Thomas B. Fordham Institute Raises Concerns over DC’s Proposed ESSA Plan

Thomas B. Fordham Institute Raises Concerns over DC’s Proposed ESSA Plan

April 6, 2017

In an opinion piece, Michael J. Petrilli and Brandon L. Wright of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute raised concerns over the District of Columbia’s proposed ESSA plan. Petrilli and Wright argued that the District’s accountability plan doesn’t “do nearly enough for high achievers, especially those growing up in poverty.” They proposed three changes to fix this problem: 1, when calculating school grades, make growth of individual students from one year to the next count for at least 50 percent; 2, for the academic achievement indicator, give schools additional credit for getting more students to Level 5 on the PARCC assessment, instead of exclusively rewarding schools for students who merely reach proficiency; and 3, further signal that high achievers matter by making them a visible, trackable subgroup, akin to special education students or English language learners, and by publishing school ratings based on their progress.