Teachers and Schools

Below are the most recent news, reports and recommendations around ESSA relating to teachers and schools.

Education Week Assesses CT, IL, VT, and DE’s ESSA Plans

Education Week found that Connecticut, Illinois, Vermont, and Delaware’s ESSA plans “explicitly want to incorporate subjects other than math and ELA into either their academic- or school quality indicators.” As part of its school quality measure, Illinois seeks to include a “fine arts indicator based…

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School Improvement Principles for State ESSA Plans

The Council of Chief State School Officers released a “list of school improvement principles that states may want to use to guide their ESSA work.” CCSSO identified Massachusetts and Kentucky as states that have had the “most success at turning around their low-performing schools.” CCSSO also…

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Charter School Efforts Not Mention in Most State ESSA Plans

Education Week finds that few state ESSA plans are mentioning charter school efforts. Jennifer Thomsen, the author and director of the Education Commission of the States Knowledge and Research Center, argued that, “what we’re really seeing in most of the accountability sections is that district…

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Ed Trust Calls Attention to Importance of Setting High Expectations for Low-Performing Schools

Education Trust’s Senior P-12 Data and Policy Analyst Allison Rose Socol authored an opinion piece on state efforts for low-preforming students in their ESSA plans. Socol raised concerns that, among the 17 plans submitted to the Dept. of Education, “many are setting expectations far too…

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Sen. Lamar Alexander Discusses ESSA Opportunities

Senate Education Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) discussed the opportunities ESSA brings for charter schools. According to Alexander, the bill included “improvements to ensure that those federal funds are used as effectively as possible to increase the number of high-quality charter schools.”

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Education Week Develops ESSA Plan Tracker

Education Week developed a “Key Takeaways Dashboard” to track the details of states’ ESSA plans. The dashboard examines states’ overall goals, school ratings, academic indicators, school quality indicators, measuring groups, and opt-out testing. The page also provides direct links to states’ submitted draft plans.

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U.S. News & World Report Looks at How States are Incorporating School Choice

U.S. News & World Report notes that just three of the 10 ESSA plans submitted to the Dept. of Education include language related to expanding school choice, despite Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ suggestion that they do so. New Mexico, Tennessee, and Washington, D.C. do not…

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MD Legislature Overrules Gov. Hogan’s Veto

The Maryland Legislature overruled Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that “would limit the state’s use of charter operators and vouchers to improve low-performing schools” under the state’s ESSA plan. The bill received support from the teacher’s union who argued it “was meant to…

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Educators for High Standards Releases New Report on Teacher Engagement and Perspectives on ESSA

As the first submission deadline for state ESSA plans rapidly approaches, Educators for High Standards released a new report, “Teacher Engagement and Perspectives on ESSA: An Eagerness to Engage and Be Heard.” The report, based on a nationwide survey of classroom teachers and teacher advocacy…

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Robert Pianta Emphasizes Importance of Teacher Prep

Robert Pianta, dean and professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Education, authored an opinion piece in the Huffington Post on the recent decision to overturn regulations under ESSA. Pianta argued that eliminating teacher regulations and budget proposals “not only signal a retreat from…

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DE Education Advocates Express Concern over 5-Star System

As Delaware officials continue to draft the state’s ESSA implementation plan, advocates are concerned over the “proposed use of a 5-star system to rate schools.” Opponents argued that the system “won’t provide a fair comparison of schools with different populations.” Supporters of the measure, including…

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Trump Repeals Dept. of Ed’s Teacher Prep and School Accountability Rules under ESSA

President Donald Trump repealed the Dept. of Education’s teacher preparation and school accountability rules under ESSA. Congressional Republicans argued “states should have more control over the classroom.” By signing the bills, President Trump has also prohibited future administrations from issuing the same rules.

