Comments Due to Dept. of Education August 1 | Understanding ESSA

Comments Due to Dept. of Education August 1

Comments Due to Dept. of Education August 1

August 1, 2016

On 8/1, comments were due to the Dept. of Education regarding the proposed regulations under ESSA. Notable comments included:

  • 32 civil rights and education groups filed joint comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed accountability regulations under ESSA. Led by the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights, the group reiterated that it plans to ensure that ESSA holds states and districts accountable for increasing student achievement, particularly for marginalized communities. Calling the regulations “a good first step toward ensuring that all students are counted and that parents and communities can hold their schools accountable for meeting the needs of their students,” the groups called out 16 areas of concern, including measures of student success, equity in student achievement, and action when schools are underperforming.
  • The National Network of State Teachers of the Year, Educators for Excellence, America Achieves and Educators for High Standards submitted comments that ask for states to be given “more guidance about to use ESSA to improve teacher training.” The groups expressed concern that provisions in the new law calling for enhanced professional development “might be greatly diminished” if not done in a meaningful way, and detailed four ways in which the Dept. of Education can assist states:
    • Require states to set a high standard for professional development that aligns with the definition outlined by ESSA;
    • Provide additional guidance to more specifically outline the criteria of a professional growth and improvement system;
    • Instruct state and local education agencies to use teacher effectiveness systems as tools to help teachers determine their professional learning focus; and
    • Strongly encourage states to prioritize and support collaborative systems of professional learning.
  • The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) submitted comments calling for clarification of key provisions. ExcelinEd supports requirements that “states select rigorous, consequences for schools that fail to assess at least 95 percent of their students” and wants to “limit proposed, burdensome restrictions on how states construct their accountability systems.” The Foundation also asked the Dept. of Education to “avoid restrictive school improvement funding allocations that do not recognize the diversity among schools and states.”

Did your organization submit comments that you’d like us to highlight next week? Send them our way!