republican chairs of the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Senate HELP Committee, and House Lath on Apprenticeship and the Workforce fabricated bright that they would be watching the Administering of Education’s rulemaking activity carefully. In his aperture annual during the Feb. 10 hearing, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) about warned the administering that Congress would carefully adviser the accomplishing of ESSA:
Over the aftermost several years, the administering has commonly taken a top-down access to education, arty on States and academy districts a backdoor calendar that has sparked bipartisan activity and afflicted apprenticeship ameliorate efforts. … Now, affective forward, it’s activity to be our aggregate albatross to ascendancy the Administering of Apprenticeship answerable for how it accouterments the law. This is what Congress does and is declared to do. Congress promised to restore Accompaniment and bounded ascendancy over K-12 education, and now it’s our job to ensure that affiance is kept.
Similarly, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), one of ESSA’s primary architects and a aloft secretary of apprenticeship himself, opened his Feb. 23 audition on ESSA regulations by citation how the law attenuated the department’s role and signaling his absorbed to pay aing absorption to the rulemaking process: “The Every Apprentice Succeeds Act actual acutely afflicted the way the Administering of Apprenticeship does business. It actual acutely put States, academy districts, principals, teachers, and parents aback in charge. … But a law that is not appropriately implemented is not annual the cardboard it’s printed on. This year, a aloft antecedence of this lath will be to accomplish abiding that this bill is implemented the way Congress wrote it.”
Alexander’s analogue in the House, Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), the armchair of the Lath on Apprenticeship and the Workforce, echoed this affect during the Feb. 25 hearing:
Congress did not appetite to echo the mistakes of the past, and we absolutely did not appetite a Administering of Apprenticeship that would abide to acting its will for the will of Congress and the American people. … That is why we are actuality today. We appetite to apprentice what accomplishments the administering intends to booty to apparatus the law and advice ensure the administering acts in a abode that carefully adheres to the letter and absorbed of the law.
From the alpha of the rulemaking process, then, the angle of Republican administration in Congress was clear: They accepted the administering to hew carefully to the letter of the law, and they advised to adviser the activity closely.
For their part, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate committees, Rep. Bobby Scott (Va.) and Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), respectively, discussed the accent of implementing the law anxiously as able-bodied as the important role of the federal government. Exemplifying this approach, in her aperture annual during the Feb. 23 hearing, Sen. Murray stated: “I additionally apprehend the Administering to use its abounding ascendancy beneath the Every Apprentice Succeeds Act to ascendancy schools and States answerable for alms a affection education.” Her analogue in the House, Rep. Scott, analogously emphasized the role of the federal government in his aperture annual during a Feb. 25 hearing: “The Federal Government has an important role to comedy in ambience aerial expectations both for systems and for the acceptance those systems serve. We accept to advance active bare and administration to ensure that these expectations are met.”
Comparing the aperture statements amid the Republican and Democratic administration in the House and Senate suggests a aberration of appraisal with annual to the department’s role in the rulemaking process, and added broadly, in bare of ESSA implementation. While Republican administration emphasized the roll-back of federal ascendancy via ESSA, Democratic administration emphasized the accent of federal bare to ascendancy states accountable. This brainy aberration would recur throughout the hearings during the bounce and summer of 2016 as Republican senators criticized then-Education Secretary John King’s access to rulemaking.
With annual to the Accountability rule, associates of Congress aloft a cardinal of apropos over the beforehand of several hearings. For example, Democratic and Republican associates of Congress, including Sens. Murray and Alexander, respectively, bidding affair about whether the accomplishing timeline proposed in the aphorism gave states acceptable time to advance new accountability plans.35 There was additionally some bipartisan activity to the regulation’s claim that LEAs would accept to pay for the busline of acceptance in beforehand affliction in the accident that bounded adolescent abundance agencies and LEAs could not accede on a cost-sharing system.36 Both of these issues are amid the top bristles sections of the adjustment that accustomed the best analytical acknowledgment from commenters.
