Teachers and Schools

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

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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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President Donald Trump repealed the Dept.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 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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MD Stakeholders Stress Importance of Consistency and Accountability

During a recent meeting as part of the Maryland Dept. of Education’s ESSA listening tour, stakeholders called for “consistency and ease of access to information” and “expressed interest in using additional indicators of success outside of academic standards.” Participants also suggested “investing in good leaders…

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Leveraging ESSA for Professional Learning System Improvement

Executive Director of Learning Forward, Stephanie Hirsh, authored a piece in Education Week on leveraging ESSA for professional learning system improvement. Due to the several mentions of professional development within the act’s language, Hirsh argued this is an “indication that Congress recognizes its importance achieving…

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NEA President Calls for Renewed Commitment to Public Education

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, issued a statement to Congress calling for a “renewed commitment to public education.” By passing ESSA, Garcia argued Congress “acted with the best interests of all students in mind” and should now allow local communities “the room to…

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How to Design Systems to Support School Quality and Student Success under ESSA

Center for American Progress released a report on designing systems to support school quality and student success under ESSA. The group issued four recommendations for states as they develop their accountability systems. States and districts should use a variety of indicators under a broader system…

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OK Releases Proposal For Changing State’s A-F Grading System

The Oklahoma Dept. of Education released a proposal for changing the state’s A-F grading system. The new grading system will be “stronger and more reliable” and “fall in line” with ESSA.

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HI Board of Education to Review State ESSA Plan

The Board of Education will review the state’s ESSA plan at their monthly meeting on Tuesday. The department has also crafted a strategic plan for “assessing the state’s current public school system” and “identifying areas of need.” Both plans will be reviewed.

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How States and Districts Can Improve Their Teacher Evaluation Systems under ESSA

Bellwether Education Partners released an analysis for states and districts as they consider changes to teacher evaluation systems under ESSA. The report also examined the “polarizing politics and ideology of teacher evaluation to demonstrate the risks policymakers face” and suggests how to “mitigate those risks.”…

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ESSA Praised for “Establishing Clear Standards” for Evaluations and Other Measures

Thomas Toch, director of the Center on the Future of American Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy, commented on the Dept. of Education’s educator effectiveness guidance. Toch praised the recommendations for “establishing clear standards” for evaluations and using other measures such as “student…

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Study Finds Professional Development for Teachers Lacking

Frontline Research and Learning Institute found that only 20 percent of professional development and training for teachers meets the definition of “high-quality professional learning” under ESSA. In order for ESSA requirements to be met, professional development must meet six conditions: 1. not a stand-alone, short-term…

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