ESSA Essentials: Plans, plans and more plans

essa-essenHere are the top ESSA-related stories you should know about from this past week:

1. “North Dakota officials are bracing for a fight with the federal Education Department”

Education Week reports this week that, “North Dakota officials are bracing for a fight with the federal Education Department,” when it comes to their ESSA plan. Some experts say the state’s plan pushes the envelope on flexibility in that, “school districts would not be required to identify ineffective teachers, as the law requires, but instead would identify how much “ineffective teaching” occurs at a school.” The state would also not rank its public schools, but rather just categorize a handful as “needing continuous improvement.” State and local educators are embracing the plan and gearing up to rally behind it.

2. South Dakota and New York have begun to roll out their draft ESSA plans.

South Dakota released a summary of the state’s draft ESSA plan for public review. According to Secretary of Education Melody Schopp, “Passage of ESSA provided us the opportunity to assess our system and look for flexibilities within the new federal law that would support our state priorities for educating students.” A full draft plan is expected to be released by the end of the month for official public comment. New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia also announced a series of 13 public hearings to receive feedback on the state’s ESSA plan. Public comments on New York’s plan will be accepted through June 16.

3. All 17 ESSA plans (16 States + District of Columbia) submitted to the U.S. Department of Education are now complete and ready for peer review.

The Dept. of Education announced that 16 states and the District of Columbia have submitted ESSA plans that “federal officials deem complete.” Secretary DeVos noted that she is “committed to returning decision-making power back to states and setting the Department up to serve the support and monitoring roles intended by Congress.” She also commended “officials from these states for their efforts to ensure their plans were ready for the peer-review process, and for their continued work to improve education for all students.”



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