Thoughts from the Field

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

Educators to Congress—No Federal Cash to Arm Teachers

Alyson Klein reports for Education Week that more than a dozen educator groups have sent a letter to Congress to make it “crystal clear that states and districts can’t spend money from Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act on guns for school staff.”

0 comments

Boys & Girls Clubs Working With Schools Via ESSA Grants

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Oregon’s Greater Santiam area, in partnership with schools in Lebanon and Sweet Home, will implement a new educational program called the 21st Century Community Learning Center this autumn through a federal student support grant authorized under ESSA.

0 comments

Next Phase of Check State Plans Announced: Promise to Practice

Last week, Collaborative for Student Success announced that, in partnership with HCM Strategists, the organization is undertaking “Check State Plans: Promise to Practice,” which will bring together an updated network of peer reviewers to examine how states are implementing their school improvement plans under the…

0 comments

LPI Report Examines States’ Plans to Close Opportunity Gaps

In this recent report, the Learning Policy Institute examines how numerous states are using ESSA to address equity disparities in education, increase inclusivity in schools, and help all students reach their potential. The report “provides information on which states have committed in their ESSA accountability…

0 comments

Civil Rights Groups Call on DeVos to Hold States to Higher Standard

In an event, the National Urban League, the Education Trust, and Unidos US focused on how states are “flouting the Every Student Succeeds Act’s protections for vulnerable groups of children, and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos letting them get away with it,” according to…

0 comments

DeVos Approves Alaska and Iowa Plans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced on May 16 that Alaska and Iowa gained approval for their state ESSA plans. “I am pleased to approve these plans which comply with the requirements of the law,” said Secretary DeVos. “I encourage states to use their…

0 comments

“Deeper Policymaking” Needed for “Student Self-Advocacy” Under ESSA?

Don Long of the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) and Ace Parsi of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) write in Education Week that, under ESSA, states “must act boldly on meeting and going beyond” the law’s requirements and “put equity…

0 comments

Civil Rights Leaders Tell DeVos to Give Revised Florida Plan the Thumbs Down

Jeffrey Solochek reports that, in the context of Florida submitting its revised ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education in April, civil rights groups “want U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to do to the second version what she did to the first—reject it as…

0 comments

DeVos Approves Three More State Plans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has approved three more ESSA plans—Alabama, Colorado, and Kentucky. To date, the Department has approved 42 plans (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico), while still leaving some “big population centers, including Florida and California” waiting for approval.

0 comments

Civil Rights Groups to Congressional Education Leaders: Tell DeVos to Stop Approving Unlawful ESSA Plans

Education Week’s Alyson Klein reports that civil rights groups, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, wrote a letter to leaders on the House and Senate education committees, “asking them to tell DeVos to stop approving ‘unlawful’ plans.” The letter states, “We…

0 comments

Needs Assessment, Learning, Health and ESSA

The Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for a Healthier Generation have released a new guide—Using Needs Assessments to Connect Learning + Health: Opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—which “includes important background information, data sources, tips for advocates and sample health and wellness questions…

0 comments

Hunt Institute Unveils Interactive Worksheet for State Leaders

The Hunt Institute published its “Policymaker’s Guide to Understanding Your State’s ESSA Plan & Reviews,” which is “intended to help state-level policymakers and other stakeholders begin to dive into the details of their state ESSA plans and provide a place to note thoughts, concerns, and…

0 comments

NGA’s Parker Shares Solutions for State ESSA Implementation

Stephen Parker, who leads the Education and Workforce Committee at the National Governor’s Association, shared a list of solutions for state leaders as they implement their ESSA plans, in a new post on the Fordham Institute’s Flypaper blog. Parker writes, “Approved state plans should be…

0 comments

Achieve Digs in On ESSA Plans

Achieve has released three briefs examining different aspects of state ESSA plans. The briefs take a deep dive on state graduation rate goals, state academic achievement goals, and how states include measures of 9th grade performance.

0 comments

States Using ESSA, Title II to Improve Teaching?

Stephenie Johnson, associate campaign director for K-12 Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, has reviewed all state ESSA plans “searching specifically for state-led and state-supported programs that will be funded, at least in part, through Title II, Part A of ESSA—the section of…

0 comments

What About Plans’ Promise for Improving Schools?

Center for American Progress Senior Policy Analyst for K-12 Education Samantha Batel writes that, while independent reviews have largely found state ESSA plans to be “unambitious or unfinished” (such as Check State Plans), one policy (which appears in half of ESSA plans) “could have teeth…

0 comments

NCLB + ESSA = State—But Not Local—Control

American Enterprise Institute’s Nat Malkus explains that the combined impact of NCLB and ESSA will be that, when it comes to education policy, the “reins” will be “firmly in state hands.” As a result, “many will have to adjust to these state differences” and undertake…

0 comments

New America Study Looks at Illinois English-Learner Data

Recently, New America released a report regarding Illinois’ ESSA plan and how it will impact and improve how the state tracks and uses data regarding its fast-growing population of English learners. Home to the fifth-largest population of K–12 English learners in the country, New America…

0 comments

Oklahoman Editorial Board Cites Check State Plans in OK ESSA Plan Critique

The editorial board of The Oklahoman has something to say about the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners’ CheckStatePlans.org review of Oklahoma’s ESSA plan. Based in part on this review, the board concludes: “School grades serve an important public function and should reflect…

0 comments

Check State Plans on Ohio’s ESSA Plan

Ashton Marra reports that, even as Ohio education officials await feedback from the federal Department of Education on the state’s ESSA accountability plan, the CheckStatePlans.org review gives the plan “high marks.”

0 comments

Check State Plans Reveals States’ Failure to Seize ESSA Opportunity

Washington Post Columnist Jay Mathews writes that, in December, the “Collaborative for Student Success, in partnership with Bellwether Education Partners, reported on state efforts to install creative programs to boost achievement, as encouraged by” ESSA. However, these “efforts are failing miserably, according to 45 experts…

0 comments

Ed Trust: Equity Advocates Still Have Work to Do

In a new brief by The Education Trust, plans to improve outcomes for low-income students and students of color are “not encouraging.” The report recommends that “civil rights advocates keep a watchful eye on ESSA performance data to show if the new state accountability systems…

0 comments

Seven More States Need Specifics

The Dept. of Education sent letters to Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming enumerating federal feedback on their ESSA plans.

0 comments

State ESSA Plan Receives Good Reviews from Two Outlets

The Union Bulletin’s editorial board found two recent reviews of the state’s ESSA plan “encouraging.” The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, found, “Washington’s new system for how to evaluate schools is one of the best in the nation.” Additionally, Check State Plans found that, “Washington has…

0 comments

Gov. Susana Martinez “So Proud” of ESSA Plan Review

Citing New Mexico’s peer review results from the first round of CheckStatePlans.org, Gov. Susana Martinez concluded that she, “will not stop fighting for reforms that will prepare our students for the future.”

0 comments
Return to Topics Page