At-Risk Student Groups

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

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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Tracking Progress of Homeless Students

Alyson Klein reports for Education Week that according to a recent analysis by Education Leads Home, homeless students “are less likely to graduate from high school than other low-income children, and the general population.” ELH “analyzed graduation rate data for the 2016-17 school year in…

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“Reducing Absences, Capturing Days”

In this podcast recording, Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Jill Anderson talks to behavioral scientist Todd Rogers about chronic absenteeism. “Reducing absenteeism is vital, says Rogers, as the Every Student Succeeds Act has led in many states to the increased use of absenteeism as one…

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Caution Needed On School Quality Measures

Constance Lindsay writes for Education Week that measuring school quality is complicated, and reflects a community’s values and politics. When “hard metrics” are absent, “parents and other stakeholders are left to make assumptions often informed by all kinds of biases.” The “tools often used to…

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Help Vulnerable Children, Civil Rights Groups Urge

“A coalition of civil rights groups is urging state education chiefs to take a long, hard look at their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act,” Alyson Klein reports for Education Week. According to the letter from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human…

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Is ESSA Another “Elusive Dream” for Equity?

Writing for Black Press USA, Dr. Elizabeth V. Primas, Program Manager for NNPA ESSA Awareness Campaign, says that, as “education leaders review the individual state plans that have been developed and approved in keeping with the Every Student Succeeds Act, it is obvious that many…

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Feds Release School Spending Guidance

Andrew Ujifusa reports for Education Week that federal education officials have “released proposed guidance to schools about a provision of the Every Student Succeeds Act that prohibits schools from cutting state and local money from education and simply filling the hole with federal funding.” This…

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Helping Military Children Succeed

Military Families for High Standards’ Christi Ham writes in RealClearEducation about how ESSA’s Military Student Identifier can help military families manage the many challenges they face—and help military-connected students succeed. She notes three categories of best practices that school districts serving military students and families…

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“Is Geography Destiny?”

In this Education Week piece, Andrew Ujifusa takes a look at the sensitive issues of socioeconomic factors, geographic location, and education quality. Of course, school funding mechanisms are a vital component of these interconnected issues, as “state and local funding each typically make up about…

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Bad Data = Massively Skewed Chronic Absenteeism Reports

According to U.S. News & World Report, incorrect absenteeism data from a single county (Prince Georges, Maryland) has thrown off “an entire national analysis of chronic absenteeism, providing yet another cautionary tale about the power of data and the major ramifications of data that’s inaccurate.”…

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ESSA’s “Clues” for Military-Connected Students

In a companion piece in Education Week to Burnette’s article (scroll down to find), Doug Mesecar and Don Soifer delve deeper into the data reporting requirement under ESSA. The Military Student Identifier (MSI), they write, “should provide families, teachers, administrators, and researchers with a clearer understanding…

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The “Black Achievement Paradox Nobody’s Talking About”

As part of Education Week’s 10 Big Ideas in Education series, Daarel Burnette II asks: “Why do black students whose parents serve in the military significantly outperform their peers from black civilian families?” This question has “stumped researchers” for years—especially considering how the vast majority of military families move stations…

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Civil Rights Groups Seek Oversight of DeVos ESSA Implementation

Andrew Ujifusa writes for Education Week that a “leading coalition of civil rights groups wants federal lawmakers to focus on oversight of the U.S. Department of Education when the new Congress begins next year.” In a letter to Capitol Hill, the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights “asked Congress to…

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Pennsylvania Releases List of Struggling Schools

Avi Wolfman-Arent reports for WITF that Pennsylvania education officials have released a list of nearly 300 struggling schools, which under ESSA “will have to develop ‘improvement plans’ with the direction of state advisors.” But unlike in previous years, the state is focusing “less on schools…

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Tennessee Releases New School Report Card

According to ABC 6 News, last week, Tennessee education officials released the state’s new school report card. The report card includes a “parent-focused tool that includes school ratings, English-Spanish translation and additional data on student groups among other features.” The state’s report card was put together…

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Maryland releases first public school star rankings

“Last week Maryland released the results of its first-ever report card grading system for state schools,” WBAL Baltimore reports. The system uses a 5-star rating system, with rankings “based on academic and non-academic factors” including “progress in achieving English language proficiency for English Learners, chronic…

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Understanding Chronic Absenteeism’s Impact

“By the end of this month, the Every Student Succeeds Act has required that schools list chronic absenteeism rates on their state report cards,” writes Brian Stack for MultiBriefs. “Many schools across the country have already started to do this, and the work started with…

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Oklahoma’s School Report Cards Have “New Focus”

Jennifer Palmer reports for the Enid News & Eagle that after “a two-year hiatus,” Oklahoma’s school report cards are back. But now they have a new focus: “The school accountability tool underwent a significant revamp” under ESSA “and now will include student test scores, a…

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District-Level Efforts to Fight Chronic Absenteeism

Deborah Yaffe writes in District Administration that it used to be “easy for districts to ignore what high average daily-attendance numbers can conceal: kids, sometimes lots of them, who miss weeks of school every year.” But ESSA changed this equation by requiring states to track…

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