Accountability

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

Civil Rights Orgs Voice Opposition to Using Federal Education Funds for Guns

On September 17, dozens of civil and human rights organizations wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, stating that “any decision or recommendation by the Department allowing schools to use ESSA funds for weapons would be contrary to congressional intent and pose serious danger to children…

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NY State “Softens” ESSA-Driven Test Participation Regulations

Alex Zimmerman reports for Chalkbeat that New York’s school districts “where lots of students sit out annual state tests will not have to set aside federal funding under new rules” released by New York’s education department. The new rules “soften several aspects of the state’s…

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Sunshine State, Feds Continue Wrangling Over Accountability Plan

Jeffrey Solochek reports for the Tampa Bay Times that the Sunshine State’s latest ESSA plan redraft addresses a number of the issues raised by the U.S. Department of Education. However, according to the Department’s Libby Witt, “some of the revisions that FDOE made in the…

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Military Student Identifier in Action

Karen Jowers, of Military Times, writes about the rollout of ESSA’s military student identifier, which “simply flags a student as being the child of an active-duty service member.” It’s “important for military families to be aware of the change, said Christi Ham, chairwoman of Military…

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Educators to Congress—No Federal Cash to Arm Teachers

Alyson Klein reports for Education Week that more than a dozen educator groups have sent a letter to Congress to make it “crystal clear that states and districts can’t spend money from Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act on guns for school staff.”

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Priorities for Changing Testing Environment Under ESSA

At Education Next, Laura Slover and Lesley Muldoon discuss the multiple priorities they have identified for states and districts as they “evolve their testing regimes” under ESSA. These include rigor, transparency, and timely results. They call for education leaders “to hold firm on these advances…

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State Officials Announce Delay in School Reports

According to Shelly Conlon of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the state’s annual school report cards won’t be released until November because of a “number of new items” added under ESSA. This includes “information on how many students go on to college, discipline numbers and…

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Boys & Girls Clubs Working With Schools Via ESSA Grants

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oregon’s Greater Santiam area, in partnership with schools in Lebanon and Sweet Home, will implement a new educational program called the 21st Century Community Learning Center this autumn through a federal student support grant authorized under ESSA.

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Lexington Institute on Maximizing Effectiveness of MSI

A new report from the Lexington Institute, “aims to provide local education officials nationwide with a number of recommended practices and additional steps that they should consider taking to successfully implement the ESSA military student identifier and effectively use the information collected.” The authors also…

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Combatting Attendance Gaming and Mistakes Under ESSA

Taylor Swaak reports for The 74 that “tackling chronic absenteeism is now part of education plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act for 36 states and Washington, D.C.” She also reports that the “resulting requirements are also new, with many states crafting uniform definitions for…

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ESSA and Election 2018

Andrew Ujifusa reports for Education Week that, if Democrats win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, “expect civil rights to grab the spotlight and for congressional subpoenas in the name of education oversight to become more popular,” particularly through the lens of…

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KY Rolling Out New Accountability Measures

Interim Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis writes in the Courier Journal about the state’s new ESSA-based accountability plan, and what it means for students, schools, and districts. “Any new accountability system or any new measure of school performance highlights new areas for growth, and…

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Democrats Try to Block Gun Funding Via Spending Bill

Andrew Ujifusa reports in Education Week that “Democrats on Capitol Hill are using just about every tool they can think of to try to stop Every Student Succeeds Act money from being used by schools to purchase firearms.” On September 7, “two top Democrats on…

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Next Phase of Check State Plans Announced: Promise to Practice

Last week, Collaborative for Student Success announced that, in partnership with HCM Strategists, the organization is undertaking “Check State Plans: Promise to Practice,” which will bring together an updated network of peer reviewers to examine how states are implementing their school improvement plans under the…

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TN and Feds Finally Come to Agreement on School Ratings

After months of negotiations, “federal and Tennessee education officials have come to terms on how to identify and address the state’s lowest-performing schools in light of last spring’s problem-plagued student assessment program,” Marta W. Aldrich reports for Chalkbeat. This agreement “navigates conflicting state and federal…

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LPI Report Examines States’ Plans to Close Opportunity Gaps

In this recent report, the Learning Policy Institute examines how numerous states are using ESSA to address equity disparities in education, increase inclusivity in schools, and help all students reach their potential. The report “provides information on which states have committed in their ESSA accountability…

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All About ESSA as Old Dominion Begins School Year

Justin Mattingly reports for the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Virginia is in the midst of implementing its ESSA plan, which among other measures includes a new accreditation system. As the state puts its plan into practice, Mattingly provides timely answers “to common questions about ESSA, Virginia’s plan and what it…

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DeVos Says Department Has “No Plans” to Expand Upon or Restrict State Efforts to Arm Teachers

The Associated Press reports that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says she has “no intention of taking any action” regarding using ESSA to arm teachers. In a letter to top Education and the Workforce Committee Democrat Rep. Bobby Scott, DeVos wrote that “Congress did not authorize me or…

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MPI Fact Sheets Examine EL Demographics in ESSA Context

The Migration Policy Institute’s Julie Sugarman and Courtney Geary, as a part of holding K-12 and school districts accountable for meeting Every Student Succeeds Act mandates, have pulled together a series of fact sheets that provide “an overview of EL student demographics and outcomes” in…

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Minnesota Unveils New School Accountability System

Erin Golden and MaryJo Webster report for the Minneapolis Star Tribune that, under ESSA, Minnesota is “broadening its barometer for success to include high school graduation rates, attendance, progress made by students learning English, and students’ improvement on test scores,” and under these measures, about a quarter of schools…

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Jim Hunt Talks ESSA, Governors, and Building Bipartisan Support for Education

In this video on The 74 website, former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt “sits down to talk about state-level education leadership under the Every Student Succeeds Act, how governors must realize that their economies are irrevocably linked to the performance—and the goals—of their schools, and how in…

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States, Data, and Meeting Education Goals Under ESSA

States have “made big commitments” in their ESSA accountability plans to leverage data in an effective manner and help reach their education goals, which is a “major recognition of data as a powerful tool when it’s working for students,” The Data Quality Campaign’s Brennan McMahon Parton writes in…

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Idaho Identifies Struggling Schools

Clark Corbin reports that in Idaho State Department of Education officials recently released a list of the state’s 29 lowest-performing schools as part of the state’s ESSA plan. Schools were identified based on a variety of indicators—assessments, student growth, ELL proficiency, student surveys, graduation rates, college and…

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Challenges and Questions ESSA Presents for Districts 

With the school year fast approaching, Alyson Klein asks in Education Week what is “the toughest part of the Every Student Succeeds Act for districts to get a handle on?” To find out, she asked a few experts, including Noelle Ellerson Ng from The School Superintendents Association, Jeff Simering…

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A Look at ESSA’s Transparency Requirement

Daarel Burnette II writes in Education Week that this school year, “an often-overlooked provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act will offer some deeper information when states start reporting to the public school-by-school spending.” For the first time, “actual school spending—rather than average district per-pupil spending—can reveal where the…

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