Accountability

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations relating to the ESSA and accountability.

Ed Trust: Equity Advocates Still Have Work to Do

In a new brief by The Education Trust, plans to improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color are “not encouraging.” The report recommends that “civil rights advocates keep a watchful eye on ESSA performance data to show if the new state accountability systems…

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What Common Mistakes Are Peer Reviewers Seeing in State Plans?

The latest edition of the Collaborative for Student Success’ blog series highlighting CheckStatePlans.org peer reviewers’ thoughts on what they’ve seen, what they’ve been looking for, and what they wanted to see in second-round ESSA plans asks three experts—Doug Mesecar of The Lexington Institute, Ryan Reyna…

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DeVos Says ESSA Plan Mix Laudable; Dems, Civil Rights Groups Not So Much

According to The 74’s Carolyn Phenicie, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made clear during a recent appearance that she believes strongly in states having flexibility in education policy, and that states are responding positively to having such flexibility under ESSA. But not everybody agrees…

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State Drops Minority Graduation Rate Accountability Provision

West Virginia has “cut a proposed accountability provision regarding minority students’ graduation rates” from its ESSA plan.” The State Department of Education removed the words “and any subgroup of students” from the end of the following statement: “we propose to identify for comprehensive support and…

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What Do States’ ESSA Plans Say About Creating More Accountable Schools?

In the third post highlighting CheckStatePlans.org peer reviewers’ musings on what they’ve been looking for, wished they had seen, and hoped to see in second-round ESSA plans, we asks the following question: “What do states’ new education plans say about how they will create more accountable schools?”…

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Could ESSA’s Flexibility Help Close Achievement Gap?

An NWI Times article highlights the perspectives of educators on the impact of ESSA and raises awareness of what the new law aims to accomplish, including how these “school accountability plans, plus ESSA’s emphasis on educating all students equally, could be a significant factor in…

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NCTQ Looks (Again) at Educator Equity

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released its analyses of educator equity in 34 recently submitted state plans under ESSA, completing the organization’s analysis of all state ESSA plans. These new analyses highlight strengths and opportunities, demonstrating how most are not doing enough…

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Oklahoma Schools Facing Different Accountability Pressures Under ESSA

Oklahoma schools are held accountable differently under ESSA. While “the 95 percent attendance rate” under previous federal and state statutes “made schools focus on the number of students who showed up each day, it failed to draw any attention, or offer help, to the number…

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Time Might Be on Ohio’s Side

Jessica R. Towhey writes on Inside Sources that it may have been a good idea for Ohio to delay submission from April until September, because it gave the state “valuable time to continue working with the community,” as well as to “review plans from states…

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Iowa Wants to Hear What Students Think

In its ESSA plan, Iowa “suggests issuing school climate surveys for students in grades 3-12.” These surveys “would fulfill a requirement for a school quality or student success indicator in the state’s accountability system, allowing students to rank their feelings on prompts like ‘My school…

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Civil Rights Advocates Raise Alarm about Kansas ESSA Plan

According to civil rights activists, Kansas’ ESSA plan “would fail to promote achievement for thousands of students the law was meant to protect.” State education officials disagree, claiming there are “good reasons” for their strategy, which they say is “designed to ensure that Kansas schools…

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Civil Rights Groups to DeVos: Florida Plan is Terrible and Must Go

“Several civil rights and education advocacy groups have a simple message for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos,” reports Education Week’s Andrew Ujifusa. “Just say no to Florida’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan.” In a letter sent to Secretary DeVos, more than a dozen civil rights…

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Indiana Grad Rate Debate Continues

Indiana stakeholders are concerned that local high school graduation rates will “slide” under ESSA because the law is “changing the way the numbers are formulated,” so in the next academic year, “general diplomas will not be counted,” which could create “the misconception that fewer students…

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Changes Ahead for Illinois

Under ESSA, Illinois, “school quality will be measured through standardized tests, alternative assessments, academic growth, English language proficiency, science scores, success on college entrance tests, and graduation rates, as well as factors such as chronic absenteeism and school climate surveys.”

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Promises of Greater Flexibility

According to the Washington Times, Arizona may put the “promises of greater flexibility” under ESSA to the test due to a 2016 state law “that allows traditional and charter school leaders to choose the standardized test they think best fits each school’s teaching methods.”

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MN Lawmakers Ask Feds to Reject State Plan

Three state legislators in Minnesota have written to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius saying the state’s ESSA plan “lacks transparency and clarity” and “will not do enough for underperforming teachers and schools.”

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New Online Tracking Tool

Achieve released a new online tracking tool that “summarizes states’ long term goals for student achievement and graduation rates, along with the accountability indicators and weighting included in states’ plans submitted under ESSA.” The tracker allows users to view accountability indicators in the state’s plan and compare…

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Rigorous Evidence of Effectiveness

Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, writes on Huff Post that, while ESSA evidence standards “provide clearer definitions of ‘strong,’ ‘moderate,’ and ‘promising’ levels of evidence” than were the case in previous…

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Thanks to ESSA, Parents Now have Clearer, Better-Defined School Ratings Information

North Dallas Gazette editor Ruth Ferguson reports that, as school districts begin to integrate ESSA, one “potential positive” is that parents may be able to access clearer, better-defined school ratings information. This is because, under ESSA, states “are required to provide an annual overview” in…

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ID Public Schools to Use Student Engagement Survey

Next year, as part of the state’s plan to comply with ESSA, Idaho public school students will be able to grade their schools and teachers via a student engagement survey. Students “in grades 3 through 12 will be asked questions in three different categories: school…

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Ed Week Examines Arizona’s ESSA Plan

An Education Week blog takes a look at Arizona’s ESSA plan, and how civil rights advocates are concerned how it will impact transient students. The plan, which has already been approved by the U.S. Department of Education, “attaches different weights to students test scores, depending…

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State Report Card “Makeovers”

Education Week takes a look at how ESSA is helping to give state report cards a “head-to-toe makeover,” in both their look and the data displayed. Under ESSA, states must present this information in an “easily accessible and user-friendly” manner, and with “plenty more data points…

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States are Taking a Harder Look at Learning in Early Grades

Education Dive writes that as policymakers and educators review state ESSA plans, “a recent analysis from New America focuses on how states are incorporating indicators related to young children’s learning into their plans.” For example, some states plan to leverage data via the Classroom Assessment Scoring…

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State Plan Submissions and Drafts

Approved State Plans Arizona: Final Plan Approved (9/6/17) Arkansas: Final Plan Approved (1/16/18) Connecticut: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Delaware: Final Plan Approved (8/2/17) District of Columbia: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Illinois: Final Plan Approved (8/28/17) Louisiana: Final Plan Approved (8/15/17) Maine: Final Plan Approved (8/31/17) Maryland: Final…

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DeVos Announces all 34 Plans Ready for Review

Secretary Betsy DeVos announced that “all consolidated state plans submitted by 34 states and Puerto Rico under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for the fall deadline were found to be complete and ready for peer review.” DeVos commended “the chief state school officers, governors…

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