At-Risk Student Groups

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations on how to use ESSA better serve at-risk student groups.

Key Details on State ESSA Plans

Andrew Ujifusa reports for Education Week about the publication’s updated ESSA tracker, highlighting “six individual policy areas that advocates, analysts, and educators are watching closely,” in each state’s plan, such as long-term objectives, measuring school quality “beyond test scores and graduation rates,” and school ratings.

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ESSA Missing Lots of Low-Grad-Rate High Schools?

A recent study from Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University shines a much-needed light on high schools that have “good enough graduation rates to avoid federally mandated intervention, but are able to produce those rates because so many struggling students…

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State Plans a Missed Opportunity for Special Ed

Recently, the National Center for Learning Disabilities took a look at each state’s ESSA plan and developed an analysis—”Assessing ESSA: Missed Opportunities for Students with Disabilities“—of “how state plans are including and serving students with disabilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act.” Generally, the organization…

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Interventions Work for Most Chronically Absent Students

Education Dive’s Linda Jacobson reports on a new study released by University of Nebraska researchers,  that interventions “intended to improve attendance are more effective with students who miss the most school—at least 20% of the year—than they are with students who miss fewer days.” The…

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Feds Give Green Light to Florida ESSA Plan

Education Week’s Alyson Klein declares, “It’s official.” After a long and at times contentious process, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has (finally) given Florida’s ESSA plan the thumbs up. That means all state plans (as well as those from Puerto Rico and DC) are now approved….

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The Power of the MSI

In The 74, Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer, authors of a recent report from the Lexington Institute, write about the struggles faced by military-connected families and how the Military Student Identifier (MSI) can help ease these struggles. Also discussed in the report,published in partnership with…

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Guns and Equity Dominate Senate ESSA Hearing

On September 25, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing to garner state perspectives on ESSA implementation. The hearing featured education chiefs from Nebraska (Matthew Blomstedt), Delaware (Susan Bunting), and South Carolina (Molly Spearman), as well as the president of Democrats for Education Reform Shavar…

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ESSA Helping Schools, Families Connect

Education Week’s Francisco Vara-Orta writes that students do better when they have engaged parents (or other adults) to not only help with homework, but also serve as their advocate with educators. But for parents with multiple jobs, whose English language skills are limited, or who…

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State Plans Minimizing Performance of Vulnerable Students?

Education Week’s Alyson Klein reports on an analysis released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, that found many state ESSA plans “don’t do a great job of incorporating the performance of vulnerable subgroups of students, such as racial minorities, English-learners, and those with disabilities.” Additionally,…

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Report Highlight’s Local County Efforts for Military Students

In the Augusta Chronicle, Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer, authors of a recent report from the Lexington Institute, write about the mission, rollout and implementation of ESSA’s Military Student Identifier and “highlighted the compelling work at the Columbia County School District in serving its military-connected…

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How Minnesota’s ESSA Plan is Different…and How it is Being Received

Erin Hinrichs provides an excellent overview of Minnesota’s ESSA plan for MinnPost. Noting that while standardized testing still matters a “great deal,” the new North Star system is based on five key measurements, including “academic achievement, academic growth, progress toward English language proficiency for students…

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Absenteeism Big Factor in Maryland’s ESSA Plan

Absenteeism is “front and center” in Maryland’s ESSA plan, Emma Kerr reports for the Frederick News Post. She notes that “15 percent of an elementary, middle, and high school’s overall accountability score will be determined based on the percentage of students who are absent 10…

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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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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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What’s New Under ESSA for Foster Children?

In Education Week, Alyson Klein answers the following query as part of the publication’s ”Answering Your ESSA Questions” series: “What is new for children in foster care under ESSA?” Klein says ESSA “made some key changes for this important population,” including asking districts to “break out achievement data…

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Attendance Works on ESSA and Fighting Chronic Absenteeism

This new report from Attendance Works says that the inclusion of chronic absence in ESSA “was a watershed moment that made this metric an integral component of efforts to help students succeed in school and later in life.” It examines the “scale, scope and concentration of chronic…

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Connecticut “Seeing Early Reductions in Chronic Absenteeism Under ESSA”

The New Haven Register reports that Connecticut has successfully driven down chronic absenteeism under ESSA, with “about 10,000 more students attending school for more than 90 percent of days each year over the last six years.”

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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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NNPA Announces Plan to Poll Black Parents on ESSA

Freddie Allen reports for the Philadelphia Tribune that the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) recently “announced plans to conduct a groundbreaking survey” to gauge the awareness of ESSA within the Black community, as part of their “public awareness campaign focused on ESSA, improving educational outcomes…

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Partnering with Parents to Combat Chronic Absenteeism

According to Stacy Teicher Khadaroo at the Christian Science Monitor, chronic absenteeism is a “stubborn problem,” and schools are always looking out for solutions—especially now, because states are required to publicly report chronic absenteeism under ESSA, and “35 states plus the District of Columbia have…

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Ditching Subsidized Lunch as Student Poverty Metric?

Until recently, economically disadvantaged students have generally been identified by their eligibility for the federal free or reduced-price lunch (FRL) program. But increasing numbers of schools providing free lunch to all under “community eligibility” provisions, can present a challenge for states as they “implement new school accountability…

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CO Schools, Activists Sue Over Foster Care Student Transport Law

Six school districts, two associations, and two individuals are “pushing back against a new state law aimed at improving school transportation for students in foster care,” Christie Renick reports for the Chronicle of Social Change. This law (HB 18-1306)—which helps Colorado comply with ESSA’s foster youth transportation provision—allocates nearly…

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Importance of Chronic Absenteeism Demonstrated by ESSA

Taylor Swaak writes in The 74 that the issue of chronic absenteeism “has festered into what the U.S. Department of Education has branded a national crisis,” as evidenced by the fact that 36 states and DC included chronic absenteeism in their ESSA accountability plans.

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