Teachers and Schools

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

TX Submits ESSA Plan

The Texas Education Agency submitted its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education. Belton Independent School District Superintendent Susan Kincannon expressed her concern about some aspects of the plan. “The (ESSA) plan includes an overly complicated methodology for evaluating and rating schools and continues…

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PA’s ESSA Plan Creates Political Divide

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…

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The 74 Highlights FL’s ESSA Plan Process

The 74 highlights that Florida “may be trying to skirt the law when it comes to its public education plan,” which could “mean a delay or denial in federal education funding, an unscheduled overhaul of Florida’s school grades system, or a wink and a nod…

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IA Attempts to Decrease State’s Proficiency Gap

Under Iowa’s state ESSA plan, minority and low-income students “will have different—sometimes lower—goals than their white, affluent peers under.” These “higher growth targets are an effort to decease the state’s proficiency gap and gradually bringing low-income and minority students up to the same level as their peers.”

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IN Governor Gives Stamp of Approval to State’s ESSA Plan

Governor Eric Holcomb “has given his stamp of approval” to Indiana’s ESSA plan. The state’s top education officials seem to have, at least thus far, “reached some level of consensus on how to move forward.”

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WI Submits its ESSA Plan to U.S. Dept. of Ed

Wisconsin submitted its ESSA plan to the U.S. Dept. of Education “over objections from Gov. Scott Walker and conservative groups that it didn’t do enough to embrace innovative ideas, such as expanding taxpayer-funded private school choice programs.”

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The 74 Discusses Summative Ratings for School Performance

On The 74, Carolyn Phenicie discusses how, as the recently passed deadline for submission of state ESSA plans approached, many states were moving away from summative ratings for school performance. About half of the then-pending state plans used “some sort of clear, summative rating for…

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ID Submits ESSA Plan to U.S. Dept. of Ed

Idaho submitted its ESSA plan to the U.S. Dept. of Education “after Gov. Butch Otter gave the plan his approval.” However, “in a letter to the State Board of Education, Otter asked for more details about how Idaho will deal with its lowest performing and…

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CA Adopts State’s ESSA Plan

The California State Board of Education adopted the state’s ESSA compliance plan “with, as expected, few changes to the draft published last month.” After a year-and-a-half of work, “most board members said they were satisfied that the document meshes with and advances the state’s larger…

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MI State Rep. Pushes for A-F Letter Grade System in State

State Rep. Tim Kelly has announced that he will “push for an A-F letter grade system in the Michigan Legislature.” According to Kelly, the state needs “to get serious about accountability, and I think that includes an A-F.”

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School Improvement Changes Ahead for WA Parents

When ESSA takes effect this year, Washington State “parents won’t receive letters that their child’s school ‘needs improvement’ because the school didn’t meet federal test-score targets, like some did before” because, under ESSA, there “are no federal test-score targets.”

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RealClearEd Examines DeVos’ Reaction to States ESSA Plan

RealClearEducation examined how U.S. Sec. of Education Betsy DeVos is “encouraged” to see states expand school choice under ESSA. The piece identifies local efforts in Arizona, Colorado, and Florida. In a statement to RealClearEducation, DeVos was pleased “to see so many states pass pro-student and…

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VA Dept. of Ed Proposes New Accountability System

The Virginia Dept. of Education is proposing a new accountability system. Under the new plan, “schools will be identified as requiring either ‘comprehensive support and improvement’ — when school-wide test scores fall short of benchmarks — or ‘targeted support and improvement’ — when a subgroup…

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Center for American Progress Looks at Indicators and School Improvement Plans

The Center for American Progress examined the 17 state ESSA plans that have been submitted to the Dept. of Education, reviewing each state’s “school classification systems and school improvement plans.” CAP notes that, “carefully choosing which new measures of school quality or student success to…

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Ed Week Examines Flexibility of State Testing under ESSA

Education Week examined how flexible state testing is under ESSA. The piece looked into how Oklahoma “offered its districts a choice of two nationally recognized tests, the ACT or the SAT.” However, the Dept. of Education argued that the plan “wasn’t compliant with the law,”…

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IN Agrees to Reformat Grading System under ESSA

The Indiana State Board of Education agreed to reformat the state’s A-F grading system under ESSA. The proposed system makes changes to chronic absenteeism, students learning English, test score improvement, college and career readiness, and the overall A-F grading formula.

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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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Education Week Takes a Look at How States Plan to Fix Struggling Schools Though ESSA

Education Week examined how states are planning to fix struggling schools through their ESSA plans. States that have submitted their ESSA plans look to address “perennially struggling schools, and schools where certain groups of students, like English-language learners, aren’t doing well.”

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Best Practice Guide on Educator Equity

The National Council on Teacher Quality released an analysis and best practice guide of educator equity on the 17 state plans that have been released. Each analysis “recognizes notable strengths, or areas where a state’s work is laudable,” as well as “opportunities or areas where…

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How School Districts are Offering Professional Learning Systems under ESSA

The Frontline Research & Learning Institute released a report examining how school districts are offering professional learning systems under ESSA. In reviewing more than 200 school districts across the country, the report highlights New York’s Greece Central School District as a “model for professional development that is…

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DeVos Discusses Title I Funding and School Choice

Secretary of Education Betsey DeVos testified before Congress on the Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal. During the hearing, DeVos discussed Title I funding and school choice, and underscored her belief in local control. She stressed that she “believes states should continue to have flexibility in…

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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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Education Week Profiles North Dakota’s ESSA Plan

According to Education Week, “North Dakota officials are bracing for a fight with the federal Education Department,” when it comes to their ESSA plan. Some experts say the state’s plan pushes the envelope on flexibility in that, “school districts would not be required to identify…

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