Questions About Federal Enforcement of ESSA

The Issue:

The initial reviews of the ESSA implementation process — including the quality of the State Plans submitted by State Educational Agencies (SEAs) and the way the United States Department of Education (US ED) is reviewing of those plans — have been mixed. At a recent Senate hearing and at public events, some state leaders received praise for innovative components of their State Plans. On the other hand, US ED and other state leaders received public rebukes for not following the requirements of the law, and for not fully articulating how they plan to advance equity under ESSA. Furthermore, in a few states, elected officials who disagree with elements of their states’ submitted ESSA Plans are asking US ED to reject those plans.

In its weekly Federal Flash, the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE) covered the Senate’s hearing examining the quality of State Plans, plus concerns about possible violations of the law’s testing requirements.

The Process:

Over thirty ESSA State Plans were submitted for US ED’s September 18th deadline and are now undergoing staff and peer review. US ED will have at least one exchange with each SEA in order to give feedback. Under ESSA, US ED has up to 120 days to approve/deny each State Plan. This means most State Plans are likely to be approved sometime around January 2018.

Learn More:

Be a Part of the Process:

Get Informed:
Contact members of your state’s legislature regarding their position on your state’s ESSA Plan.

Take Local Action:
Contact your state educational agency (SEA) and local school board about the details of your state’s ESSA Plan, including implementation and monitoring activities.