NA&S Activity

National Associations and Stakeholders Activity

Reviewers Weigh In: What Parents Should be Watching

In anticipation of the release of the second round of independent peer review results, we asked peer reviewers to share their thoughts on different aspects of state ESSA plans. In the first blog, which appeared on The 74, the Collaborative asked five peer reviews about…

0 comments

Fordham Rates the Ratings, Round II

In July, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reviewed the first 17 state ESSA plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. This week, they’re back at it, releasing a new report “with an expanded analysis that adds the other thirty-four plans,” which allows them to…

0 comments

NCTQ Looks (Again) at Educator Equity

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released its analyses of educator equity in 34 recently submitted state plans under ESSA, completing the organization’s analysis of all state ESSA plans. These new analyses highlight strengths and opportunities, demonstrating how most are not doing enough…

0 comments

You have questions. Ed Week Has Answers

In the first installment of Education Week’s “Answering Your ESSA Questions” series, where readers send in their queries about ESSA, a school-based administrator asks, “Is testing the only way a student can achieve success” under ESSA? Their short answer? “No.”

0 comments

ESSA Makes Parent Engagement Even More Important

Massachusetts educator Jessica Lander writes in The 74 that ESSA “has elevated the importance of parent engagement, setting aside funding and requiring states to develop strategies for effectively engaging with families.” However, for too long, “there has been minimal guidance, training, time, or support for…

0 comments

Arts Support for Academics Tricky under ESSA

In Education Week, Stephen Sawchuk asks “Can Schools Use Arts to Support Academics Under ESSA?” The answer is that “It’s Tricky.” Sawchuk says it is in fact “doable” to use the arts to support academics as part of ESSA, but according to a new report…

0 comments

Inside the Minds of the Peer Reviewers

This week, the Collaborative and the Bellwether Education Partners team brought together 46 peer reviewers to look at the 34 state ESSA plans submitted to the Dept. of Education in September. While the reviews aren’t ready for prime time just yet, the Collaborative’s Ashley Inman provides a…

0 comments

Brookings Fellow Asks “Where is the Research?”

Because ESSA asks states to include “evidence-based interventions” in their plans to turn around low-performing schools, Brookings Institution Fellow Mark Dynarski examined a sample of state ESSA plans – and found that “plans mostly ignored research on what works and what does not to achieve…

0 comments

Opting Out of the Opt-Out Movement Thanks to ESSA

According to Education Dive, the opt-out movement “appears to be slowly fading” as “states gain more control of testing requirements” under ESSA; in New York, for example, where the “opt-out movement has been the strongest,” the opt-out rate has dropped 2 percentage points in just the…

0 comments

Quality Professional Learning for Teachers

According to Matt McCullough, director of innovation in teaching and learning at Schoolcraft Community Schools, “my favorite tasks are providing innovative classroom strategies to my teachers and collaborating with them to lead to greater student success.” After reading Educators for High Standards’ recent report, McCullough is…

0 comments

New Online Tracking Tool

Achieve released a new online tracking tool that “summarizes states’ long term goals for student achievement and graduation rates, along with the accountability indicators and weighting included in states’ plans submitted under ESSA.” The tracker allows users to view accountability indicators in the state’s plan and compare…

0 comments

Rigorous Evidence of Effectiveness

Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, writes on Huff Post that, while ESSA evidence standards “provide clearer definitions of ‘strong,’ ‘moderate,’ and ‘promising’ levels of evidence” than were the case in previous…

0 comments

How Waiver Requests Could Affect ESSA Implementation

ESSA was “designed to let states determine for themselves how to hold schools accountable,” writes Jessica R. Towhey in the NH Journal, but it “may leave more children behind if states are allowed to skirt federal requirements through waivers.” Shifting responsibility for education from the…

0 comments

Got ESSA Questions? Ask Politics K-12

With ESSA in place in school districts across the country this year, there is “still a lot of confusion about the law,” so Education Week has pulled together a sort of Internet-based hotline where people can email questions to reporters Alyson Klein (aklein@epe.org) or Andrew Ujifusa (aujifusa@epe.org)…