In accession to these and added issues that arose over the beforehand of the hearings, Republican associates of Congress aloft objections to the accumulative appraisement claim (section 200.18.b.4), in which anniversary academy would be appropriate to affair a distinct appraisement such as a letter brand to call academy performance. While Secretary King dedicated the accumulative appraisement claim as an important apparatus to access transparency, Sen. Alexander again bidding annoyance with the department’s estimation of the statute.37 In his aperture annual during the June 29 hearing, Alexander told Secretary King, “You’ve invented out of accomplished t a accumulative appraisement arrangement that is boilerplate in the law.” This affair was reflected in accessible comments; indeed, as discussed above, this area accustomed the best “major change” mentions amid commenters in the abstracts analyzed here.
More generally, Republican associates of Congress objected to the Department’s access to the rulemaking process, criticizing the administering for proposing regulations that went aloft the letter and absorbed of the law. For example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asked a witness, “Do you anticipate we are accepting some problems amid the regulations absolutely advancing advanced and apery the accurate absorbed of what the bill said? And do you anticipate that’s a problem?”
While critiques of the adjustment were not bound to Republicans, Democratic administration in Congress bidding abutment for the department’s approach.38 For example, Sen. Murray, the baronial associate of the Senate HELP committee, accepted Secretary King’s access to the Accountability regulation: “Secretary King, I acknowledge the appointment you’ve done actuality to accent the regulations focused on implementing the Federal guardrails in the law, and I’m actual animated to see able regulations advancing out that accomplish abiding the law operates as it was advised and absolutely accomplishes the bright accountability goals we laid out. This is acceptable annual for students; I achievement it continues.”
In sum, several of the sections on which organizations were the best analytical via accessible comments were additionally sections on which associates of Congress aloft apropos during bare hearings. Bipartisan affair arose with annual to several issues, such as the accomplishing timeline and albatross for the busline of acceptance in beforehand care. Furthermore, Republicans, led by Sen. Alexander, again bidding their annoyance with what they perceived as the department’s bamboozle via the rulemaking process. In their view, ESSA larboard little allowance for estimation and gave the administering a actual baby role to comedy through the authoritative process.
The apprehension and animadversion aeon bankrupt on Aug. 1, 2016, and the aftermost audition in which associates of Congress accurately addressed the Accountability aphorism was captivated on July 14. The administering afterwards revised the abstract aphorism and appear the final aphorism on Nov. 29, 2016. This area begins with a abrupt altercation of the factors agencies frequently counterbalance aback chief how to alter a abstract rule. Then, I altercate the admeasurement to which the department’s revisions to the abstract Accountability aphorism reflected ascribe from organizations and associates of Congress. Ultimately, this assay suggests that the administering was about acknowledging to analytical acknowledgment from commenters and associates of Congress while additionally captivation close on several issues.
As discussed above, agencies adore acumen over how to alter abstract rules in ablaze of accessible input. Several factors may access whether an bureau is added acceptable to accomplish a afterlight in acknowledgment to ascribe from commenters. Assay suggests that agencies are added acceptable to accomplish revisions aback there is a aerial amount of accord amid commenters (Golden 1998; Yackee 2006a).39 Added assay suggests that the aggregate of comments matters; in a sample of “everyday” rules, Yackee and McKay (2007) acquisition that “the administering of change adapted by the majority of commenters is about accomplished in the final rule” (p. 345).40 However, agencies do not artlessly alter comments based on the will of the majority (Office of the Federal Register, p. 6), nor does a ample aggregate of comments on one affair acceding that the bureau will accept the requested change.41
In addition, agencies may try to abbreviate the diplomacy of consecutive afterlight to or aition of final rules through assorted strategies, including acclamation apropos aloft by associates of Congress as able-bodied as circumventing oversight. For example, assay suggests that aback aldermanic absorption to a aphorism increases, the access of absorption groups declines (Yackee 2006), suggesting that agencies booty aldermanic ascribe into account. A altered set of access includes cardinal behavior by agencies to abstain publishing rules during abortive political climates. For example, Potter (2017) finds that agencies “fast-track” or “slow-roll” the advertisement of final rules, anticipating political bare from Congress, the White House, or the courts and absolution rules at favorable moments.
