Accountability

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

Release of School Spending Data Sparks Heated Debates on Funding, Accessibility, and More

A key goal of ESSA is to “spark a richer dialogue between parents, administrators and school board members.” Now, as more states continue to release school spending data, concerns are being raised in communities across the country about the “accessibility and accuracy of the data,…

Making the Case for Increased Federal Funding for Schools

In an op-ed for the Daily Jeff, Amy Kissinger discusses the need to increase federal funding for public schools in Ohio and nationwide. As part of the National School Board Association, Kissinger recently met with elected officials in Washington “to advocate for the more than…

Idaho Schools’ Plans to Improve Hispanic Student Outcomes Vary Greatly

According to Idaho EdNews, “Latino students in 11 Idaho schools were so dramatically behind their peers last year that state education officials demanded plans for change.” In some cases, students were “trailing more than 35 percentage points in English language arts or math.” However, in…

Senators Urge DOE to Expand Planned Analysis of Federal Education Spending

In a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, several members of the U.S. Senate urged the Department of Education to expand an analysis of federal K-12 education spending to “include dual and concurrent enrollment programs and early college high schools.” The group of lawmakers…

Indiana’s New Online Data Portal Takes User-Friendly Approach to Reporting School Data

The Indiana Department of Education’s new data portal, INview “provides both general information about the state’s approximately 1,900 K-12 schools, along with data visualizations on performance metrics like attendance and academic achievement.” The tool was intentionally designed to present school data in a user-friendly manner…

Indiana Launches Modernized Data Portal to Fulfill ESSA Accountability Requirements

Last week, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) formally launched INview, a “new innovative school information and data portal,” which was “designed to fulfill federal accountability requirements for transparency under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).” The portal gives parents, community members, and the general…

Ed-Flex Program Provides Four States with Greater Flexibility to Implement Education Reforms

As Linda Jacobson reports for Education Dive, four states—Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, and Vermont—have been approved for the Education Flexibility Program, or Ed-Flex. “The program is intended to give states with ‘strong accountability safeguards’ the freedom to implement initiatives or reforms that might conflict with…

Senator Lamar Alexander’s Take on Impeachment Reflects His Approach to ESSA

An Education Week blog post draws parallels between Senator Lamar Alexander’s “handling of the impeachment inquiry and his recent approach to education policy,” including as a key architect of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). During the former, the Senator struck a middle ground—arguing that…

Arizona Educators Seek to Leverage ESSA in Order to Advance Educational Equity

As reported in AZ Ed News, at the Engaging Arizona in Advancing Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) event in Phoenix, education officials called on policymakers to focus on student equity when constructing the state’s K-12 education budget. As Teniqua Broughton, executive director of The State of…

Pittsburg Schools On Alert as Chronic Absenteeism Rates Set to Increase this Year

According to data presented to the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) board last week, “chronic absenteeism was set to increase by nearly 3%,” raising concerns among district officials. According to Ted Dwyer, chief of data, research, assessment and accountability for PPS, chronically absent students—those who miss…

New Review Shows Louisiana Excels in Some Areas, Lags Behind in Others

“Louisiana is informing parents about school performance better than other states are,” according to the results of a review by the Alliance for Excellent Education. These results highlight how local schools are responding since the Every Student Succeeds Act was enacted. However, there remain a…

New Jersey School District Expands ESSA-Funded Program to Target High School

In Paterson, New Jersey, education officials are “expanding a federally-funded program” that has shown success among younger students to its JFK High School in order to help overcome barriers to education by offering students “a host of support services, ranging from tutoring and other forms…

While Steady Overall, High School Graduation Rates Decrease Among Idaho Hispanics

According to the State Department of Education, “Idaho’s high school graduation rate remained flat in 2019, inching up a fraction of a percentage point.” However, “new data reveals the graduation rates for Hispanic students and students with disabilities dropped significantly.” While the overall graduation rate…

Proposed Study Could Have Significant Impact on Educational Equity—One Way or Another

Late last year, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) “made an under-the-radar announcement that it was seeking comments on a new study of over $30 billion in federal education spending,” according to a recent article in Forbes. While it could “provide valuable information for researchers, advocates, and…

Using ESSA’s School Spending Requirement to Push for Equitable Funding

As the Education Trust reports, a new requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act for states to report school-level spending data provides a valuable opportunity for “parents, advocates, and other community members who can use it to push for fair funding in their local schools.”…

New ESSA Provisions Will Put Schools Under Greater Scrutiny by their Communities

In Wisconsin and nationwide, new provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act will require states “to report per-pupil spending and spending source by school in each district instead of by the district as a whole.” This new addition to the law is meant to foster…

Funding Provided Under ESSA, Local Initiative Provides Greater Access to Education

Economically disadvantaged students in Klamath Falls City Schools in Oregon will now have access to new laptops in an effort to remove economic barriers to education that prevent low-income students from accessing the same opportunities. “Thanks to funds provided by Oregon Ballot Measure 98 and…

Questions Arise About Efficacy of Surveys to Assess School Quality

According to this piece in The 74, school climate and student engagement surveys are becoming more popular in helping learn more about “important contributors to student success”—including “students’ sense of belonging at school and their sense of themselves as learners…bullying among students, relationships with teachers…

Who Should Decide Attendance Policies—States or Districts?

According to Education Dive, a new bill in the Wyoming Legislature reflects a larger question for school districts grappling to address attendance and absenteeism issues. If passed, it would allow districts to set their own policies regarding excused and unexcused absences and to decide how…

Inconsistent English-Learner Data Collection Poses Challenges for Educators, Policymakers

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) included several requirements to provide greater equity for English language learners. However, according to Education Week, “in at least 28 states, more than 1 in 5 districts have no information reported for the past three years of available [English-learner]…

Delaware School District Proposes Changing Statewide Testing System

While the federal “Every Student Succeeds Act requires testing in every grade between 3-8 and once in high school,” one school district in Delaware—the Brandywine School District—believes the state’s “Smarter Balanced test is not the correct assessment for students.” Brandywine School Board President Ralph Ackerman…

In 2020, Look Out for Continued Innovations in Assessment Models Nationwide

According to Education Dive, “continued innovations and shifts in assessment” could be one of the top-five K-12 trends to watch out for in 2020. Following a year marked by “investment by states and districts in the additional decision-making freedom” enabled by ESSA, we can expect…

Early Education in Colorado Receives Significant Boost in Early Education Funding

More young children will have “access to quality early childhood services” thanks to a $34 million federal grant awarded to Colorado late last year. The new federal money represents 90% of the $38 million state officials had requested and “comes via the Preschool Development Grant…

Indiana Department of Education Releases School Accountability Ratings

Based on federal school accountability ratings released by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) last week, “more than 56% of public state high schools and 53% of elementary and middle schools” in Indiana “received a rating of Meets Expectations or Exceeds Expectations.” The U.S. Department…

Massachusetts Education Officials Prioritize Funding for After-School Programming

Educators in Massachusetts are increasing their commitment to supporting after-school care and services, according to a letter from Ardith Wieworka of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership published in the Boston Globe. Under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), local school superintendents have “the ability to…