0 comments

Thanks to ESSA, Parents Now have Clearer, Better-Defined School Ratings Information

North Dallas Gazette editor Ruth Ferguson reports that, as school districts begin to integrate ESSA, one “potential positive” is that parents may be able to access clearer, better-defined school ratings information. This is because, under ESSA, states “are required to provide an annual overview” in…

0 comments

New Brief on States’ Efforts to Comply with ESSA

In the final installment of the Leveraging ESSA series, Higher Ed for High Standards has released “Shining a Spotlight on K-12 and Higher Ed Alignment in ESSA.” The brief details “the extent to which the both the 34 states that submitted ESSA plans in September 2017…

0 comments

Are States Trying to Create Assessments in Students’ First Language?

Education Week’s Corey Mitchell writes that under ESSA, states must “make every effort” to create assessments “in students’ first languages if they constitute a significant portion of the student population.” But a number of states are “gambling that their English-only laws” will allow them to…

0 comments

Educators Weigh in on Professional Learning

Educators for High Standards identifies the key components of high-quality, effective professional learning that are laid out in ESSA, and shares how schools and districts can provide educators with the opportunities they need, want, and deserve. In partnership with Learning Forward and Teach Plus,  Educators…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

State Report Card “Makeovers”

Education Week takes a look at how ESSA is helping to give state report cards a “head-to-toe makeover,” in both their look and the data displayed. Under ESSA, states must present this information in an “easily accessible and user-friendly” manner, and with “plenty more data points…

0 comments

Ed Trust will Pivot to Being More Deeply Engaged in States

Black Enterprise examined the work of Lillian Lowery, vice president for P-12 Policy and Practice at The Education Trust, noting that she’s “furthering Obama’s ‘Every Student Succeeds’ quest.” According to the article, Lowery and Ed Trust are focusing on working with states, especially in the ESSA…

0 comments

States are Taking a Harder Look at Learning in Early Grades

Education Dive writes that as policymakers and educators review state ESSA plans, “a recent analysis from New America focuses on how states are incorporating indicators related to young children’s learning into their plans.” For example, some states plan to leverage data via the Classroom Assessment Scoring…

0 comments

Education Reform Assesses Policymakers’ View on Key ESSA Provisions

In the third part of Education Reform Now’s series, Charles Barone and Dana Laurens write that “it would be more than a little surprising if a seasoned pro like Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) were to break the deal he made with his Congressional colleagues on…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Equity Missing in ESSA Plans

Dr. Andrea Ramirez, executive director of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference’s Faith and Education Coalition, discusses the lack of an equity focus in the state ESSA plans reviewed on CheckStatePlans.org. In The 74, Ramirez argues that, “ESSA represents the potential for each state to…

0 comments

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.”…

0 comments

Education Experts Discuss Senate Committee Hearing around ESSA

Hosts of the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Federal Flash, Monica Almond and Nikki McKinney, discuss the recent Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing that examined “the quality of state plans developed under” ESSA. They also discuss how “a key ESSA architect”—former Chairman…

0 comments

Experts Examine U.S. Dept. of Ed’s Efforts to Enforce ESSA

In the second part in a series, Charles Barone and Dana Laurens write for Education Reform Now that, while in the first part, they “focused on ED’s [U.S. Education Department] failure to enforce ESSA guardrails that quite sensibly require state accountability system indicators be comparable…

0 comments

Ed Week Assesses How States Address School Performance

When ESSA was enacted, “speculation swirled that states might use it as a launching pad to use measures of students’ social and emotional competencies to determine whether their schools are successful.” However, according to Evie Blad in Education Week, nearly two years later, “not a…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Ed Week Takes Closer Look at Submitted ESSA Plans

With ESSA “on the verge of hitting classrooms nationwide,” and almost all state accountability plans submitted to the Dept. of Education, Education Week’s Alyson Klein, Stephen Sawchuk, and Andrew Ujifusa take a closer look at these plans to examine “just what do states intend to do…

0 comments

States Have Opportunity to Rethink how to Handle Testing Opt-outs

“Parents who opted their children out of state exams in recent years became the focal point of major education debates in the country about the proper roles of testing, the federal government, and achievement gaps,” writes Education Week’s Andrew Ujifusa. But under ESSA, “states have a…

0 comments

Ed Week Examines States’ Efforts in Making Sure All Students Matter in Accountability Systems

Education Week examines whether the “widespread worry that states would walk away from making sure that particular groups of students—English-language learners, students in special education, and racial minorities—mattered in their school accountability systems” under ESSA is well founded.