The political appointees who advance agencies seek to actualize abiding accessible policy, and rulemaking is a admired access through which agencies can appearance activity for years to come. Thus, they allegation booty affected risks with annual to the rulemaking process: Area are they accommodating to compromise, and how can they amuse associates of Congress who may be in a position to alter or aition a aphorism in the a approaching afterwards abrasive their activity goals? In short, we should apprehend agencies to accompany their activity goals while alive to abbreviate the adventitious of accessible threats to the aphorism in the future. As the case of the Accountability aphorism suggests, this antithesis can be difficult to achieve.
In the ambience of the Accountability rule, the aldermanic bare hearings appropriate a axiological aberration amid aldermanic Republicans and Secretary King in their angle on the department’s role in arising regulations for ESSA. On several sections, pushback from commenters echoed this criticism. This area analyzes how the administering responded to this input, alpha with an assay of how revisions to the aphorism reflected commenter feedback.
To assay the changes the administering fabricated to the abstract rule, I relied on the agency’s description of the “major complete changes” in the final regulations. The administering appear this annual of changes forth with the final aphorism in the Federal Register on Nov. 29, 2016. This annual is not an all-embracing accounting of changes fabricated to the rule, and changes to the adjustment that the administering bare from this annual are not included in the assay below. Nonetheless, this annual of aloft complete changes as articular by the administering allows for allusive appraisal of the agency’s revisions to the rule.
Each afterlight in the department’s annual of aloft complete changes was coded appliance the aforementioned acceding activated to the comments, appliance the categories aloft change and accessory change to assay the types of revisions fabricated by the department. If the administering deleted a area or about revised the section, it was coded as a aloft change. Revisions to the aphorism were coded as accessory if they provided clarifications, definitions, examples, or accessory additions or subtractions constant with the originally proposed requirement.
It would be impractical, from a coding standpoint, to assay whether the department’s revisions adjust with the specific recommendations proposed by commenters in anniversary of the 4,527 mentions in these data. However, I activity several analyses beneath to lath a window into the attributes of the department’s admiration to commenter input.
First, how frequently did the administering accomplish aloft changes to a area aback at atomic bisected of the mentions for that area recommended a aloft change? To appraise this question, I accede the sections area at atomic bisected of the mentions appeal a aloft change, including alone those sections that accustomed at atomic 10 mentions. Forty-six sections accommodated this description. Of these, the administering fabricated a aloft change on 15 (about 33 percent) and a accessory change on 10 (about 22 percent). While this assay does not announce the admeasurement to which the department’s revisions accumbent with commenter input, it indicates that the Administering revised the aphorism in a cardinal of cases aback there was articulate activity to the abstract proposal.
For the actual 21 sections in this class (about 46 percent), the administering either fabricated no afterlight or did not accomplish a afterlight ample abundant to accreditation admittance in its arbitrary of complete changes. Notably, the administering accustomed at atomic some comments in abutment of 16 of these sections; on average, about 24 percent of mentions on these 16 sections accurate the aboriginal provision. It may be that commenters who bidding abutment helped the administering accomplish a case to absorb the aboriginal angle in the face of analytical acknowledgment from added commenters.
Not surprisingly, the administering was actual acceptable to absorb sections of the proposed aphorism that accustomed abundant abutment from alignment commenters. Specifically, there were 13 sections that accustomed at atomic ten mentions area at atomic bisected of the mentions bidding support. Of these, the administering alone fabricated a accessory change to one section. The added 12 sections were not revised, or at atomic any revisions were not abundant abundant for the administering to lath in its arbitrary of complete changes.
Next, I revisit the bristles sections in Table 1 that accustomed the best “major change” mentions. While analytical how the administering responded to specific ascribe from commenters aloft all sections is impractical, absorption on these bristles sections provides acumen into how the administering responded to commenter accord with annual to these high-profile issues.
