ESSA Essentials: Fine Tuning Those “Fifth indicators,” Congressman Bobby Scott, and More Plans…

Before you head out for the long weekend and “unofficially” start your summer, be sure to check out some of the top ESSA stories from this past week:

essa-essen1. NASBE weighs in on some of the most popular “fifth indicators” seen in state ESSA plans, while Ed Trust raises the caution flag on how states are addressing low-performing schools.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has launched a new series of policy updates exploring the pros and cons of five frequently discussed “fifth indicators” including: career and technical education, school climate and student discipline, social and emotional learning, chronic absenteeism, and access to high-level course work. The brief highlights what states have proposed in their ESSA plans and offers key considerations for state boards that are refining their plans for September submission.

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) has launched a new series of policy updates exploring the pros and cons of five frequently discussed “fifth indicators” including: career and technical education, school climate and student discipline, social and emotional learning, chronic absenteeism, and access to high-level course work. The brief highlights what states have proposed in their ESSA plans and offers key considerations for state boards that are refining their plans for September submission.

Additional analysis of how states are looking to identify and address low-performing schools isn’t quite meeting the mark, according to Education Trust Senior P-12 Data and Policy Analyst Allison Rose Socol. Socol raises concerns that, among the 17 plans submitted to the Dept. of Education, “many are setting expectations far too low,” and “seem to be more concerned with identifying as few [low performing] schools as possible than with making sure that any school that is underserving low-income students, students of color, students with disabilities, or English learners has to take steps to improve.” She urged states to rethink how to use local resources in their accountability systems to “improve outcomes for students they have underserved for far too long.”

2. New Hampshire and California the latest to release draft ESSA plans.

New Hampshire released its draft ESSA plan on Tuesday. The public is invited to comment on the plan over the next 30 days.

The California State Board of Education opened its public comment portal for feedback related to the state’s ESSA plan. The comment period will be from May 22 to June 30, 2017. The California Dept. of Education will also partner with various county offices to hold stakeholder meetings.

3. Bobby Scott challenges local leaders to support high standards and invest in public schools.

Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Education Committee, reiterated the importance of ESSA, stating, “Let me be clear, ESSA matters. Getting ESSA right matters.” He continued, arguing that “the choices you’re making—how to use the law’s flexibilities while respecting equity requirements—those choices matter.” Scott challenged local leaders to “hold state and federal governments accountable for supporting college and career-ready standards for all students and investing public funds in public schools.”

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