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Next Steps in ESSA Implementation

Education Trust’s Syritha Robinson-Clark writes that, as “states move from designing accountability systems to implementing them,” many are asking, “What’s next?” She commented that if “you are a member of a state board of education, the next step is to ‘closely monitor the impacts of…

0 comments

Fordham Institute Hosts “The ESSA Achievement Challenge”

The Fordham Institute is hosting “The ESSA Achievement Challenge” to “identify states with strong plans and distinct approaches and hear state superintendents and education advocates make the case that their work will lead to greater student success.” Attendees will vote on who they think will…

0 comments

Education Reform Now Calls for Greater Scrutiny of Second Round Plans

In an Education Reform Now series, Charles Barone and Dana Laurens argue that as “the U.S. Department of Education (ED) undertakes its second round of state plan reviews under the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’ (ESSA), it’s a good time to reflect on mistakes made in…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

NPR Examines Submitted ESSA Plans

NPR highlights how “36 states and the District of Columbia are using some form of chronic student absenteeism” in their ESSA plans. Author Elissa Nadworny notes, “The latest national numbers suggest that more than 6 million students are ‘chronically absent,’” and emphasizes comments made by…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

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.”…

0 comments

Research on Fifth Indicators under ESSA

Child Trends has conducted “an initial scan of states’ proposed accountability systems to examine how each approached the fifth indicator,” and although “the vast majority of states selected at least one indicator” to “gauge how schools support students in areas beyond academic performance,” a “handful…

0 comments

Ed Week Examines Two-Year Process of Drafting ESSA Plans

“The grinding, two-year process of drafting accountability plans under ESSA has upended states’ K-12 political landscape and laid bare long-simmering factions among power brokers charged with putting the new federal education law into effect this school year,” writes Daarel Burnette II in Education Week. The…

0 comments

Dale Chu Discusses Independent Peer Review Process

Dale Chu, former vice president of Policy and Operations at America Succeeds and a former assistant superintendent for Innovation and Improvement at the Indiana Department of Education, discusses his role as an independent peer reviewer and provided guidance for Indiana education officials as they finalized…

0 comments

States Utilize New Opportunities under ESSA

According to Education Dive, ESSA gives states “more flexibility regarding educational goals, and states are now examining ways to strengthen science education as part of their new assessment strategies.” A number of “states that have already submitted ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education…

0 comments

NASBE Addresses Equity and ESSA

The latest edition of the National Association of State Boards of Education’s journal, The State Education Standard, focuses on equity and ESSA by looking at ways states can build upon their ESSA plans to ensure all students receive an excellent education. In the journal, The Education Trust’s Ryan…

0 comments

The 74 Discusses Summative Ratings for School Performance

On The 74, Carolyn Phenicie discusses how, as the recently passed deadline for submission of state ESSA plans approached, many states were moving away from summative ratings for school performance. About half of the then-pending state plans used “some sort of clear, summative rating for…

0 comments

Bellwether and the Collaborative Gearing up for More Peer Reviews

 Now that almost all of the remaining 34 states have submitted ESSA plans to the U.S. Dept. of Education, the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners will once again work with an expert group of peer reviewers to analyze these plans, this time…

0 comments

John Hopkins Education Expert Calls for Transparency in ESSA Plans

Robert Slavin, director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, writes that if “state leaders are clear about what qualifies as ‘proven’ under ESSA, and clear about how proper supports are also needed (e.g. needs assessments,…

0 comments

Finalizing State’s ESSA Plan is Only the Beginning

The “most important work to building a better Iowa starts with building a better school system to prepare today’s students” for new economy jobs, writes strategic advisor and American Enterprise Institute Visiting Fellow John Bailey in this piece about Iowa’s ESSA plan. Bailey says that,…