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AFT Says Trump’s Proposed Federal Budget Will Negatively Impact ESSA

The American Federation of Teachers said that Trump’s budget “takes a meat cleaver to public education” with AFT President Randi Weingarten saying it will negatively impact ESSA’s Title I and Title II funding. Weingarten stated the plan “weakens federal support for job training and employment…

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New CAP Report Shares Guidelines for Designing School Classification Models

The Center for American Progress released a report on designing accountability systems under ESSA. The report’s authors encourage states not to “just comply with ESSA,” but to “take advantage of the flexibility afforded by the law in order to develop classification systems that reflect their state vision for education and that…

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The Use of Education Research under ESSA

Thomas J. Kane, professor of Education and Economics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, authored an essay in Education Next on the use of “education research” under ESSA. Kane argued that states will need a “scalable model of impact evaluation” to make evidence based changes to school improvement efforts. He encouraged education leaders to have “long term vision”…

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Recommendations for Professional Development and Student Engagements Around Assessments

The National Task Force on Assessment Education and the Council of Chief State School Officers released a recommendations “for professional development and parent and student engagement around assessments.” The guidance “helps states and districts discover provisions and flexibility in ESSA” and “outlines specific policies, practices, and language that improve individual student…

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Teach Plus Fellow Stresses the Important Opportunities Under ESSA

Sarah White, fifth grade teacher and Teach Plus Illinois Teaching Policy Fellow, stressed the important opportunity that states have under ESSA to “reinvent professional development practices.” White called for the usage of Title II funds to “focus on developing and implementing long-term, teacher-led, and selected opportunities for…

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Positive Outcomes of ESSA and the Use of Education Technology

Doug Mesecar, vice president of strategic partnerships for IO Education, authored an opinion piece in EdScoop on the positive outcomes of ESSA and the use of education technology. Mesecar argued that education technology can be used to alter the “stubborn, teach-to-the-middle, manufacturing-based approach to modern schooling.” He outlined five areas where technology can help…

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Foundation for Excellence in Education Releases ESSA Innovation Playbook

The Foundation for Excellence in Education released an ESSA Innovation Playbook designed to “help state policymakers navigate and identify provisions within ESSA” to “advance state priorities including school choice, digital learning, course access and competency-based education.” The playbook outlines six provisions to support local innovation…

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The Importance of Teacher Leadership Under ESSA

Massachusetts ESL teacher and Teach Plus Greater Boston Teaching Policy Fellow Alicia Serafin authored an opinion piece in the Huffington Post on the importance of teacher leadership under ESSA. Serafin encouraged states to “seize this opportunity” to “encourage, develop, and promote teachers to continue to…

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NYC Leadership Academy Irma Zardoya Emphasizes Importance of Equity Under ESSA

Irma Zardoya, President and CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy, wrote an opinion piece in Education Week on the importance of equity under ESSA. Zardoya highlighted how some states are “considering how to make teachers more representative of the students in their classrooms” by examining…

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House of Reps. Vote to Overturn Accountability Regulations and Teacher Prep Programs Under ESSA

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to overturn accountability regulations and teacher-preparation programs under ESSA. As reported by Education Week, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) introduced the measures. Before the House vote, Rokita stated that he wanted to overturn these rules…

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House Republicans Seek to “Permanently Block” 2 ESSA Regulations, According to The 74

As reported by The 74, House Republicans have begun to “permanently block” two ESSA regulations. Under the use of the Congressional Review Act, a resolution introduced by Rep. Rokita (R-IN) would undo “accountability regulations finalized last fall governing how school performance is judged” and another,…

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NCTQ Publishes New Report on Teacher Evaluation Systems Under ESSA

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) published a new report on opportunities for teacher evaluation systems under ESSA. NCTQ argued that since ESSA does not require “teacher-evaluation systems based in significant part on students’ test scores,” states are “given states flexibility to tinker with…

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Organizations Combine Efforts to Improve Teacher Quality

As reported by The 74, Learning Forward merged with the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future to “combine their efforts to improve teacher quality” under ESSA. Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward, stated this was “prefect timing” for the groups to join because…

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