At-Risk Student Groups

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

ESSA and the Challenges Facing Homeless Students

“The U.S. high school graduation rate has risen to an all-time high, but schools are still struggling to help their most vulnerable students earn diplomas,” reports Corey Mitchell for Education Week. “The ‘Building a Grad Nation’ report, released Tuesday by Civic, Johns Hopkins University, America’s…

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Decreasing Chronic Absenteeism

According to Gallup’s Mark Reckmeyer—also reporting on the chronic absenteeism issue—with the implementation of ESSA and it’s “encouraging more diligent tracking and reporting of student behavior metrics,” chronic absenteeism “has become a focal point for parents, principals, districts, and states (36 states include chronic absenteeism…

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A “Simple Plan” to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism

In Governing, J. Brian Charles reports that chronic absenteeism “plagues” schools across the nation, with roughly 14% of students chronically absent over the 2013-2014 academic year. But there’s a simple answer to this problem, he argues. “When kids are absent, schools are required by state…

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Does ESSA Harm ELL Graduates?

Language Magazine reports on a new Migration Policy Institute study—The Unintended Consequences for English Learners of Using the Four-Year Graduation Rate for School Accountability—which “provides a profile of high school ELs and examines causes of dropout, how graduation rates are calculated, and the effects of these…

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Fostering Educational Success

In this article, Molly Sarubbi explores how to build awareness and construct policy supports to help foster students succeed in education. “The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) outlines provisions that encourage more collaborative policy development and implementation that mitigate barriers for highly mobile individuals, such…

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Idaho Misses Nearly All ESSA Benchmarks

Clark Corbin reports for Idaho EdNews that the state “ has failed to meet 33 of 34 interim targets for long-term goals outlined in the state’s plan to comply with federal education law.” Despite the plan incorporating a “series of yearly interim targets that incrementally…

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ESSA’s “Missed Opportunities” for Students with Disabilities

In the context of ongoing ESSA implementation, this report from the National Center for Learning Disabilities provides the “first national analysis” of how state plans treat students with disabilities under ESSA. Assessing ESSA: Missed Opportunities for Students with Disabilities examines “the 15 most critical components of…

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Pennsylvania District Partners with United Way on Chronic Absenteeism

Elizabeth Behrman reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the Woodland Hills School District in Pennsylvania, which “is among more than 30 [school districts] that partner with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s ‘Be There Campaign,’ aimed at reducing the number of students who are chronically…

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ESSA, ELLs, and Graduation

Corey Mitchell reports for Education Week that, according to a new Migration Policy Institute report, ESSA may be “penalizing older English-language learners and the schools that educate them.” How? “By making four-year graduation rates such a prominent part of school accountability plans, the Every Student…

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Mental Health Days for Oregon Students?

“Should schools allow students to take excused mental health days?” asks Evie Blad in Education Week. Some students in Oregon sure think so. They are supporting a bill that would add “mental or behavioral health” to the list of legitimate reasons for school absence. This…

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Reviewing Equitable Educational Opportunities Under ESSA

In this blog post from the Latino Policy Forum, Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro and Karen Garibay-Mulattieri take a look at “the promise of equitable educational opportunities” for English learners under ESSA, with a focus on Illinois. “The Forum advocates for accountability systems which help us to understand…

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Arizona Unveils Temporary School Rating Plan

Breanna Edwards reports for the Arizona Daily Star that Arizona has “decided how it will adapt its hotly debated A-F letter grading system” for districts that choose to stop using the AzMerit assessment. The State Board of Education will evaluate growth based on student subgroup…

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Morial on Recent NUL ESSA Study

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) “establishes civil rights standards for educating students from historically underserved populations—such as children of color, students with disabilities, and those learning English as a second language” so that they “receive the resources they need,” writes National Urban League (NUL)…

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Indiana Releases Foster-Care Student Data

According to Kate Stringer at The 74, Indiana recently released “one of the most detailed” reports to-date regarding how foster youth are doing in school. “That makes the state a leader” as ESSA “now requires all states to report academic data for these students, and…

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Top House Education Dem to CCSSO: ESSA Not a “Blank Check”

Virginia Democrat Rep. Bobby Scott told state school chiefs at the CCSSO Legislative Conference last week that “the Every Student Succeeds Act does give them more flexibility on setting policy and complying with federal law, it is not ‘a blank check,’” reports Alyson Klein for Education…

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Colorado Repeals Foster-Care Student Transport Law

School Transportation News reports that Colorado “has officially repealed legislation passed last year that attempted to better facilitate the transportation of children placed in foster care between school districts.” Despite its initial approval, opponents claim that the law has “introduced unintended consequences.” Under ESSA, “transportation…

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Oregon Not Properly Tracking Struggling Students

According to KTVZ, a recent report from the Oregon Secretary of State finds the state’s education department “only made partial progress on three of the 15 recommendations to improve education for students in online or alternative schools” and “made no progress on the remaining 12.”…

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Public Transit = Higher Absenteeism

This Education Dive piece takes a look at a recent study of Baltimore City Public Schools, which shows that student use of public transportation to get to and from school is “associated” with growth in absenteeism. “With districts now learning more about the multiple reasons why students…

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New Take on Education Equity

Ashley Jochim, senior research analyst at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, notes the growing skills shift students need from traditional academics to non-achievement-based educational outcomes. She explains that ESSA, “implicitly recognizes this shift with its requirement that assessment of a non-academic measure of student…

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Delaware districts awarded funds to support homeless students

Delaware has chosen which districts are to receive additional federal funds under ESSA to support homeless students, Delaware Public Media reports. “The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is part of the Obama-era Every Student Succeeds Act” and “allows districts to apply for these competitive grants every…

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Florida Lawmakers Introduce ELL-Exam Bill

Jeffrey S. Solochek reports for the Tampa Bay Times that two Miami-area Democrats in the state legislature have introduced companion legislation (SB 1590 / HB 1213) that would allow Florida’s English-language learner students to take state exams in their first language. If approved, “the measure…

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Helping Military-Connected Students and Families

Kiera Gallagher, a teacher at Albritton Middle School at Fort Bragg and an Army spouse, says that military students and families now have “powerful resources to help them navigate the shoals of transitioning their children to new schools,” including a guide by the Collaborative and…

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DC Data Analysis Holds Answers to Special Ed Questions

Reporting for The 74, Sarah Berger Sandelius highlights three takeaways from D.C. data on special education. While “evidence shows that addressing the needs of our most diverse learners presents a tremendous opportunity, with benefits for the entire education community,” she writes. “We have a lot…

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Only 16 States Tracking Foster Care Students Under ESSA

To help address the challenges faced by students in foster care, ESSA requires states to publicly report how such students are faring on state tests and the rates at which they are graduating high school, Kate Stringer reports for The 74. “But right now, only…

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Kentucky Legislators Wrangle Over Identifying Schools for State Support

Kevin Wheatley reports for WDRB that a bill that would “change how Kentucky schools are identified for additional state support based on student performance” under ESSA “may be revised based on concerns raised” by Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis. “Instead of comparing test scores of student…

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