20,000 Comments Submitted on Dept. of Education’s Proposed Accountability Regulations

20,000 Comments Submitted on Dept. of Education’s Proposed Accountability Regulations

August 4, 2016

The Dept. of Education received more 20,000 comments regarding their proposed ESSA accountability regulations. The suggested regulations – “arguably the most controversial and tricky part of ESSA” – are meeting unified resistance on some parts, such as the requirement for schools to be identified for improvement based on 2016-2017 data. A number of organizations including CCSSO, NGA, School Superintendents Association and others, have raised concerns and encouraged the Dept. of Education to postpone data collection until the 2017-2018 school year. Highlights include:

  • Council of the Great City Schools cited concerns with the implementation timeline, noting that that dividing schools into three performance categories could lead to “over-identification of low-performing schools.” CGCS, which represents urban schools, also does not support the proposed regulation for foster kids. The organization is concerned that a “one-size-fits-all” approach on a timeline for when English-language learning is determined to be proficient will lead to the “lowest common statewide denominator for removing students prematurely from specialized services.”
  • The Education Trust supports the “single summative school rating” requirement and the “greater weight academic indicators have with respect to identifying schools in need of improvement.” Ed Trust does want to see changes that would lead to “consistently underperforming subgroups of students” being defined by their individual progress and not “how they perform compared to the statewide student average.”
  • National Education Association finds the proposed regulations “too close” to No Child Left Behind and believes the regulations “don’t give states enough flexibility in setting academic goals.” NEA is also “miffed” that the Department wants schools with “low-performing subgroups to face serious sanctions after three years,” and doesn’t support states coming up with their own “approved interventions for struggling schools.”