0 comments

Former Commissioner of Education Urges Ed Officials to Utilize Best Practices

Dr. Tony Bennett, former Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction and former Florida Commissioner of Education, writes that he strongly urges “state education officials to look to the best practices identified in existing state plans as they create the Sunshine State’s plan – to make sure…

0 comments

Education Policy and Budget at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce Calls for Stakeholder Engagement

Whitney Chapa, vice president of Education Policy and Budget at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, tells Mississippi education leaders that, “anyone with a vested interest in the quality of education here should make sure that policymakers invoke the best practices that we laid out in…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

The Importance of Standards under ESSA

Dr. Elizabeth Primas, program manager for the NNPA/ESSA Public Awareness Campaign, writes about the importance of standards under ESSA, which gives states leeway to “continue using the Common Core State Standards and/or create and adopt their own rigorous standards.” And along with the “freedom to…

0 comments

Opportunities for Military-Connected Students under ESSA

Military Families for High Standards Chairwoman Christi Ham discussed opportunities for students under ESSA. According to Ham, “Given the average military-connected student moves six to nine times between kindergarten and graduating high school, many of the sons and daughters of U.S. service members get used…

0 comments

Updated Review of California’s Draft Plan

Bellwether Education Partners updated their interim review of California’s draft ESSA plan. Bellwether’s Chad Aldeman explained that the “interim project was intended as a quick-turnaround, rapid-response analysis, and we did not use the full quality peer review process.” Bellwether and the Collaborative recently “received some…

0 comments

How to Evaluate Plans for English Learner Requirements

According to the Migration Policy Institute, ESSA “mandates that states provide greater information to the public regarding English proficiency progress and academic achievement for English Learners (ELs),” and “encourages states to engage with a variety of community stakeholders during the development of these accountability plans.”…

0 comments

Alliance for Excellent Education Write about the Interim Review of NY’s ESSA Plan

Phillip Lovell, vice president of Policy Development and Government Relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education, write about the interim review of New York’s ESSA plan. Lovell notes that the goal of this interim review was to “identify both strengths and areas for improvement in…

0 comments

Governing Magazine New Issue Brief

Governing magazine’s new issue brief highlights the Check State Plans research, underscoring how both reports seek to provide useful resources to state education leaders as they develop their ESSA plans. The brief provides an overview of discussions with state leaders in five second-round states—California, Kentucky,…

0 comments

Ed Week Examines ESSA Impact on High School Graduation Rates

Education Week’s Catherine Gewertz writes that a “little-noticed change in the country’s main federal education law could force many states to lower their high school graduation rates, a politically explosive move no state would relish.” Indiana is “the first state to be caught in the…

0 comments

Interim Reviews of California and New York’s Draft ESSA plans;

The Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners have published interim reviews of both California and New York’s draft ESSA plans. These interim reviews, which mirror the first round of reviews conducted by more than 30 education experts in June 2017, encourages California and…

0 comments

District Leaders Call for More Input on Federal Money

“For decades, district leaders have been clamoring for more say over how they spend their federal money,” reports Alyson Klein of Education Week. “And when ESSA passed back in 2015, it looked like they had finally gotten their wish: a brand-new $1.6 billion block grant…

0 comments

Ed Week Adds New Map to ESSA Plan Tracker

Education Week added a new map to their ESSA plan tracker that denotes each state’s status. The map highlights three categories: “one for states that haven’t submitted their plans to the U.S. Department of Education yet, one for states that have gotten feedback on their…

0 comments

Education Dive Examines ESSA’s Four Biggest Impacts

In a new post, Education Dive editor Roger Riddell writes on ESSA’s four biggest impacts. The law has shifted power back to districts and given states “more decision-making freedom” when it comes to standardized testing and “how they use their funding.” When it comes to…

0 comments

U.S. Dept. of Ed Speeds up Review of ESSA Plans

Education Week’s Alyson Klein writes that the U.S. Dept. of Education is “speeding up” its review of ESSA plans. But even though they’re speeding up their feedback process, “it’s not clear just how much of a role the federal feedback is having in shaping states’…

