ESSA Resources

Below are the most recently published resources around ESSA.

DeVos Sends ESSA Letter & Guidebook to Parents

Education Secretary DeVos recently “unveiled” an ESSA letter and guidebook that aims to help parents “understand the flexibility provided to States and school districts” under ESSA, according to Jessica Campisi in Education Dive. The guidebook will share how ESSA’s flexibility gives parents an opportunity to influence…

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STEM the Big Winner in EIR grants

According to Alyson Klein at Education Week, STEM programs were the “big winners” in the “latest round of the Education Innovation and Research grants,” which replaced the Obama Administration’s Investing in Innovation grant program via ESSA and made changes like opening up the grant program…

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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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Georgia “Wants In” on Innovative Assessment Pilot

Alyson Klein reports in Education Week that Georgia, which has announced their intention to apply for ESSA’s Innovative Assessment pilot, is taking a bit of a different approach by running “its own miniature innovative assessment competition,” which “ended up giving three consortia of districts the…

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New Hampshire Wins Federal Approval on Innovative Assessment

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently announced that New Hampshire will be just the second state to officially participate in ESSA’s innovative assessments pilot program, EIN News reports. New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) is “grounded in a competency-based educational approach designed to…

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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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States “Shirking” ESSA on Equity Metrics?

Dian Schaffhauser writes in T.H.E. Journal that, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education, many states are “shirking” their responsibilities under ESSA when it comes to two equity-focused policies:  how states are defining “‘consistently underperforming’ in identifying schools for targeted support,” and how they are including…

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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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Legislators Commit to Data to Support ESSA Goals

With most ESSA plans in place, policymakers used the 2018 legislative session to define the role of data in meeting states’ education goals. The Data Quality Campaign’s latest report explores the commitments states have made around data use, including using this information to answer complex questions on…

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How Will States Spend “Boost” in Academic Enrichment Grants

Klein reports on how ESSA’s Academic Enrichment Grants (aka, Title IV) just “got a huge boost” from $400 million to $1.1 billion. So, “what are districts going to do with those grants?” According to an Education Week Research Center survey, while there are some “regional differences”…

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Louisiana State Chief on ESSA Plan, Implementation

Contributing for the Daily Advertiser, State Chief John White writes that Louisiana’s ESSA plan has “set expectations for all students that are as ambitious as expectations in any state in the country.” He also states that in the next two months, as the “state Department…

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The Power of the MSI

In The 74, Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer, authors of a recent report from the Lexington Institute, write about the struggles faced by military-connected families and how the Military Student Identifier (MSI) can help ease these struggles. Also discussed in the report,published in partnership with…

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Guns and Equity Dominate Senate ESSA Hearing

On September 25, the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing to garner state perspectives on ESSA implementation. The hearing featured education chiefs from Nebraska (Matthew Blomstedt), Delaware (Susan Bunting), and South Carolina (Molly Spearman), as well as the president of Democrats for Education Reform Shavar…

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Feds Work on ESSA Just Beginning

Alyson Klein of Education Week reports that, despite the approval of most (now all) state ESSA plans by the U.S. Department of Education, in some ways, “the federal government’s work on ESSA is just beginning.” While the law’s “hallmark may be state and local control,”…

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ESSA Helping Schools, Families Connect

Education Week’s Francisco Vara-Orta writes that students do better when they have engaged parents (or other adults) to not only help with homework, but also serve as their advocate with educators. But for parents with multiple jobs, whose English language skills are limited, or who…

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Senate education committee to hear from states today

The Senate education committee will be holding a hearing today to listen to the state perspective on implementation of ESSA. The committee have invited education chiefs from Nebraska (Matthew Blomstedt), Delaware (Susan Bunting), and South Carolina (Molly Spearman), as well as the president of Democrats…

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Feds Update Ed Advocates on ESSA

Klein reports that on September 24, federal education officials met privately “with a select group of education advocates at the department to talk the Every Student Succeeds Act, the school safety commission, choice, and career and technical education.” Secretary DeVos wasn’t present, but the group “heard from Mick…

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State Plans Minimizing Performance of Vulnerable Students?

Education Week’s Alyson Klein reports on an analysis released by the Alliance for Excellent Education, that found many state ESSA plans “don’t do a great job of incorporating the performance of vulnerable subgroups of students, such as racial minorities, English-learners, and those with disabilities.” Additionally,…

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States, ESSA, and Mental Health

As part of the Education Week’s ongoing “Answering Your ESSA Questions“series: “How does ESSA handle mental health in schools?,” Klein notes that there “aren’t any explicit requirements that states include mental health in their ESSA plans.” But “this doesn’t mean states aren’t taking mental health…

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Report Highlight’s Local County Efforts for Military Students

In the Augusta Chronicle, Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer, authors of a recent report from the Lexington Institute, write about the mission, rollout and implementation of ESSA’s Military Student Identifier and “highlighted the compelling work at the Columbia County School District in serving its military-connected…

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How Minnesota’s ESSA Plan is Different…and How it is Being Received

Erin Hinrichs provides an excellent overview of Minnesota’s ESSA plan for MinnPost. Noting that while standardized testing still matters a “great deal,” the new North Star system is based on five key measurements, including “academic achievement, academic growth, progress toward English language proficiency for students…

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Preschool Grant Requirements Not as Strict

The new iteration of federal preschool grants created under ESSA “offer substantive differences from the legacy program created during the Obama administration,” Christina A. Samuels reports for Education Week. The grant application was released earlier this month, and “gives states the opportunity to apply for…

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Experts Weigh-In on ESSA, Upcoming School Year

This video from The 74 features interviews with a broad sampling of education experts about “the current state of America’s schools and the top challenges facing the nation’s education system as states rethink student goals and district accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act.” Interviewees…

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Priorities for Changing Testing Environment Under ESSA

At Education Next, Laura Slover and Lesley Muldoon discuss the multiple priorities they have identified for states and districts as they “evolve their testing regimes” under ESSA. These include rigor, transparency, and timely results. They call for education leaders “to hold firm on these advances…

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Lexington Institute on Maximizing Effectiveness of MSI

A new report from the Lexington Institute, “aims to provide local education officials nationwide with a number of recommended practices and additional steps that they should consider taking to successfully implement the ESSA military student identifier and effectively use the information collected.” The authors also…

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