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

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

April 27, 2017

In an opinion piece, Michael J. Petrilli and Brandon L. Wright of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute raised concerns over Illinois’ proposed ESSA plan. Petrilli and Wright argued that the state’s plan is a “significant improvement on the state’s previous framework,” but “doesn’t do enough to meet the educational needs of high achievers — especially those growing up in poverty.” They proposed three changes to the plan:

  1. Give schools additional credit for getting more students to an advanced level on state assessments, instead of exclusively rewarding schools helping get kids to “proficiency;”
  2. When calculating summative school grades, make growth of all students from one year to the next count for at least 50 percent;
  3. Illinois ought to 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.