0 comments

Recommendations to Help Reporters and Editors Get up to Speed on ESSA

Alexander Russo writes on Phi Delta Kappan that “mainstream news coverage of ESSA so far has been skimpy & superficial, given how important the new federal education law is going to be in coming years.” However, “there’s still more than enough time for education reporters…

0 comments

New America has Advice on English Learner Data

New America Foundation released two policy papers that address using data on English Learners (EL) “in light of new flexibilities for setting EL outcomes, goals, and accountability metrics under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).” “Seeing Clearly: Five Lenses to Bring English Learner Data…

0 comments

Chiefs for Change Looks at Curriculum Reform

Chiefs for Change released a report examining how ESSA “presents new opportunities for curriculum reform,” which can be a “powerful and underused driver of school improvement.” The report profiles work in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C. to “create the conditions for aligned…

0 comments

RealClearEd Examines DeVos’ Reaction to States ESSA Plan

RealClearEducation examined how U.S. Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is “encouraged” to see states expand school choice under ESSA. The piece identifies local efforts in Arizona, Colorado, and Florida. In a statement to RealClearEducation, DeVos was pleased “to see so many states pass pro-student and…

0 comments

Center for American Progress Looks at Indicators and School Improvement Plans

The Center for American Progress examined the 17 state ESSA plans that have been submitted to the Dept. of Education, reviewing each state’s “school classification systems and school improvement plans.” CAP notes that, “carefully choosing which new measures of school quality or student success to…

0 comments

Ed Week Examines Flexibility of State Testing under ESSA

Education Week examined how flexible state testing is under ESSA. The piece looked into how Oklahoma “offered its districts a choice of two nationally recognized tests, the ACT or the SAT.” However, the Dept. of Education argued that the plan “wasn’t compliant with the law,”…

0 comments

Civil Rights Leaders Discuss Closing Achievement Gaps in State ESSA Plans

Civil rights leader and Urban League of New Orleans President Erika McConduit spoke with BlackPressUSA about the need for a focus on closing achievement gaps in state ESSA plans – and how the plans already submitted have fallen short. McConduit notes that “some ESSA state…

0 comments

Education Experts Urge States to Utilize Opportunities under ESSA to Help Homeless Students Succeed

According to Barbara Duffield, executive director of SchoolHouse Connection, and John Bridgeland, CEO of Civic Enterprises, ESSA creates a new opportunity to “help homeless students succeed academically.” The two urge states to “review notes on submitted plans from other states’ McKinney-Vento coordinators,” which “provide constructive responses on…

0 comments

Fordham Institute “Rates the Ratings”

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a report on the 17 state ESSA plans that have been submitted to the Dept. of Education. The report examines the proposed rating systems and found that “in large part, states are doing a decent job in those areas…

0 comments

Christi Ham Discusses Importance of ESSA for Military Students

Christi Ham, chairwoman for Military Families for High Standards, discussed the importance of ESSA “requiring states to identify military students and track their test scores, attendance and graduation rates as they move from base to base and state to state.” While some states have already…

0 comments

New Handbook Aims to Help LEA and School Leaders Effectively Engage Stakeholders

Partners for Each and Every Child and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) have developed a handbook to assist LEA and school leaders as they engage stakeholders to effectively implement ESSA at the local level. Meaningful Local Engagement Under ESSA: A Handbook for…

0 comments

Some States Say Thanks-But-No-Thanks

Are states taking the Department of Education’s advice on their ESSA plans? Not in every case, reports Education Week’s Alyson Klein. In “some cases, states have said thanks-but-no-thanks,” and have resubmitted “revised plans that may or may not be kosher under the new law.” Given…

0 comments

Former Governor Jack Markell Highlights Opportunity under ESSA

Former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell authored an opinion piece on states’ opportunities under ESSA. He argued “states have a real opportunity to think critically about the ways they’re supporting schools,” and how “to make improvements to current policies and practices.” Markell also highlighted the review…

0 comments

New Resources on Local Engagement and Advancing STEM Opportunities

Education First released a report on states’ efforts to advance opportunities in STEM education under ESSA. The report concluded that while plans did not largely focus on STEM innovation, there were four main policies that continuously appeared. States are including state science assessment results, career…

0 comments