Teachers and Schools

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

Rhode Island DOE Releases Star Rankings, Providence Schools Struggling

As part of the nationwide phase-in of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Rhode Island implemented a star rating system for its schools last year to help provide “a more holistic evaluation of individual schools than simply looking at test scores.” According to the ratings released…

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DQC Says Teacher Data Should Be Included in State Report Cards

“To improve student learning, an effective teacher in the classroom is the most important factor,” writes the Data Quality Campaign. “Every student, regardless of their zip code deserves access to a good teacher.” But to make this happen, teacher data is critical; unfortunately, school-level teacher…

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Nearly Half of Louisiana Schools Will Need to Develop Student Improvement Plans

Based on guidelines set forth by ESSA, 571 schools across Louisiana—44 percent of schools— “will be required to develop improvement plans to submit to the state for approval and funding.” According to recently released performance scores, “about 16 percent of Louisiana public schools received an…

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In Addition to SEL, ESSA Enables States to Focus on Arts as Measure of School Quality

As school leaders ramp up efforts “to integrate social-emotional learning into the instructional day to improve learning and positive outcomes for students,” arts educators see invaluable opportunities to help accomplish SEL goals while meeting school goals and improving student learning. Among the states that have “specifically noted…

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Alabama Chief Emphasizes Importance of Alabama Schools’ Culture, Climate

Even as educators across the state continue to celebrate Alabama’s high marks in the recent release of school report cards, State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey is urging superintendents and education officials to look beyond the letter grades and see “what kind of improvement schools have…

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Oregon Department Education Adds 70 Schools to “Must Improve” List, for a Total of 270

According to the “must-improve” list released by the Oregon Department of Education, “70 [Oregon] schools have joined the 200 that were already on the list.” While the state is “moving away from federal oversight of education as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act,” according…

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Northwest Arkansas Schools Fare Well in Latest State Rankings Under ESSA Index Score

According to Arkansas’ annual release of school letter grades—which are “based on each school’s federal ESSA Index Score, a numerical score of 1 to 100” calculated using a variety of factors—public schools in Northwest Arkansas “received relatively high marks this year.” Whereas the letter grade…

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ESSA Provides Flexibility for Oregon Educators to Improve Performance by District

In a shift from its predecessor NCLB, ESSA has given the Oregon Department of Education (DOE) greater flexibility to address and improve student performance across entire school districts rather than individual schools. Educators who have experienced both approaches “are hailing the change,” according to this…

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Many States are Rethinking and Reversing Recent Teacher and Principal Evaluation Reforms

According to new research from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a majority of states have “backed away from recently enacted policies” aimed at overhauling teacher and principal evaluation systems since passage of ESSA in 2015, writes Laura Ascione of e School News. At least…

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Six Takeaways from Nebraska’s High School Assessments

Last week, “the Nebraska Department of Education released test scores and performance ratings for more than 1,100 schools and 244 districts.” Here, Joe Dejka highlights six key takeaways. Test scores did not change much—with proficiency scores in English language arts and math both up by…

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Many Arkansas Schools Graded A

As Cynthia Howell reports for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, “a total of 169 of Arkansas’ 1,026 school campuses earned A grades from the state for the 2018-19 school year, an increase of 17 over the previous year,” according to state education leaders. The letter grades…

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Maximizing School Funds

At a series of panels cosponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, education experts discussed ways in which America’s education system could improve results by getting “more bang for the buck through the use of technology, or in special education,…

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Idaho Misses All Yearly ESSA Benchmarks Again

For the second year in a row, “Idaho missed all of its yearly benchmarks in math and English for vulnerable student populations,” reports Clark Corbin for IdahoEdNews.org. Missing “all 22 of the math and English language arts interim targets identified in the consolidated state plan…

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Montana Gets $50-Million Federal Literacy Grant

According to the Sydney Herald, Montana has received a five-year, $50 million literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Striving Readers Comprehensive State Development Program. The grant has several “outcome expectations,” including increasing “the percentage of all participating disadvantaged student…

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Kentucky’s New Accountability System Launches

Kentucky’s latest assessment scores are scheduled to be released today, and for “the first time, the state’s public schools will be rated with one to five stars, with five being the highest performing.” Schools “that would have received four or five stars for their performances…

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Districts Struggling to Find Evidence-Backed ESSA Strategies

In this follow-up piece to an article we covered last week, EdWeek Market Brief’s Michelle R. Davis says that “school districts are searching for education vendors whose products have evidence to highlight their effectiveness, but it’s often a struggle for them to find a match.”…

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Kentucky Prepares to Roll Out Star Rating System

This fall, the Kentucky Department of Education will roll out its ESSA-based school rating system, reports Liz Schlemmer for WKY NPR. “Kentucky is designing its star system right now,” and the Kentucky Department of Education “has brought together a committee of superintendents and principals and…

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Minnesota Releases Assessment Data & Accountability Plan Update

On August 29, Minnesota’s Department of Education released the state’s most recent statewide test scores, “along with a batch of other updated data the state uses to track schools’ performance.” Erin Golden and MaryJo Webster of the Minneapolis Star Tribune report that included in the…

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U.S. Department of Ed Approves Montana “Ineffective Teacher” Definition

Peter Christian reports for KGVO Radio that the U.S. Department of Education has given the official nod to the Montana State Office of Public Instruction’s definition of “ineffective teacher” under its ESSA plan. “We submitted an amendment to the Department of Education, as we said…

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Indiana, Feds Resolve Struggling School Funding Dispute

“U.S. education officials have resolved a dispute among Indiana officials by clarifying that struggling schools within ‘transformation zones’ can be eligible to receive federal school improvement grant money beyond four years,” reports Ted Booker for the South Bend Tribune. “The dispute was resolved by the…

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Legislators Introduce Teacher Shortage Bill

According to InsiderNJ, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) have reintroduced a bill that seeks to address the nation’s increasingly problematic teacher shortage. The Supporting the Teaching Profession Through Revitalizing Investments in Valuable Educators (STRIVE) Act “would overhaul the student loan…

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New York Releases List of Highest Achieving Schools in NYC

According to Chalkbeat, New York State has identified 277 New York City schools that are among the highest achieving in the Empire State. “The schools were marked as ‘top performing’ under the federal K-12 education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. A total of…

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Local Pennsylvania Businesses Partner with Schools

According to Eric Morris at the Uniontown Herald Standard, local businesses are bringing in teachers from local schools to observe daily operations “with the hope it helps grow STEM curricula and the Teacher in the Workplace (TIW) program,” a “state-funded initiative that places educators at…

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New York City Teacher Program Serves as Model

Writing in Education Dive, Linda Jacobson takes a look at New York City’s teacher leadership program and how it serves as an “international model.” As part of this discussion, she notes that the Every Student Succeeds Act “presents an opportunity for districts to create or…

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Kentucky Looking to Change Accountability System Again?

According to Olivia Krauth at Insider Louisville, Kentucky’s school accountability system will soon change due to passage or recent legislation. “The state changed how it identifies schools for additional support last year in compliance with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act,” and then “rolled out…

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