Thoughts from the Field

Below are the most recent reports, recommendations, and news from the field around a variety of ESSA topics.

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

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…

0 comments

NASBE Launches Database Tracking State Board Activity on ESSA

The National Association of State Boards of Education debuted their “State Board Insight Database” designed to track “trends in state boards’ agendas and actions each month” on ESSA implementation. The database is a “library of all information and action items drawn monthly from publicly reported…

0 comments

DeVos Speaks to CCSSO at Annual Legislative Conference

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spoke to the Council of Chief State School Officers at their annual legislative conference. DeVos stated, “Once your state has developed a plan to provide a quality education in an environment that is safe and nurturing for all children,…

0 comments

CAP Raises Concerns over Trump’s Proposed Federal Budget

Experts from the Center for American Progress posted a blog opposing President Trump’s 2018 federal budget. CAP said the budget “would dismantle public schools through massive cuts to teacher training, after-school programs in public schools, and transfers of public funds to private school vouchers.” They…

0 comments

NGA Releases Statement on DeVos’ Simplified ESSA Implementation Plan

The National Governor’s Association (NGA) released a statement on Secretary DeVos’ simplified ESSA implementation plan release. According to the statement, the governors are “concerned that the Department’s revised template fails to prioritize proper stakeholder engagement.” NGA has “led national efforts to encourage significant input” from stakeholders and…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

CCSSO and Education Strategy Group Make Recommendations for Developing Accountability Systems that Value College and Career Readiness

The Council of Chief State School Officers and Education Strategy Group released recommendations for states as they develop ESSA accountability systems that “value college and career readiness” and “better support all students in achieving success after high school.” According to Matthew Gandal, president of Education Strategy Group, “college and career readiness is not prioritized in school…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Ed Trust-Midwest Gives Michigan’s Draft ESSA Plan “High Marks”

In an interview about their analysis of Michigan’s draft ESSA plan, Education Trust-Midwest Executive Director Amber Arellano gave the plan “high marks” and said its “focus on raising performance standards for teaching and learning will help Michigan catch up with states like Massachusetts, which has some…

0 comments

Johns Hopkins University Launches “Evidence for ESSA”

The Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University launched “Evidence for ESSA,” a website that “reviews every math and reading program for grades K to 12” and determines which programs “meet the strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence defined in…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

LA Business and Education Groups Express Concern with Draft ESSA Plan

Nine Louisiana business and education groups – including  Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the Urban League of Greater New Orleans and the Southern Poverty Law Center – expressed their concern with the way public school letter grades are calculated in Superintendent White’s draft ESSA…

0 comments

NY Board of Cooperative Educational Services to Host Forum About Provisions Under ESSA

The Board of Cooperative Educational Services will host a forum to discuss accountability provisions under ESSA. Feedback from the event will be used by the New York Dept. of Education and the Board of Regents to draft the state’s plan.

0 comments

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Send Joint Letter to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce sent a joint letter to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, discussing concern over the lack of involvement by the state legislature when drafting the state’s ESSA implementation plan. The groups argued that, by failing to…

0 comments

Chiefs for Change and Education Resource Strategies Release New Policy Paper on ESSA

Chiefs for Change and Education Resource Strategies (ERS) released a policy paper examining how local leaders can “make financial transparency a springboard to real equity and better outcomes for students” under ESSA. The report examined three challenges districts are faced with financial transparency and how…

0 comments

New Set of Recommendations for State Education Chiefs on Improving Equity Under ESSA

The Aspen Institute Education & Society Program and the Council of Chief State School Officers released a set of recommendations for state education chiefs on improving equity for students under ESSA. According to Education Week, the guidelines are a “culmination of months of work by…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Education Commission of the States Releases New Policy Report on ESSA

The Education Commission of the States shared a policy report on recommendations for states as policymakers develop their ESSA plans. The report represented “big-picture ideas” and offered “state examples and additional resources” for local leaders to use during drafting stages. In the report, the Education…

0 comments

Johns Hopkins University Launches New ESSA Website

In February, the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University will launch a website that “reviews every math and reading program for grades K to 12” and determine which programs “meet the strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence defined in…

0 comments

Andy Smarick Discusses State Boards Role Under ESSA

In a recent American Enterprise Institute publication, Andy Smarick discussed opportunities for state boards under ESSA. Smarick explained that because board members are drafting their state’s accountability plans, “they should probably resist the impulse to create a streamlined, ‘unified’ approach.” He argues that if the…

0 comments

CCSSO Guide Can Help States Use ESSA to Elevate School Leadership

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) launched a new guide for states working to elevate school leadership in ESSA plans. The guide outlined the importance of states using Title I and Title II funding to enhance programs for teachers and administration. According to…

0 comments

Policy Experts Urge States to Use ESSA to Focus on Low-Income, High Achieving Students

The Center for American Progress, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute issued a letter to governors and chief state school officers urging them to utilize ESSA’s flexibility to focus on low-income high achievers. The groups call for three components to…

0 comments

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…

0 comments

Website Answers ESSA Questions for State Policymakers

The Foundation for Excellence in Education launched a webpage for state policymakers to ask questions on ESSA. The page features previously answered questions based upon the #AskExcelinEd question and answer series, which began with ESSA basics and is “building toward more technical themes.” The Foundation…

0 comments

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…

0 comments
Return to Topics Page