At-Risk Student Groups

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

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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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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Impacts of ESSA on English Language Learners

Education Week’s Larry Ferlazzo asks: “What is the impact of the Every Student Succeeds Act on English Language Learners?” He discusses this question with numerous contributors, including Margo Gottlieb, Sarah Said, Catherine Beck, Heidi Pace, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Tabitha Dell’Angelo, and Lindsey Moses. Ferlazzo thinks ESSA could potentially…

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New America Foundation Education Expert Examines ESSA

New America Foundation’s Conor P. Williams writes that, when it comes to ESSA, he can say “I told you so.” The law “combines a thin veneer of civil rights equity with excruciating complexity and uncertain accountability.” Williams argues that it “takes a relatively simple federal…

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Addressing the Challenges of Military Families

Amelia Harper reports on a new District Administration brief, noting that school leaders “need to be aware of how the experiences of military families create special challenges in the way students connect to the world, the social and emotional challenges they face, and the educational…

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Alabama Submits ESSA Plan

The Alabama State School Board has approved the state’s ESSA plan, but stated “changes will be needed in the future.” Parents and advocates of special need students have raised concern over the plan, because it “allows any sub-group (such as special needs) with less than…

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How the Military Student Identifier can Help Military-Connected Students

Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Jim Cowen and National Math + Science Initiative Vice President of State and Federal Programs Marcus Lingenfelter wrote that one “key factor in the degradation of military readiness involves a very personal element: service members and their young families.”…

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Chalkbeat Examines How Schools are Addressing Chronic Absenteeism

Chalkbeat’s Matt Barnum writes that, under ESSA, schools “across the country are about to be held accountable for student attendance—attaching stakes to a measure that previously had much less significance and increasing the risk that schools will try to manipulate that data.” Of course, “one way…

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States Measure School Quality and Student Success in Various Ways

Education Week’s Daarel Burnette II writes that ESSA was meant to “unleash a flood of innovation” when it came to, among other things, measuring school quality and student success beyond test scores.” So why, he asks “did so many states end up picking two ways…

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TX Submits ESSA Plan

The Texas Education Agency submitted its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education. Belton Independent School District Superintendent Susan Kincannon expressed her concern about some aspects of the plan. “The (ESSA) plan includes an overly complicated methodology for evaluating and rating schools and continues…

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FutureED Releases New Report on Chronic Absenteeism under ESSA

FutureEd, an independent think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, released a new report—“Who’s In: Chronic Absenteeism Under ESSA”—which provides a comprehensive review of the provisions in all 51 state ESSA plans, as well as the results of an analysis of federal chronic…

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Ed Week Releases Message for School Officials

Education Week’s Alyson Klein, Andrew Ujifusa, and Stephen Sawchuk have a message for school officials: “Get ready to figure out whether your students have a problem with chronic absenteeism. And while you’re at it, see if you’re getting them ready for college and the workplace.”…

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PA’s Governor Signs Off on State’s ESSA Plan

Governor Tom Wolf signed off on Pennsylvania’s ESSA plan and “submitted it to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her approval.” The plan establishes “ambitious yet attainable” goals of “raising student performance, increasing graduation rates and having English learners move toward achieving English language proficiency.”

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Children Now Examines CA’s ESSA Plan

Samantha Tran, senior managing director of education policy at Children Now, wrote that “California’s education plan must be more transparent about student performance.” Her three recommended changes include clearly identifying “if gaps in achievement are closing or are stagnant,” setting “assessment standards so that the…

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