At-Risk Student Groups

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

Bad Data = Massively Skewed Chronic Absenteeism Reports

According to U.S. News & World Report, incorrect absenteeism data from a single county (Prince Georges, Maryland) has thrown off “an entire national analysis of chronic absenteeism, providing yet another cautionary tale about the power of data and the major ramifications of data that’s inaccurate.”…

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ESSA’s “Clues” for Military-Connected Students

In a companion piece in Education Week to Burnette’s article (scroll down to find), Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer delve deeper into the data reporting requirement under ESSA. The Military Student Identifier (MSI), they write, “should provide families, teachers, administrators, and researchers with a clearer understanding…

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The “Black Achievement Paradox Nobody’s Talking About”

As part of Education Week’s 10 Big Ideas in Education series, Daarel Burnette II asks: “Why do black students whose parents serve in the military significantly outperform their peers from black civilian families?” This question has “stumped researchers” for years—especially considering how the vast majority of military families move stations…

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Civil Rights Groups Seek Oversight of DeVos ESSA Implementation

Andrew Ujifusa writes for Education Week that a “leading coalition of civil rights groups wants federal lawmakers to focus on oversight of the U.S. Department of Education when the new Congress begins next year.” In a letter to Capitol Hill, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights “asked Congress to…

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Pennsylvania Releases List of Struggling Schools

Avi Wolfman-Arent reports for WITF that Pennsylvania education officials have released a list of nearly 300 struggling schools, which under ESSA “will have to develop ‘improvement plans’ with the direction of state advisors.” But unlike in previous years, the state is focusing “less on schools…

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Tennessee Releases New School Report Card

According to ABC 6 News, last week, Tennessee education officials released the state’s new school report card. The report card includes a “parent-focused tool that includes school ratings, English-Spanish translation and additional data on student groups among other features.” The state’s report card was put together…

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Maryland releases first public school star rankings

“Last week Maryland released the results of its first-ever report card grading system for state schools,” WBAL Baltimore reports. The system uses a 5-star rating system, with rankings “based on academic and non-academic factors” including “progress in achieving English language proficiency for English Learners, chronic…

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Understanding Chronic Absenteeism’s Impact

“By the end of this month, the Every Student Succeeds Act has required that schools list chronic absenteeism rates on their state report cards,” writes Brian Stack for MultiBriefs. “Many schools across the country have already started to do this, and the work started with…

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Oklahoma’s School Report Cards Have “New Focus”

Jennifer Palmer reports for the Enid News & Eagle that after “a two-year hiatus,” Oklahoma’s school report cards are back. But now they have a new focus: “The school accountability tool underwent a significant revamp” under ESSA “and now will include student test scores, a…

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District-Level Efforts to Fight Chronic Absenteeism

Deborah Yaffe writes in District Administration that it used to be “easy for districts to ignore what high average daily-attendance numbers can conceal: kids, sometimes lots of them, who miss weeks of school every year.” But ESSA changed this equation by requiring states to track…

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Promise to Practice

In The 74, Carolyn Phenicie provides an overview of Promise to Practice—the latest iteration of the Collaborative for Student Success’ Check State Plans initiative, done in partnership with HCM Strategists. ”Now that all state plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act have been approved,…

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ESSA Plan “Set to Make Life Harder for Students Learning English”

Conor P. Williams writes in The 74 that Florida’s “ambivalence” towards English-language learners “shows up in its recent, meandering efforts to bring its education system into compliance with federal law.” Not only was Florida “the last state” to have its ESSA plan approved, the state…

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Feds Put Out ESSA-Mandated Rural Ed Report

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education published the Section 5005 Final Report on Rural Education—aka the “Rural Report” that is mandated by Section 5005 of ESSA. The report “outlines actions the Department will take to meaningfully increase the involvement of rural schools and school…

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The “Nudging” Approach to Fighting Chronic Absenteeism

“As many as 8 million U.S. public school students struggle academically simply because they miss too much school,” Phyllis W. Jordan writes in Education Next. “Recognizing this, 36 states and the District of Columbia have begun holding schools accountable for chronic student absenteeism” under ESSA….

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GA Identifies Struggling Schools

Ty Tagami reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia’s Department of Education has released its first list of schools “in need of additional support.” These 103 schools officially fall into the state’s Comprehensive Support & Improvement category, which is “derived from the College and Career Ready Performance Index,…

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Military-Family Struggles at Beginning of School Year—and how MSI Could Help

Kiera Gallagher, M.Ed, a teacher at Albritton Middle School at Fort Bragg and an Army spouse, reflects on the struggles military families like her own face and how such families “cross their fingers” during the back to school period of the year. She writes that each time…

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Focusing on Growth in School Ratings

NWEA’s Chris Minnich writes in Education Next about the importance of factoring in student growth—and not just proficiency—when determining school ratings. While “proficiency matters, of course,” rating systems that include both achievement and growth are fairer because they “differentiate between a school with low achievement…

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NYC to Serve Record Number of Homeless Students

New York City’s Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced the department “will hire 100 new community coordinators to help schools better serve” homeless students, according to Chalkbeat New York. “The city plans to use money available under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to pay for…

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Struggling Schools in Virginia, Equity, and ESSA

Virginia’s Department of Education has released a report identifying the state’s lowest-performing schools, Justin Mattingly reports for the Richmond Times Dispatch. Nineteen schools in Richmond were identified “as needing support” under ESSA. “This is the first year the state Education Department has identified schools that…

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“Data Overload” in the Age of ESSA

Hisham Anwar of EdSurge explores the question of how to prepare for “education’s data overload.” While the accountability paradigm under NCLB focused on assessment rather than instructional practice and outcomes, under ESSA, school quality and success indicators are highlighted. Anwar notes that, “a growing number…

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New School Report Cards in Illinois Focus on Student Growth

Karen Berkowitz reports in the Chicago Tribune that on October 31, Illinois will release its new school report cards, which under ESSA will now emphasize “students’ academic gains in relation to those of other students across the state.”

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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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