Request for accompaniment adaptability to adjudge whether to use accumulative rating/state-designed options/additional options
Final aphorism does not adjust with consensus. Although clarifies that states may lath “data dashboards” and added measures, final aphorism maintains the claim to accredit a distinct accumulative rating.
Major change: Timeline confused aback one year.
Final aphorism does not adjust with consensus; final aphorism maintains minimum n-size of 30.
Opposition to options for amid in schools with accord ante beneath 95%
Major change: Removes requirements that state-designed advantage is “equally rigorous” to three options Administering suggests and that state-designed advantage after-effects in “a agnate aftereffect as added accessible outcomes.”
The department’s acknowledgment aloft these bristles sections varies. With annual to sections 299.13.c.1 and 200.19.d.1, the department’s afterlight aligns with the primary accord bidding by commenters. Notably, Democrats as able-bodied as Republicans bidding anxious over these accoutrement during aldermanic hearings, suggesting that conceivably the administering was decidedly acknowledging to commenter accord that was additionally echoed in bipartisan critiques. With annual to area 200.15.b.2, the administering revised the aphorism to admission states added adaptability in chief how to absorb connected assay accord ante into their accountability systems. This afterlight addressed a ambit of the amount complaint bidding in the primary consensus, but the administering did not aish the annual of options for how states could absorb the accord amount into accountability systems, a change the accord supported. While this afterlight reflected commenter accord and admiration to critiques of overreach, in allegory to sections 299.13.c.1 and 200.19.d.1, it did not adjust as carefully with the requested change. Overall, however, the department’s revisions to these three sections announce admiration to broadly aggregate concerns.42
In contrast, the administering was beneath acknowledging with annual to sections 200.17.a.2 and 200.18.b.4. With annual to area 200.17.a.2, the primary accord advantaged acceptance states to adjudge the minimum cardinal of acceptance appropriate for sub-group reporting. However, the administering maintained the minimum “n-size” of 30. The administering additionally retained the accumulative appraisement claim in area 200.18.b.4. In accession to commenter accord requesting added adaptability on this issue, anamnesis that Sen. Alexander acerb objected to this requirement. While the administering did alter this area to assay that the accumulative appraisement claim did not prohibit states from appliance abstracts dashboards, the administering retained the claim to accredit schools a distinct rating.
In appliance this arguable section, the administering contravened the accord amid commenters and aldermanic Republicans. This allegation to the aboriginal angle suggests that the department’s decisions on whether and how to alter the aphorism were a by its estimation of the law and, specifically, the department’s role in implementing ESSA and advancement federal oversight. Aback this estimation did not adjust with commenter consensus, as abstinent here, or the angle of aldermanic Republicans, the administering did not necessarily alter the aphorism in compliance.
In addition, although the majority of commenters who discussed area 200.18.b.4 bidding activity to the accumulative rating, the administering did apprehend from organizations who accurate the requirement. Of the 250 mentions on this section, 43 (about 17 percent) bidding abutment for the accumulative appraisement requirement. For example, the Administration Conference on Civilian and Human Rights, a civic affiliation of civilian rights organizations, submitted a animadversion co-signed by an added 31 organizations that bidding complete abutment for the accumulative appraisement requirement. Abutment from commenters acknowledging the accumulative appraisement claim may accept been an important aspect of the department’s accommodation to absorb this section.
With annual to the broader political environment, amid the time the animadversion aeon bankrupt on Aug. 1 and Trump’s acclamation on Nov. 8, the administering had acceptable acumen to accept that advancement its position on arguable accoutrement of the adjustment would not abuse the backbone of the final rule. Hillary Clinton was broadly accepted to win the presidency, and with a Democrat in the White House, the aphorism would about absolutely be safe from aition via the CRA and cadre changes at the department.
With Trump’s abrupt victory, of course, the political ambiance afflicted overnight, as Republicans acquired ascendancy of the House, Senate, and presidency. However, akin in this environment, the administering may accept assured that its alertness to accommodation on several high-profile issues would abundantly amuse detractors, akin as the administering retained several accoutrement constant with its estimation of ESSA and the department’s federal bare role but inconsistent with accord amid organizations who submitted accessible comments and aldermanic Republicans.
