Teachers and Schools

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

Deciphering Washington State’s New Report Card

According to Neal Morton at the Seattle Times, late last year, Washington state “released new school report cards online for parents and guardians to see how well their children’s schools performed.” But the “website broke.” The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction then “stabilized…

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Kentucky Legislators Wrangle Over Identifying Schools for State Support

Kevin Wheatley reports for WDRB that a bill that would “change how Kentucky schools are identified for additional state support based on student performance” under ESSA “may be revised based on concerns raised” by Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis. “Instead of comparing test scores of student…

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ESSA Implementation, Illinois, and Student Outcome Requirements

Elliot Regenstein, Ben Boer, and Paul Zavitkovsky take a look at the implementation of ESSA’s student outcome requirements in Illinois. The state’s Board of Education “has set a goal of having 90 percent of students achieve proficiency on state standardized tests.” And Although ESSA “was…

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South Carolina House Speaker Opposes ESSA Plan Changes

Maayan Schechter reports for the Charlotte Observer that the Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives Jay Lucas has “successfully pressured” House committee to “hold off on changing part of the state’s school-rating system” under ESSA. Lucas claims that the change would “reward underperforming…

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“Data Flub” Could Cost Needy Vermont Schools Thousands in Federal Dollars

According to a former top Vermont Agency Education official, Vermont “risks running afoul of federal law if it doles out over $2 million in school improvement dollars the way it intends,” Lola Duffort reports for VTDigger.com. The “agency has had problems rolling out a new…

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Caution Needed On School Quality Measures

Constance Lindsay writes for Education Week that measuring school quality is complicated, and reflects a community’s values and politics. When “hard metrics” are absent, “parents and other stakeholders are left to make assumptions often informed by all kinds of biases.” The “tools often used to…

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Supporting Highly Qualified Teachers Under ESSA

Amid recent teacher strikes, Akil Wilson, a Washington, DC-based podcaster and parent, examines how states can better support educators, through ESSA. In his piece for Black Press USA, Wilson explains that Title II funds are intended “to support class size reduction, encourage performance-based pay for…

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California Identifies Lowest-Performing Schools for First Time in Six Years

According to LA School Report, California has released the names of its lowest-performing schools for the first time in more than half a decade. The “780 schools are in the bottom 5 percent of public K-12 schools as measured by the state’s new accountability tool,…

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Help Vulnerable Children, Civil Rights Groups Urge

“A coalition of civil rights groups is urging state education chiefs to take a long, hard look at their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act,” Alyson Klein reports for Education Week. According to the letter from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human…

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DQC Report Asks “How Are States Measuring Student Growth Under ESSA?”

“Almost every state is rating schools in part on student growth in test-scores under the Every Student Succeeds Act,” writes Education Week’s Klein. However according to research from the Data Quality Campaign, student growth “doesn’t look the same everywhere and the differences matter to parents…

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California Dashboard “Redux”

The California Department of Education has “spent the past year revising [their] dashboard and released a new version in December, in time to meet the federal Every Student Succeeds Act’s deadline for new state report cards on school performance.”  The decision to revise the California…

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Alaska’s New School Evaluation System

Tegan Hanlon reports for the Anchorage Daily News that the Alaska Department of Education has “flagged about a fifth of the state’s public schools as needing additional support under its new accountability system,” called the “System for School Success.” Like every other state, Alaska “had…

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Kentucky Launches Online School Report Card

According to the Owensboro Times, the Kentucky Department of Education has unveiled the state’s School Report Card, an online platform that “includes data metrics and visualizations to highlight key information about schools and districts.” ESSA requires that, each state create an “online school report card…

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Arizona Releases New Online Report Card

According to AZCentral.com, the Arizona Department of Education has created a website to provide “data about the state’s schools, all in one place.” The site was created to meet “federal reporting requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act,” and includes “information about individual schools, including…

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More Than 100 NYC Schools Identified as Struggling

Chalkbeat reports that in New York, state education officials recently released a list of struggling schools, including 124 in New York City. These are the “first round of designations under a new method of identifying low-performing schools” under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. “While…

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Wyoming’s New School Report Card

The Pine Bluffs Post reports that a “new tool for parents, educators, and others to access information about Wyoming schools and districts is now available.” The Wyoming Department of Education has created a “user-friendly website to house its State Report Card, as required under ESSA. “Transparency…

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Pennsylvania Releases List of Struggling Schools

Avi Wolfman-Arent reports for WITF that Pennsylvania education officials have released a list of nearly 300 struggling schools, which under ESSA “will have to develop ‘improvement plans’ with the direction of state advisors.” But unlike in previous years, the state is focusing “less on schools…

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Indiana Seeks to Change ESSA Plan to Drop Federal School Ratings

Jeanie Lindsay reports that in Indiana, state officials have proposed a change to the state’s ESSA plan, which would stop schools in the state from getting two separate ratings—one state, one federal—next year. “The state department of education’s ESSA change would get rid of the…

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ESSA Report Cards Roll Out “Frustrates School Leaders”

Daarel Burnette II reports for Education Week that the “rollout of states’ redesigned school accountability systems in recent weeks has reignited tensions between policymakers, practitioners, and parents over how best to define and incentivize school success.” Just about every state developed new accountability systems under…

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We Can Learn from Detroit, Chicago, on Growth and School Ratings

NWEA’s Chris Minnich writes for Learning Policy Institute that, for many years, schools across the nation have “been rated based on a single measure—how well students do on the annual summative test.” But under ESSA, states have built their own accountability systems and incorporated new metrics, both…

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South Carolina Targets 44 Schools for Improvement

Charleston Regional Business reports that the South Carolina Department of Education has released “the first list of 44 Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools as required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.” The list follows the school report cards that the state’s “education department released…

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Montana Delays Release of School Report Cards

Matt Hoffman writes for the Ravalli Republic that Montana “won’t be releasing its new report cards that evaluate school performance in December as previously planned.” Pointing to “guidance from the Department of Education about the Every Student Succeeds Act,” Montana education officials announced they would not…

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School Improvement = State Improvement

Dale Chu writes in Governing that ESSA gives state education leaders—particularly governors and chiefs—a unique opportunity to provide all students with an excellent education. At the “heart of this opportunity” are state plans, which “outline how each state will ensure educational excellence and equity.” Chu…

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More than 25% of Schools Could “Need Improvement”

Alyson Klein reports for Education Week that states are starting to release their lists of schools targeted for additional support—specifically, “Additional Targeted Schools.” That’s the “wonky term for a particular set of schools that need improvement. Something to watch: It could end up describing anywhere…

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Arizona Needs Improvement on School Improvement

Brenna Bailey reports for the Arizona Daily Star that, while Arizona has long focused on local control of schools, the Collaborative’s Promise to Practice report “says the state’s approach has backfired when it comes to improving its lowest performing schools.” Peer reviewers found that Arizona’s…

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