Leadership at US ED; State ESSA Plans
Process and Protest: To advance educational excellence and equity, we must prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable students and communities. To accomplish this goal, we need clear processes for the deliberation and development of policy, and we need to take into account opposition to current and proposed policies and practices – protest – as a healthy part of those processes. This Newsbrief gives our sense of important and timely federal educational news within this process and protest context.
Senior Leadership at US ED Comes into Focus
The U.S. Senate’s review and confirmation process is underway for several individuals the Trump Administration has nominated to key leadership positions at the United States Department of Education (US ED)… READ MORE >
State ESSA Plans in Context
With limited resources, a number of vacant leadership positions throughout the Department, and facing significant political pressure, the United States Department of Education (US ED) is reviewing the State Plans required of each state by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)… READ MORE >
Partner and Friend Updates:
- The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) analyzed all 50 states’ and the District of Columbia’s ESSA plans as part of their ESSA Educator Equity Best Practices Guides, with specific focus on educator equity provisions — ensuring that low-income and minority students are not disproportionately taught by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers. Generally, they find that states did not include rigorous plans to hold themselves accountable for providing low-income students and students of color with equitable access to strong teachers. They also provide state-specific analysis of strengths and opportunities for improvement. (November 2017)
- The Education Commission of the States has developed a national overview of the key policymaking roles in K-12 education policy (e.g. governor, state legislature, chief state school officer, state board of education, executive level education secretary), a summary of each role’s general powers and duties and information on how they relate to other policymaking roles. Understanding these roles is fundamental to navigating the complex systems of education decision-making. (November 14, 2017)
- AdvancED has released a whitepaper focused on continuous improvement practices and challenges, specifically why school and system efforts often fall short. They describe key components of effective continuous improvement implementation in a school setting, and how they support school success. Factors include: clear direction; resource management; healthy culture; implementation capacity; efficacy of engagement; student engagement; high expectations; and impact of instruction.
- The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s new Rate the Ratings report examines the strength of state rating systems across three dimensions: (1) whether annual school ratings are clear and intuitive for parents, educators, and the public; (2) to what degree schools are incentivized to focus on all students, not just students with low scores on state tests; and (3) whether the performance of all schools, including those with high rates of poverty, is being fairly measured and judged.
Be a Part of the Process
Stay up to date on the U.S. Department of Education decisions at ED.gov, where you can read updates from Secretary DeVos and subscribe to the US ED newsletter.
You can also advocate for all students by learning more about your state education policy – right now, states across the country are releasing drafts of their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These plans have open public comment periods and your input is critically important.