- New acting Education Secretary John B. King, appointed by President Obama in the wake of Arne Duncan's resignation, will not undergo a confirmation process usually required of Cabinet-level officers under the Constitution; for 210 days, he is allowed to remain "acting" under law.
- "I will say the authorities of the acting secretary are the same as authorities of the secretary," King told the Washington Post.
- Republicans, however, want King to undergo a formal vetting process, though White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says it would likely be unfair due to “a stridently partisan Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who chairs the Senate's education committee, told the Washington Post that proper accountability is dependent upon having an education secretary confirmed by the Senate. But if formal confirmation hearings for John B. King did occur, it's unclear how contentious they might be.
King has what the Washington Post called a "complex recent professional history," stemming largely from controversy surrounding the rollout of Common Core standards in New York state during his tenure as the state's education commissioner, a process that New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) called “deeply flawed.”
Regardless of what happens, Alexander has vowed to hold at least three separate oversight review meetings to examine how the Obama administration executes ESSA implementation.