Accountability

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations relating to the ESSA and accountability.

Virginia DOE annual report now provides per-pupil funding for each public school

For the first time since the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law in 2015, Virginia’s annual School Quality Profiles report will include per-pupil spending data for each of its public schools, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. “Adding the school-level information to the…

Education Data and COVID-19 Recovery: Resources for Leaders

Two new reports from the Data Quality Campaign discuss the need for educational data as officials continue to make many, complex decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in recovery. The first report focuses directly on the importance of transparency and provides clear ways that education…

Kansas Improves Their Data Reporting of Students in Foster Care

Data of students in foster care is expected to become much more transparent in the Sunflower State. Early this month, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order that established “an annual education report card for students in foster care.” The report card will track…

Local Control Rules: USDOE Can’t Cut Off Federal Funding of Schools

Earlier this month, the Trump Administration demanded that schools reopen full-time in the fall despite the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to maintain social distancing. However, the federal government has little authority in the reopening of schools as decision-making, in large part, remains…

Following Per-Pupil Expenditure Data in Kentucky

This piece from the Bluegrass Institute takes a look at recently added per-pupil expenditure data on Kentucky’s school report cards. According to the analysis, there are errors within the data that lead to an inaccurate picture of how much each school is actually spending on…

New Analysis Suggests That Districts Should Be Held Accountable For Student Learning Too

Chad Aldeman of Bellwether Education Partners and Anne Hyslop of the Alliance for Excellent Education ask questions about the focus of accountability measures during and after the COVID-10 pandemic. If districts were, in most places, the entities setting up food distributions, purchasing Chromebooks, making decisions…

Tracking Attendance Remotely Presents Challenges

Researchers and advocates are calling on districts to implement better attendance tracking systems for the upcoming school year. While they note that though “it wasn’t realistic to expect districts to develop and implement perfect attendance systems immediately after the pandemic hit,” such data will be…

Indiana State Board of Education Seeks to Improve Literacy

The State Board of Education approved the optional use of the Indiana Reading Evaluation and Determination (IREAD-3) for 4th-grade students for the upcoming fall 2020 term. The goal of the IREAD-3 is to help local education officials make data-driven decisions surrounding the literacy of their…

School Bus Rides During a Pandemic: Considerations for States and Districts

Transportation has become a significant thorn in the sides of districts working to craft back-to-school plans for the fall, as officials struggle to identify workable solutions for social distancing, sanitation, and scheduling of fleets of busses. In order to meet guidelines released by the Center…

School District in Maryland Publishes Per-Pupil Expenditure Data

Queen Anne’s County Public Schools have now published their per-pupil expenditure data on the Maryland School Report Card site. The data breaks down school-level spending data based on “the needs of students served in each school,” such as the number of students who live in…

Virginia Implements New Professional Development Program to Retain Novice Teachers

To mitigate teacher shortages, the Virginia Department of Education and the James Madison University College of Education have announced a new partnership called the Virginia New Teacher Support Program, which aims to retain novice teachers in the state. Under this program, first and second-year teachers…

School District in Maryland Outlines 13 Requirements for Reopening Their Schools

St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) has recently announced their plans for reopening, releasing thirteen requirements that schools must follow. These range from requiring schools to have a recovery plan to health and public safety concerns to tracking virtual class time. All local recovery plans…

Georgia DOE Requests Input on Seeking Standardized Testing Waiver for 2020-2021 School Year with New Online Survey

As previously reported, Georgia has become the first state to announce its intent to seek a federal testing waiver for the 2020-21 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials at the Georgia Department of Education are now asking the public for feedback on this…

Investment in Social-Emotional Learning Means Investment in Academic Growth

Students’ social-emotional learning is being prioritized by education stakeholders more than ever before. That why in this Ed Surge article, Dr. Bill Daggett, “founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and former teacher, administrator, and director with the New York State Education…

CARES Act Funds Must Benefit Private Schools Equitably Says USDOE

According to the Catholic News Agency, “Federal coronavirus aid to private schools is now enforceable by law.” This notice comes after “concerns that Catholic and other non-public schools were being excluded from sufficient epidemic relief funds to support protective equipment for students and teachers, cleaning,…

New Mexico School District Values Arts Education

As the New Mexico Public Education Department considers a plan for reopening schools in the fall, Las Cruces Public Schools’ district officials are weighing options to prioritize arts education for their students in a post-pandemic environment. Under ESSA, “arts  education is part of a well-rounded…

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp To Seek Federal Testing Waiver for the 2020-21 Academic Year

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reports that Georgia will be the first state that will pursue a federal testing waiver for the 2020-21 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This school year, Education Secretary Betsy Devos approved a one-year waiver that suspended “federally…

Alabama State DOE Announces Goals for Improvement

The Alabama State Department of Education has released a new plan outlining measurable goals to improve student achievement, including: “1) Academic Growth and Achievement; 2) College, career, and workforce preparedness; 3) Safe and supportive learning environments; 4) Highly effective educators; 5) and Customer-friendly services.” The…

Think Tank Gives Guidance on how to Measure COVID Slide Learning Loss for EL Students

A new policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute “explores the policy and practical questions for states considering implementing native-language assessments,” which may more effectively measure student knowledge and allow educators to identify gaps in English-language instruction. The brief comes at a time when many…

Five Existing Policies Officials May Lean On to Face Looming Budget Cuts

Celina Morgan-Standard, founder and CEO of the Technology for Education Consortium, and David DeSchryver, Director of Research at Whiteboard Advisors, take to EdSurge to discuss some ways in which school leaders and policymakers might begin facing the very expensive reality of reopening schools following COVID-19….

Virginia Department of Education Considers Assessments in Guidance for 2020-21 School Year

Barring a federal waiver of standardized testing requirements as outlined by the Every Student Succeeds Act in the next school year, Virginia officials are preparing plans to ensure that assessments can be given in the spring of 2021. The state’s Standards of Learning (SOL) tests…

More Than 50 Organizations Unite to Advocate for Arts Education

A group of more than 50 arts and education organizations released a statement, “Arts Education Is Essential,” underscoring the role that the arts have played—both during the ongoing health crisis as well as its importance in general for all students, “including those who are in…

DeVos Under Fire for Federal Coronavirus Relief Guidance

An impassioned op-ed in Newsweek criticizes Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for directing “public schools to share with private and religious schools more of the funding available to them through the CARES Act.” Under the Secretary’s guidance, these federal funds should be allocated according to the…

More Than Half a Billion Dollars in Emergency Funds Available for Pennsylvania Schools

Up to $523 million in emergency education funding is now available for Pennsylvania’s public schools, charter schools, and education agencies through the CARES Act. “At least 90% of the money, or $471 million, is to be awarded to traditional public schools and charter schools. Each…

Coalition Pushes Congress to Ease Special Education Funding Mandate in Light of Pandemic

A coalition of education organizations is pushing Congress “to waive a provision in federal law that requires school districts to maintain consistent funding levels for special education from year to year.” The “maintenance of effort” provision, part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is…