ESSA Essentials: What civil rights organizations are most concerned about…

essa-essenIn case you’re not already signed up for our ESSA Advance newsletter (sign up here!), here are the top ESSA stories you should know about from this past week:

1. Read our new analysis on what the media and experts have been saying about ESSA.

It’s been over a year since we first began issuing the ESSA Advance and we thought it was time to take a step back and look at what the media, experts, and advocacy groups have been saying. In a new analysis, “ESSA So Far: One Year Analysis of ESSA Media Coverage, State Activity and Expert Opinion,” we examined the more than 820 developments from the past year as well as more than 210,000 social media posts to get a sense of the conversation that’s been happening around ESSA. The ESSA process is far from over – so we’re continuing to monitor coverage as states submit their ESSA plans, engage with stakeholders, and set their visions for education all students moving forward.

2. 25 organizations write to DeVos with guidance for peer review process.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 24 other organizations urged Secretary Betsy DeVos in a letter last week to “ensure that children receive the support and attention they deserve through the implementation of ESSA.” The groups raised concern over submitted plans that are missing key elements that will ensure a well-rounded, high-quality education. Among the leading issues of concern raised by the groups were: disaggregated student achievement data; school measurement indicators; evidence of community engagement; four year graduation rates; English language proficiency rates for English learners; assessment participation rates, and; conditions for student learning.

3. Arkansas and Wisconsin release draft plans.

The Arkansas Dept. of Education released the first draft of the state’s draft ESSA plan. The second draft plan will be available for public review and comment on May 15.  The Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction released its ESSA implementation plan for public review. The state will submit the plan to the US Dept. of Education by September 18.  Local lawmakers held a joint hearing on the introduced plan on Wednesday.

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