PA’s ESSA Plan Creates Political Divide

PA’s ESSA Plan Creates Political Divide

September 25, 2017

Pennsylvania’s ESSA plan has “created a political divide over a historically tough subject: what to do about chronically low performing schools.” While under No Child Left Behind, “there were strict mandates for how states should deal with consistently low-performing schools,” under ESSA, “states must still identify chronic low performers, but it gives greater leeway in deciding how to intervene.” The state’s education department “plans to identify its bottom five percent of schools that receive federal Title I funding based on a combination of student performance and growth on standardized tests.” The state proposes to “help those schools identify the root causes of their problems, and tailor holistic interventions suited to specific school needs,” and these schools “would see a boost in resources during at least the first two years of the intervention.”