Teachers and Schools

Below are the most recent news, reports and recommendations around ESSA relating to teachers and schools.

Indiana’s New Online Data Portal Takes User-Friendly Approach to Reporting School Data

The Indiana Department of Education’s new data portal, INview “provides both general information about the state’s approximately 1,900 K-12 schools, along with data visualizations on performance metrics like attendance and academic achievement.” The tool was intentionally designed to present school data in a user-friendly manner…

Report Card on Iowa Schools Shows Improvement Over Last Year

A school report card released by the Iowa Department of Education shows schools statewide are improving compared to last year. The online tool was designed to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act and also includes “components of a state report card that…

Pittsburg Schools On Alert as Chronic Absenteeism Rates Set to Increase this Year

According to data presented to the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) board last week, “chronic absenteeism was set to increase by nearly 3%,” raising concerns among district officials. According to Ted Dwyer, chief of data, research, assessment and accountability for PPS, chronically absent students—those who miss…

Heartland Institute Outlines Proposal for Child Safety Accounts

A new report by the Heartland Institute underscores the myriad school safety risks facing students today, proposing for “states to create a Child Safety Account (CSA) program, which would allow parents to immediately have their child moved to a safe school…as soon as parents think…

New Review Shows Louisiana Excels in Some Areas, Lags Behind in Others

“Louisiana is informing parents about school performance better than other states are,” according to the results of a review by the Alliance for Excellent Education. These results highlight how local schools are responding since the Every Student Succeeds Act was enacted. However, there remain a…

While Steady Overall, High School Graduation Rates Decrease Among Idaho Hispanics

According to the State Department of Education, “Idaho’s high school graduation rate remained flat in 2019, inching up a fraction of a percentage point.” However, “new data reveals the graduation rates for Hispanic students and students with disabilities dropped significantly.” While the overall graduation rate…

Questions Arise About Efficacy of Surveys to Assess School Quality

According to this piece in The 74, school climate and student engagement surveys are becoming more popular in helping learn more about “important contributors to student success”—including “students’ sense of belonging at school and their sense of themselves as learners…bullying among students, relationships with teachers…

Under ESSA Directive, School Improvement Initiatives Help Transform Texas School

As Beth Hawkins reports, one elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas, has gone from being “one of five schools that struggled with years of rock-bottom performance” to one that has attracted national attention for a number of closely watched school improvement initiatives that are credited…

Indiana Department of Education Releases School Accountability Ratings

Based on federal school accountability ratings released by the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) last week, “more than 56% of public state high schools and 53% of elementary and middle schools” in Indiana “received a rating of Meets Expectations or Exceeds Expectations.” The U.S. Department…

Massachusetts Education Officials Prioritize Funding for After-School Programming

Educators in Massachusetts are increasing their commitment to supporting after-school care and services, according to a letter from Ardith Wieworka of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership published in the Boston Globe. Under the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), local school superintendents have “the ability to…

Under ESSA, Technology is Transforming Educational Experiences and Outcomes

An article in JD Supra highlights the myriad ways in which states are leveraging technology to transform the classroom experience. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, “states are implementing various programs that use education technology to boost traditional classroom learning.” This includes blended learning—something “ESSA…

School Climate, Student Engagement Emerge as Factors to Measure Accountability

To comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act’s requirement for “states to include non-academic factors in judging schools’ performance,” three-quarters of the states “added student absenteeism to their accountability systems.” However, as a new report from FutureEd details, some states are also using annual surveys…

Clay County Schools Named in North Carolina’s Top 10 for Graduation Rate

The Clay County Board of Education recently announced good news—Clay County High School “was named in North Carolina’s Top 10 for graduation rate at 93.6 percent, up from 86 percent.” Meanwhile, at Hayesville Elementary School, “reading proficiency levels met or exceeded the state average across…

Frederick County Schools Score High Ratings in Maryland’s School Report Cards

In the state’s second year of the star-rating system—which was implemented because of a requirement in the Every Student Succeeds Act—schools in Frederick County all received at least three stars or more in the 2019 Maryland school report cards. It was one of only 13…

State Education Task Force Focuses on Developing Robust Teacher Evaluation System

According to member Lisa Burciaga Segura, the New Mexico Public Education Department Teacher Evaluation Task Force is “focused on developing a teacher evaluation system that is built upon collaboration, teacher strengths and abilities, and (that) challenges educators and those who supervise them toward rigor and…

Georgia DOE Releases New List of Schools Receiving Special Academic Support

According to the updated list of schools receiving special academic support released by the Georgia Department of Education, “47 Georgia schools rolled off the list” this year. As mandated by the Every Student Succeed Act, Georgia—like other states—keeps “track of high poverty schools or at-risk…

What’s Next for Struggling New Orleans All-Charter District Schools?

According to Louisiana’s school performance scores, almost half (35 out of 72) of New Orleans schools in the all-charter district scored a D or F, “meaning nearly half of local public schools were considered failing, or close to it, in the school year ending in…

Underqualified Teachers Continue to Teach California’s Highest-Needs Students

“The most inexperienced and least qualified teachers continue to teach in schools with the highest-needs students in California,” reports John Fensterwald for EdSource. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, school districts are required “to write plans on how they would eliminate disparities in staffing in…

Rural School Districts in Georgia Receive $3.6 Million to Assist with School Improvements

The Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) is awarding nine rural school districts across the state a total of $3.6 million in Rural Resource Grants to help in their school improvement efforts. According to State Chief Richard Woods, “Rural schools often face unique resource gaps that…

Rhode Island DOE Releases Star Rankings, Providence Schools Struggling

As part of the nationwide phase-in of the Every Student Succeeds Act, Rhode Island implemented a star rating system for its schools last year to help provide “a more holistic evaluation of individual schools than simply looking at test scores.” According to the ratings released…

DQC Says Teacher Data Should Be Included in State Report Cards

“To improve student learning, an effective teacher in the classroom is the most important factor,” writes the Data Quality Campaign. “Every student, regardless of their zip code deserves access to a good teacher.” But to make this happen, teacher data is critical; unfortunately, school-level teacher…

Nearly Half of Louisiana Schools Will Need to Develop Student Improvement Plans

Based on guidelines set forth by ESSA, 571 schools across Louisiana—44 percent of schools— “will be required to develop improvement plans to submit to the state for approval and funding.” According to recently released performance scores, “about 16 percent of Louisiana public schools received an…

In Addition to SEL, ESSA Enables States to Focus on Arts as Measure of School Quality

As school leaders ramp up efforts “to integrate social-emotional learning into the instructional day to improve learning and positive outcomes for students,” arts educators see invaluable opportunities to help accomplish SEL goals while meeting school goals and improving student learning. Among the states that have “specifically noted…

Alabama Chief Emphasizes Importance of Alabama Schools’ Culture, Climate

Even as educators across the state continue to celebrate Alabama’s high marks in the recent release of school report cards, State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey is urging superintendents and education officials to look beyond the letter grades and see “what kind of improvement schools have…

Oregon Department Education Adds 70 Schools to “Must Improve” List, for a Total of 270

According to the “must-improve” list released by the Oregon Department of Education, “70 [Oregon] schools have joined the 200 that were already on the list.” While the state is “moving away from federal oversight of education as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act,” according…