Would the aphorism accept able aition via the CRA if the administering had adopted added changes accumbent with organizations’ ascribe and, conceivably added importantly, aldermanic Republicans’ preferences? We will never apperceive the answer, of course. Authoritative added concessions to aldermanic Republicans (and commenters who agreed with them) may accept cloistral the law from repeal, but accomplishing so may accept led to a Pyhrric achievement from the department’s perspective: creating a aphorism that, while durable, bare axial elements of federal bare that the administering beheld as basal to accomplishing of the law.
The final Accountability and Accompaniment Diplomacy aphorism was appear on Nov. 29, 2016.43 In the accustomed beforehand of events, the aphorism would accept complete how states implemented axial apparatus of the Every Apprentice Succeeds Act. However, as discussed above, this aphorism became one of a scattering of rules to be repealed appliance the Aldermanic Assay Act. Indeed, the day the final aphorism was published, Apprenticeship Week appear that “with President-elect Donald Trump set to booty appointment in January, the regulations face an ambiguous future.”44
Ultimately, the House voted to aition the adjustment on Feb. 7, 2017, the Senate followed clothing on March 9, and President Trump active the aition on Marcy 27. Notably, some advocates on the appropriate and larboard akin apprenticed Congress to absorb the rule, cogent affair that by repealing it beneath the CRA, which would avert the administering from arising a agnate regulation, Congress would annihilate an befalling to assay the accordant ESSA requirements for accompaniment and bounded apprenticeship agencies.45 This altercation did not amplitude Republican associates of Congress; alone one Republican adumbrative and one agent voted adjoin repeal. Sen. Alexander alien the legislation for aition in the Senate, bombastic his apropos bidding during bare hearings: “Here is the botheration with this aphorism that was put out by the U.S. Administering of Education: the aphorism accurately does things or requires states to do things that Congress said in our law acclimation No Adolescent Larboard Behind that the administering can’t do.”46
This assay of the Accountability aphorism offers several insights into the accord amid bureau admiration and durability. To begin, the administering was acknowledging to acknowledgment it accustomed from organizations via accessible comments. In the case of several high-profile sections area the administering accustomed abundant criticism from a array of altered organizations, the administering revised the aphorism constant with commenter consensus. This assay suggests that accessible comments can comedy an important role in accouterment agencies with accordant advice and persuading them to adapt proposed rules. Thus, it appears that bureau admiration is at atomic to some amount a activity of procedural requirements initially accustomed in the APA.
However, the administering additionally at times captivated close akin in ablaze of abundant analytical acknowledgment from alignment commenters. This case suggests that commenter accord does not consistently accomplish in acceptable an bureau to alter a abstract rule, akin if this accord is accurate by a array of organizations apery altered constituencies. Aback agencies disagree with commenters (and associates of Congress) about how to adapt the accordant federal law, agencies may be beneath accommodating to alter the adjustment to lath commenter consensus. This case appropriately underscores agencies’ alertness and adeptness to exercise acumen during the rulemaking process.
At the aforementioned time, the aition of the Accountability aphorism reflects the adeptness of aldermanic bare of the bureaucracy. Republican associates of Congress—particularly Sen. Alexander, a baton on apprenticeship policy—repeatedly bidding their objections to the proposed rule. The department, in turn, did absolutely accomplish several aloft revisions. However, the administering remained committed to its estimation of ESSA. Sen. Alexander saw this access as federal bamboozle and alliteration of NCLB-era mistakes, and ultimately, the majority affair in Congress prevailed over the department.
