Policy Experts Urge States to Use ESSA to Focus on Low-Income, High Achieving Students

Policy Experts Urge States to Use ESSA to Focus on Low-Income, High Achieving Students

December 13, 2016

The Center for American Progress, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute issued a letter to governors and chief state school officers urging them to utilize ESSA’s flexibility to focus on low-income high achievers. The groups call for three components to ensure “all kids count:”

  1. The system should measure the growth of individual students from one year to the next, and make this a significant factor in school classifications;
  2. The system should give additional credit to schools that help students achieve at a high level. Under ESSA, states must continue to track the percentage of students who attain proficiency on annual tests, but they are free also to give schools incentives for students who earn high marks;
  3. The system should give high schools credit for helping students earn college credit while still in high school, such as by measuring enrollment in Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses and pass rates on these exams, or completion of “dual enrollment” programs.