ESSA Resources

Recently Released Resources

Dallas Assistant Superintendent: Career and Technical Education Can Be Tool for Equity

Though all students have lost ground due to school closures amid the pandemic, Dallas Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova says “there are bright spots illuminating a path to success for our high school students: giving them a genuine purpose for learning in high-quality career-technical education (CTE)…

IA: School Voucher Bill Reignites Private School Funding Debate

A controversial bill in Iowa is sparking intense debate on the issue of school vouchers and funding for private education, as it would allow students who attend 34 schools rated as “low performing” under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act to use “Student First Scholarships”…

Henig: ‘Data’ Doesn’t Have to be a Dirty Word in Education

In a recent piece in Education Week, Columbia University political science and education professor Jeffrey Henig urges the administration of President Joe Biden to commit earnestly to building a “community-friendly national culture of data generation, dissemination, and use.” Henig adds, “A reimagined system of data…

MD: Reading Plus Program Achieves Highest ESSA Evidence Tier, Approved for Baltimore Schools

Reading Plus, an online program that provides “personalized intervention and instruction for students” in reading and literacy, has been approved as a research-backed resource in Baltimore City Public Schools – a district that serves nearly 80,000 students. The program has achieved the highest level of…

VA: State Announces 21st Century Competitive Grants to Support Community Learning

Virginia Superintendent James Lane last week announced the application process for up to thirty 3-year grants to support “community-based programs that provide tutoring, enrichment and counseling during non-school hours” in an effort to bolster existing and new programs that could help address pandemic-related learning loss….

NY: Advocates Bring Attention to Benefits and Need for Arts Education During Pandemic

Penny Swift, director of the NYC nonprofit Education Through Music, says that the arts are integral to a “well-rounded education” – echoing the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 – and says that the pandemic presents an opportunity to “reprioritize funding for arts education as…

States Move Forward with Focus on Data to Guide Pandemic Recovery, While Some Seek Waivers

New York and Michigan added their names to the list of states again requesting a waiver of annual assessments required by ESSA, citing continued disruption imposed by the pandemic. While the states join a few others in asking for the tests to be called off,…

WA: Uber-Like Program Brought Into Spokane Public Schools to Meet Transportation Needs

HopSkipDrive, a Los Angeles-based transportation service originally started by a group of working mothers, has begun providing services to students in Spokane Public Schools to help  meet the challenges of transportation during the pandemic. “This is part of an ongoing effort of being innovative and…

WA: New Report Details Statewide Enrollment Trends During Pandemic

New analysis from CRPE shows declines in statewide enrollment at public schools in Washington state amid the pandemic, though charter schools saw a sharp 35% increase. The report explores enrollment trends for schools in the state, which were the first in the nation to close…

MT: State Superintendent Announces Record Low Dropout, Looks Ahead to Rising Graduation Rates

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced a statewide dropout rate of less than 2%, a historic low and a possible indicator of coming increases to the graduation rate. Arntzen credited persistent actions taken under the state’s ESSA plan to increase graduation rates, engage…

Cardon’s Perspective as Former English Learner Could Drive Direction at Education Department

If confirmed, President JoeBiden’s pick for education secretary, Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, would bring a perspective previously unseen in the role – that of a student whose first language was Spanish and who learned English primarily at school. As a former English learner, writes…

ID: Statewide Graduation Rate Inches Upward Amid Pandemic; Gains Aren’t Felt by All Students

Despite a global pandemic that forced schools closed in the final months of the academic year, Idaho schools saw an increase in the statewide graduation rate in 2020, marking the first time the rate surpassed 82%. Though officials celebrated the gains, educators and advocates in…

Reports Detail Recession’s Long-term Impact on Education Funding, Warns of Repeating Mistakes

Two reports released recently by the Education Law Center seek to provide further context for elected officials and policymakers about the dire stakes at hand as school districts brace for budget cuts. The first report provides an analysis of state and local education funding following…

WY: Wyoming Joins Other States in Pausing Accountability Requirements Amid COVID, Closures

Wyoming education officials officially announced their intent to request waivers of federal accountability requirements as outlined by ESSA amid the continued disruption of the pandemic. Wyoming joins a number of states making similar announcements while also indicating a desire or intent to administer statewide annual…

Rep. Bobby Scott Discusses Assessments, ESSA in Education Interview

In an interview with Education Week’s Andrew Ujifusa, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., chairman of the House education committee, reiterated his firm support for administering annual state assessments amid the pandemic. “If we don’t know how far behind these students are, we won’t know how much…

Advocate Urges Schools and Districts to Prioritize Taking Attendance During Pandemic

Schools should be encouraged by state education agencies to take daily attendance during online and hybrid learning, says Attendance Works Executive Director Hedy Chang in a recent interview with FutureEd’s Phyllis Jordan. The pair discussed a new Attendance Works report focused on state attendance policies…

Hawaii Education Officials Find Bright Spot in Otherwise Lean School Report Card

Hawaii is the latest state to release a truncated school report card amid a lack of assessment data in every state due to the cancellation of spring summative exams earlier this year. Without the data from state tests, report cards have been unable to include…

Special Education Advocates Hopeful for Biden Administration

As the first presidential candidate in decades to include full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as a campaign goal, President-elect Joe Biden has promised to make an effort to deliver billions of dollars of additional federal funding to special education programs…

California Mental Health Commission Recommends Schools Become “Wellness Centers”

A new set of recommendations from the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission says schools in the state should become community-based “wellness centers” that coordinate mental and other health services through new partnerships with local and regional nonprofit providers. The commission sites a…

D.C. Makes Gains in Graduation Rate Despite Pandemic

New graduation data announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser last week showed impressive gains in the number of students who successfully graduated in the 2019-20 school year, despite the abrupt closing of schools in the spring at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The district saw…

New Research Shows Weaknesses in State School Improvement Networks

A new study from the Center for Public Research and Leadership at Columbia University found that state school improvement networks frequently struggle to “scale up” successful policies or programs from the school to district or state levels. As outlined by ESSA, networks of schools established…

Improving School Mental Health and Wellness Efforts Through Arts Education

Arts education can be leveraged by schools to deepen mental health and wellness resources for students, says the Education Commission of the States, which in a time of great disruption in education, should include trauma-informed approaches to instruction and student and family outreach. State, district,…

New Parent Dashboard Provides New York Parents with Access to School, District Details

New York education officials are gathering feedback on a new parent data dashboard that provides access to detailed information on schools and districts. The dashboard was built to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 and includes data on student enrollment and ethnicity,…

Nine West Virginia School Districts Flagged By State For Support

The West Virginia Department of Education has marked nine school districts as needing assistance in the areas of finance, special education, and Pre-K readiness after an accountability report was completed ahead of a recent Board of Education meeting. State education officials noted that the nine…

Kentucky Thinktank Blasts State Education Department’s Release of Poor Quality School Spending Data

In a new report, the Bluegrass Institute harshly criticizes the quality of school spending data recently released by Kentucky education officials as a 2018-19 requirement of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The report states that Kentucky’s data is too general to be useful, as the…

Timeline

August, 2018

Full implementation of accountability systems