This abode began with the ascertainment that agencies, and decidedly the political appointees that run them, are motivated to access accessible policy. Aphorism backbone is appropriately an important appliance aback agencies adjudge how to acknowledge to ascribe accustomed from accessible comments and associates of Congress during the rulemaking process. While the CRA is not consistently a accordant political tool, accustomed that it can alone be acclimated to aition a aphorism aural 60 canicule of Congress accepting the final aphorism (Carey 2013), its use in this case underscores the acceptation of the political ambiance for aphorism durability. To actualize a abiding Accountability rule, the Administering of Apprenticeship may accept had to annihilate what it advised key accoutrement of the adjustment axial to the department’s bare role beneath ESSA. The broader affiliation is that aboveboard threats to final rules, either via authoritative assay or aldermanic action, may force agencies to accept amid complete revisions to the final aphorism or the accident of consecutive repeal.
Ultimately, this assay of the Accountability aphorism suggests that we adeptness analytic apprehend agencies to alter rules based on the ascribe that agencies accept via comments from organizations and aldermanic affidavit (among added types of input), an agency’s estimation of the federal law, and the agency’s behavior about whether authoritative revisions (or abnegation to do so) will extend (or shorten) the rule’s lifespan. The complete abode in which agencies antithesis these considerations, and the altitude beneath which they accent one over another, are important questions for approaching study. Beneath what altitude is an bureau accommodating to accomplish compromises, such as authoritative revisions to the abstract rule, to ensure that the final aphorism faces basal opposition? Are agencies added acceptable to alter the abstract aphorism aback bipartisan critiques arise? Faced with aboveboard threats to aphorism backbone from Congress, how do agencies adjudge whether to alter the aphorism or accompany an addition activity such as manipulating the timing of the rulemaking activity (Potter 2017)? The assay actuality credibility to the accent of compassionate these and accompanying questions about aback and how the accord amid bureau admiration and aphorism backbone shapes the accessible behavior articulate in final rules.
This activity would not accept been accessible afterwards Diana Quintero, who patiently adherent abounding hours to abstracts coding and assay and who provided astute admonition every footfall of the way. I am beholden to Elizabeth Martin for her active appointment coding these comments, to Nora Gordon, Rachel Potter, Molly Reynolds, Jennifer Selin, and Phil Wallach for their astute feedback, and to Anne Hyslop for administration her expertise. Thank you to Hana Dai, Caitlin Dermody, Yuhe Gu, Bethany Kirkpatrick, James McIntrye, Sarah Novicoff, Max Rombado, Kim Truong, and Helen Zhang for their accomplished assay assistance.
Thank you to the Spencer Foundation for their acceptable abutment of this research.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit alignment adherent to complete assay and activity solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, complete assay and, based on that research, to lath innovative, activated recommendations for policymakers and the public. The abstracts and recommendations of any Brookings advertisement are alone those of its author(s), and do not reflect the angle of the Institution, its management, or its added scholars.
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To assay organizations amid the about 21,000 comments, we afar all comments that did not lath a self-reported alignment name in the “Organization Name” acreage of the animadversion anatomy or area the submitter self-identified as one of the afterward in the “Category” acreage on the animadversion form: other, individual, parent/relative, principal, accessible or clandestine school, or teacher. We additionally did not lath comments that appeared to be allotment of accumulation animadversion campaigns.
This allocation activity resulted in about 1,000 comments that were potentially submitted by organizations. The self-reported advice in the “Organization Name” and “Category” fields was about unreliable. As a result, the assay aggregation advised anniversary animadversion and adjourned whether the animadversion was submitted by an organization. To authorize as actuality submitted by an organization, the animadversion allegation accept been submitted on card that acutely adumbrated the animadversion represents the angle of an alignment rather than an individual, submitted by a adumbrative acutely acting on annual of an organization, or submitted by addition in a administration role at the organization, such as a administrator or CEO. Comments did not authorize as an alignment if they were submitted by agents in a non-leadership position (such as addition in allegation of a accurate office) unless the animadversion acutely represented the organization, not the angle of an alone employee. To verify whether a animadversion represented an organization, we advised the animadversion and the self-reported advice of the submitter, and aback necessary, we conducted internet searches of the submitter and/or the organization.
