At-Risk Student Groups

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

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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CA District Leverages ESSA to Help Military Children

According to Brennon Dixson at the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the Castaic Union School District in California is “responding to the challenges and unique circumstances military children face on a daily basis” by putting in place policies “to lessen the children’s impediments to success” through…

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Arkansas to Focus on Homeless Students

Ginny Monk reports for Arkansas Online that state education officials who work with homeless children say Arkansas’ ESSA plan—which “will rank schools on a variety of factors, including absenteeism”—will “help identify needs and keep more students in school,” including children without stable housing, who “are…

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Focusing on the “Excellence Gap”

Dana Goldstein writes in the New York Times that “with test-score gaps narrowing but remaining stubbornly persistent after years of efforts, some in the education field are taking a fresh look at programs for advanced students that once made them uneasy, driven by the same…

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FutureEd and Attendance Works on “Rules” for Tracking Chronic Absenteeism

Nearly three in four states included chronic absenteeism as part of their school assessment measures under ESSA, reflecting how important this metric is for identifying struggling students and schools and getting them the resources they need. This new FutureEd and Attendance Works report describes a number of…

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DeVos Plan to End ELL Office Stoking Equity Concerns

Corey Mitchell reports for Education Week that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ plan to shut down “the long-standing federal office that supports English-learners,” comes amid “concerns from civil rights groups that the Education Department has already failed to ensure equity for English-learners—including approving state Every Student…

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Many States are Setting Lower Academic Goals for ELLs

Recent analyses by Achieve and UnidosUS find many state ESSA plans are deficient when it comes to equity and educating English-language learners (ELLs), Corey Mitchell reports for Education Week. A pair of policy briefs from the organizations demonstrate that more than 50 percent of these plans purposefully apply…

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Locating and Leveraging ELL Data

A  brief from the Migration Policy Institute’s Julie Sugarman examines how how under ESSA—where states must publish significant amounts of student data, including for English-language learners—more data will be available than ever before. Sugarman explains that “knowing where to find and how to use these…

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“Deeper Policymaking” Needed for “Student Self-Advocacy” Under ESSA?

Don Long of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and Ace Parsi of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) write in Education Week that, under ESSA, states “must act boldly on meeting and going beyond” the law’s requirements and “put equity…

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Civil Rights Leaders Tell DeVos to Give Revised Florida Plan the Thumbs Down

Jeffrey Solochek reports that, in the context of Florida submitting its revised ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education in April, civil rights groups “want U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to do to the second version what she did to the first—reject it as…

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State Education Officials Call for Delay in State Report Card Implementation

WVXU.org reports that the Ohio State Board of Education members “will vote this week on whether to ask for a delay in the implementation of the final phase of the state’s A-F grading system,” because the “system has not been finalized.” This system will include…

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Education Officials’ Stronger Focused on Foster Children Under ESSA

According to Tennessee Watson, education officials in Wyoming must focus more on the “educational needs of foster kids” under ESSA, so school districts in the state “now have foster care liaisons and collaborative agreements with local representatives from the Department of Family Services.”

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Don’t Know Much About History (of the MSI)…

Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham provides an overview of the history of the Military Student Identifier (MSI), from the first “big step” of developing the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children in 2008 to the passage of ESSA in 2015.

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Letters Home Key to Reducing Chronic Absenteeism?

Kate Stringer reports for The 74 that families “can drastically underestimate how often their children miss school,” but according to new research, when “parents are given accurate information about their children’s absences,” they “can become valuable players in making sure their kids show up at school.”…

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Reducing Chronic Absenteeism Under ESSA

A new strategy paper from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project—Reducing chronic absenteeism under the Every Student Succeeds Act—reviews “the literature and present novel analyses of the factors at the school and student levels that relate to chronic absenteeism,” and finds “that health problems and socioeconomic…

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ESSA = Lots More Info for Pennsylvania Parents

Dale Mezzacappa reports for Philadelphia Public School Notebook that, thanks to Pennsylvania’s ESSA plan, within the next two years Keystone State parents and education stakeholders of all kinds will have a lot more information at their proverbial fingertips, going “far beyond” simple demographics and exam…

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Discipline Rules, Chronic Absenteeism to “Clash” Under ESSA

The 74’s Carolyn Phenicie reports on how tough discipline and chronic absenteeism may “collide” under ESSA. “As more states rate schools based on how many of their students are chronically absent,” she writes, “policymakers must consider harsh discipline practices, an issue at the fore in…

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Colorado On Track to be First to Fulfill Foster Youth Ride Provision

Chronicle of Social Change’s Christie Renick writes that the Colorado legislature is considering a $2.9 million bill “aimed at improving the educational success of students who are foster youths.” If signed into law, Colorado will be the first state to officially implement a program that conforms to…

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Feds Talk Portfolio Assessments for Students with Disabilities

Christina Samuels reports for Education Week that the U.S. Department of Education “has started informing a small group of states that they will have to make changes to the way they test students with severe cognitive disabilities” due to “accountability changes” under ESSA. Students “with the…

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Civil Rights Groups to Congressional Education Leaders: Tell DeVos to Stop Approving Unlawful ESSA Plans

Education Week’s Alyson Klein reports that civil rights groups, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, wrote a letter to leaders on the House and Senate education committees, “asking them to tell DeVos to stop approving ‘unlawful’ plans.” The letter states, “We…

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Accountability Measures to Serve All Students

Writing in the Columbus Dispatch, Ashland University President Carlos Campo says he is proud of the steps Ohio is taking to make sure high school graduates are college- and career-ready, including provisions in the state’s ESSA plan, in which he says education officials took the…

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Can Arizona Prove it is Following ESSA’s Foster Youth Transportation Provision?

Christie Renick reports for Tucson Weekly about ESSA’s requirement that states “solve the mobility problem for foster youth,” which “mandated child welfare and education departments work together to pay for transportation to a foster youth’s ‘school of origin.’” Here’s the thing, though: Arizona says it…

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Kangas: Don’t “Underestimate, Shortchange” English-Language Learners with Disabilities

Corey Mitchell writes in Education Week about a seven-month ethnographic study conducted by Lehigh University Assistant Professor Sara Kangas, which found that some educators do not “prioritize language services for ELLs because they had low expectations for the students.” At the same time, many states “didn’t…

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How to Avoid Accountability Mistakes of NCLB for Students of Color

Derrell Bradford, executive director of the New York Campaign for Achievement Now (NYCAN), writes on The 74 that the “ongoing tensions in the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act” and concerns “that a provision requiring the disaggregation of student data—for minority students in particular—will…

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Florida-Federal Showdown?

Education Week’s Daarel Burnette II and Corey Mitchell report that Florida is under “intense scrutiny” from Democrats, civil rights groups, and federal officials for “how it plans to hold schools accountable for the achievement levels of historically disadvantaged student groups” under ESSA.

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