At-Risk Student Groups

Below are the most recent news, reports, and recommendations on how to use ESSA better serve at-risk student groups.

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…

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…

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…

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…

DOE Launches Grant Program to Help Districts Educate Disadvantaged Students

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new, $3 million grant program that “gives districts flexibility to combine federal, state and local funding streams to educate disadvantaged students.” The grants are authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act and are aimed at supporting…

What Does Taking Attendance Mean in the Wake of Coronavirus School Closures?

A recent piece in Education Week highlights the various ways in which different states, districts, and schools are monitoring and tracking attendance in light of nationwide school closures due to the coronavirus. While “the federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires states to report chronic absence…

Chronic Absenteeism Due to Coronavirus Impacts Accountability, Equity in Education

As Phyllis W. Jordan writes for FutureEd, the spread of coronavirus and the need for social distancing is posing serious challenges for states that use chronic absenteeism as a factor for determining school performance and accountability. “Currently, 36 states and the District of Columbia use…

In Light of COVID-19, DOE Considers One-Year Waivers of ESSA Assessment Requirements

The Department of Education (DOE) released guidance last week for schools closing in response to the spread of COVID-19. As more schools implement a minimum two-week closure, DOE says “it will consider providing states with one-year waivers of assessment requirements” mandated under ESSA. Specifically, DOE…

How Implementing Universal Design for Learning Principles can Help English Language Learners

As Katie Novak writes for Language Magazine, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles can help English language learners have a richer, more transformative experience in the classroom. ESSA “urges states to adopt UDL in a number of areas,” including using UDL principles to design assessments…

Federal Funding Cuts Delayed, Sparing Rural Montana Schools for the Time Being

As reported in the Montana Standard, “cuts to a program that provides funding to rural schools serving students from low-income families will be delayed after mounting criticism.” Previously, the U.S. Department of Education had proposed changes to the Rural Low-Income Schools program’s eligibility requirements. A…

Expanding MSI Helps Provide Equal Support for All Military-Connected Students

Expansion of the Military Student Identifier (MSI) to include children of Reserve and National Guard members in addition to active duty service members will help military families “manage educational obstacles,” according to Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Jim Cowen. ESSA mandated states and districts…

Changes to Low-Income Grant Qualifications Leave Questions for Montana Schools

According to an article in the Flathead Beacon, Montana education officials are raising concerns over how a proposed change by the U.S. Department of Education could impact local schools. The Department is proposing to change the way it determines qualification for rural low-income grants, basing…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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]…

Florida Legislators Introduce Bill to Let English-Language Learners Test in Native Languages

While the Every Student Succeeds Act requires states “to ‘make every effort’ to provide required exams in languages other than English if needed,” Florida’s Department of Education received an exemption in 2017 by arguing that English is Florida’s official language. Now, a bipartisan group of…

While Achievement Gaps Persist, D.C. Schools Show Signs of Improvement Overall

According to the District of Columbia’s star rankings, released just last week, D.C. schools are showing “improvements across the city” despite the fact that an “achievement gap on standardized tests” between low-income students and more affluent ones continues to persist. This is the second year…

Amid Failure, 3 Counties Offer Hope in Improving Outcomes for California Foster Youth

Many school districts in California are “struggling to live up to a now three-year-old federal requirement,” originally set by the Every Student Succeeds Act, to “ensure foster youth have educational stability.” Under ESSA, educational and child welfare agencies are to collaborate “to create transportation plans…

Despite Improvement, Racial Achievement Gap Persists in some North Carolina Schools

Education officials in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools see some signs of improvement in a racial achievement gap, but there is still work to be done, according to Matt Goad for News & Observer. According to accountability results, the district met just under a quarter of…

Georgia School District Reaches New Academic Heights

Glynn County Schools in Georgia made “momentous gains on the recently released 2019 College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI).” The district outperformed state averages and, according to the Georgia Department of Education, received “the highest score ever recorded in Glynn County Schools history.” The…

Latino Student Performance in Idaho Lags Behind White Peers

Despite being recognized as “critical to Idaho’s economic future,” the success of Latino students in the state continues to lag behind their peers, according to this piece in Idaho EdNews. “The number of Latino student in Idaho schools has nearly doubled in the past two…