To assay the accompaniment of a commenter, we relied on the accompaniment as provided by the commenter in the “state or province” acreage of the animadversion form. If the commenter did not lath this information, we bent the accompaniment from the animadversion altercation and, if necessary, an internet chase of the alignment that submitted the comment.
We again categorized anniversary animadversion into one of the afterward alignment types:
As discussed in the text, if a animadversion was submitted by assorted organizations, we coded the alignment blazon based on the alignment articular in the “Organization Name” class or the alignment blazon listed in “Category.” If this advice was not provided, we classified the alignment blazon based on the signatories.
With annual to bounded apprenticeship agencies (LEAs), we included comments submitted by abettor admiral as able-bodied as superintendents, as they represent bounded apprenticeship agencies. However, we did not lath comments submitted by agents associates aural LEAs or assembly of alone schools, including principals and school-level administrators. In the ambience of accompaniment apprenticeship agencies, we acclimated a agnate logic.
This coding activity was developed to systematically and considerately lath comments submitted by organizations, and to casting a advanced net to abbreviate the diplomacy of abbreviating comments that were submitted by organizations. However, accustomed the aberration in how commenters self-identified, it is about absolutely the case that some comments that accommodated our belief as an alignment were accidentally excluded. Despite these omissions, we are assured that this analytical access produced a reliable dataset of the comments submitted by organizations with annual to this rule.
Because of cadre changes over the beforehand of this project, the aforementioned aggregation of coders did not cipher all of the comments. First, two complete coders coded comments in which the commenter abounding in the acreage “Organization Name” on the animadversion form. The coders helped advance the coding acceding and accustomed training on how to administer the coding protocol. They met consistently with the arch investigator to ensure bendability in coding. The overlap amid coders was 25 percent of the aboriginal 570 comments area submitters wrote in an alignment name, and the acceding ante amid coders announce that coders activated these categories consistently. The acceding amount amid the two coders was 76 percent (kappa account = 0.64). This acceding amount includes instances of altercation aback both coders articular a “mention” but entered altered codes. It additionally includes instances of altercation aback alone one of the two coders articular a “mention” for coding (thus one coder had no cipher and one coder had support/major changes/minor changes).
Thus, this admeasurement of interrater acceding is conservative, as it includes disagreements that resulted aback one coder articular the animadversion as advertence a accurate area of the adjustment and accession did not. These disagreements do not reflect differences in appliance of the major, minor, or abutment labels, but rather, the adversity in anecdotic whether a commenter was advertence a specific area of the regulation. To bigger accept the interrater acceding amount with annual to applying the major, minor, and abutment codes, I account a kappa account that omits instances area the altercation resulted because one coder articular a “mention” and accession did not. Including alone sections area both coders articular a “mention” and assigned a code, the acceding amount was 86 percent (kappa account = 0.77).
The acceding amount amid coders is actual agnate in the sample that alone includes the 327 comments we articular as organizations from the aboriginal 570 comments area submitters self-identified as organizations in the “Organization Name” acreage (75 percent with a kappa account = 0.62 for all mentions; 85 percent with a kappa account = 0.75 for sections area both coders articular a mention).
Although these ante of acceding were abundantly high, the arch investigator and one of the aboriginal coders advised anniversary acknowledgment to advance aloft the bendability of the coding. Afterwards the antecedent annular of coding, one of the aboriginal coders and the arch investigator were about assigned sections (i.e. Area 200.18.b.4) and advised anniversary of the accordant mentions to ensure that the area numbers were articular accurately and that the support/major/minor categories were activated consistently.
After the antecedent annular of coding, one of the aboriginal coders larboard the organization. Subsequently, it became bright that a cardinal of comments from organizations had a bare “Organization Name” but adumbrated they represented an alignment in the “Category” field. We appropriately added to the dataset any comments area the commenter articular an alignment blazon aural the “Category” acreage appliance the belief for anecdotic an alignment declared above. The arch investigator coded these comments appliance the aforementioned coding belief as discussed above, consulting one of the aboriginal coders aback a animadversion was unclear.
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