ESSA Resources

Below are the most recently published resources around ESSA.

Next Stimulus Might Bring Changes to Federal Education Aid

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Michael Petrilli, in examining the developing conversation around additional K-12 stimulus funding for schools, argues that any federal investment should be distributed in a way that directly provides services to kids “most at risk of falling even further behind.” To…

Virginia DOE annual report now provides per-pupil funding for each public school

For the first time since the Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law in 2015, Virginia’s annual School Quality Profiles report will include per-pupil spending data for each of its public schools, beginning with the 2018-19 school year. “Adding the school-level information to the…

Education Data and COVID-19 Recovery: Resources for Leaders

Two new reports from the Data Quality Campaign discuss the need for educational data as officials continue to make many, complex decisions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in recovery. The first report focuses directly on the importance of transparency and provides clear ways that education…

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…

Virginia Implements New Professional Development Program to Retain Novice Teachers

To mitigate teacher shortages, the Virginia Department of Education and the James Madison University College of Education have announced a new partnership called the Virginia New Teacher Support Program, which aims to retain novice teachers in the state. Under this program, first and second-year teachers…

Georgia DOE Requests Input on Seeking Standardized Testing Waiver for 2020-2021 School Year with New Online Survey

As previously reported, Georgia has become the first state to announce its intent to seek a federal testing waiver for the 2020-21 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials at the Georgia Department of Education are now asking the public for feedback on this…

Investment in Social-Emotional Learning Means Investment in Academic Growth

Students’ social-emotional learning is being prioritized by education stakeholders more than ever before. That why in this Ed Surge article, Dr. Bill Daggett, “founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) and former teacher, administrator, and director with the New York State Education…

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…

DeVos to Propose a Rule on the Matter of COVID-19 Financial Aid for Private Schools

According to Education Week, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will soon be releasing a proposed rule to resolve the “dispute over how much coronavirus aid private school students should receive.” In a letter to a group representing state education leaders, DeVos announced the soon-to-be…

For Schools Receiving COVID-19 Relief Funds, Flexibility is Key

In a piece published by the Brookings Instition, Sarah Reber and Nora Gordon argue for as much flexibility as possible for states to allocate COVID-19 relief funding for K-12 schools. The authors assert that sending “most federal aid to states and school districts through a…

Competency-Based Education Can Help Foster Educational Equity in North Carolina

In the fourth of a five-part series, Allison Redden and Kayla M. Siler take a look back at the last 10 years of North Carolina’s education system to see how investments have helped shape the state’s educational landscape and to what extent these investments have…

Lawmakers Mount Fierce Opposition to DeVos’s COVID-19 Relief Guidance

Democratic lawmakers in Congress did not hold back in expressing their opposition to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s guidance about federal COVID-19 relief for K-12 schools, calling it “way out of bounds” and urging her to abandon it. In a letter sent to DeVos,…

Texas School District Receives National Recognition for Music Education

Eanes Independent School District in the greater Austin area has received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for the sixth year in a row. “The recognition is awarded to districts demonstrating outstanding achievement in efforts to…

New Report Outlines Growing Potential for a Principal Shortage and Policy Recommendations

According to a new report by the Learning Policy Institute and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, a growing shortage of secondary school principals is “hampering the country’s efforts to provide quality educational opportunities for students.” Among the key findings, the new report found…

Federal Grant Will Help Kansas Continue to Improve Early Childhood Education Statewide

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and childhood leaders statewide announced this week “that an $8.9 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families has been awarded to continue efforts to strengthen the early childhood system” across the state. The funds are “provided through the Department…

Education Groups Push Congress for New Federal Aid for K-12 Schools

Recently, “dozens of groups sent a new request to Congress” that calls for “at least $250 billion in new federal aid for K-12 schools and higher education as part of a broader push to shore up state and local government funding.” The request also urges Congress to…

Virginia Receives CARES Act Funding

In Virginia, Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane recently announced that public schools in the Old Dominion will soon be able to access $238.6 million in federal funding under the recently passed CARES Act. “Ninety percent of the funding, totaling more than $214.7 million, will pass…

Indiana Focused More on Connection Than Attendance

“Attendance is now one of the many facets of K-12 education that has been redefined because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced school buildings to close and most students to transition to online learning,” writes Allie Kirkman. The reality is, argues Kirkman, that no…

Oklahoma Rises to Top 3 in Pre-K Access

According to this new report from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Oklahoma now ranks third in the nation on access to pre-K education for 4-year-olds. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise: “Oklahoma’s commitment to early education is evident in the state’s…

What Information Must Schools, States Provide About How They Used CARES Act Funds?

A recent blog post outlines the information that states and districts receiving emergency coronavirus relief funding must report. Within 60 days of receiving funding, state education departments must “tell the U.S. Department of Education their budgets for their ‘reserve’ of the money,” including “dollar-by-dollar details…

Massachusetts Receives Federal Approval to Develop Innovative Science Assessment

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education gave Massachusetts the green light to “pilot a new kind of science test for fifth and eighth-grade students” as part of a federal innovative assessment program for the 2020-2021 school year. This approval will give the state the…

How States Can Leverage ESSA to Help Students in Need During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As Andrew Ujifusa writes for Education Week, there are more ways for states to take advantage of ESSA than just the waivers provided by the Department of Education. According to the Center on Reinventing Public Education, there are “millions of dollars states can use outside…

State Lawmakers Push for Changes to Kentucky’s School Rating System

Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill last week that would change the state’s brand-new accountability rating system. “If signed by the governor, the measure would scrap the state’s 1-year-old 5-star rating system, and replace it with a color-coded speedometer.” A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education noted…

Secretary DeVos Proposes New Funding Priorities for Teachers’ Professional Development

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos introduced a proposal last week that would empower teachers “through stipends or vouchers, to select and access professional development courses and opportunities that are relevant to their personal needs or career goals instead of having one-size-fits all programming dictated…

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