At-Risk Student Groups

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

“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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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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Texas ELLs Must Be Factor in School Ratings

Rolando Aguirre, president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas, writes that Hispanics make up more than 50 percent of student enrollment in Texas public schools, so “It would be fair to say the success of Texas schools rises or falls with Hispanic students,” and…

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New America Study Looks at Illinois English-Learner Data

Recently, New America released a report regarding Illinois’ ESSA plan and how it will impact and improve how the state tracks and uses data regarding its fast-growing population of English learners. Home to the fifth-largest population of K–12 English learners in the country, New America…

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Military Families, the MSI, and ESSA

“Our armed forces have a manpower problem,” write retired U.S. Army general Ann Dunwoody and Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham. Retaining our current forces is as important as recruitment, but current members of the armed services “are increasingly concerned about their choice…

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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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MSI Game-Changer for Military-Connected Students Says Christi Ham

November is the Month of the Military Family, and Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham takes a look at the impact of the Military Student Identifier (MSI), which “promises to give states the ability to help ensure the success of military-connected children in…

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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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NYC Doesn’t Love State Special Education Testing Plan

Chalkbeat’s Monica Disare says the State of New York “wants to allow some students with disabilities to take below-grade-level exams,” an approach which has engendered significant opposition, especially from special-education advocates. And now the City of New York can be added to the list of…

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GA Prioritizes Narrowing the Achievement Gap

NNPA’s Dr. Elizabeth Primas 30 writes that “Georgia is making every effort to ensure that students have a better chance of performing at proficient or advanced levels on all state exams” under ESSA, which “prioritizes narrowing the achievement gap.”

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OK Stakeholders Express Concern About State’s ESSA Plan

In Oklahoma, advocates for students with disabilities, students of color, and low-income students are concerned about the state’s ESSA plan; while some “had recommendations adopted in the final plan,” others “say their concerns were brushed aside.”

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