How Relevant are State ESSA Plans?
Last week, the U. S. of Department of Education (US ED) approved twelve of the consolidated plans required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The following state plans were approved on January 16: Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
US ED’s approval of state ESSA plans, and US ED’s communications with states regarding the quality of their plans, have come amid concerns from a growing number of advocates, legislators, and government officials regarding whether the approved plans are fully compliant with the statutory requirements of ESSA; whether the submitted plans represent missed opportunities for innovation by states; and how prepared State Educational Agencies (SEAs) are to support implementation by districts and schools.
All states have now submitted their ESSA State Plans to US ED for review. Roughly one-third of states submitted their plans in April 2017, and the remainder submitted their plans in September 2017. All of the plans submitted for the April deadline have been approved by US ED except for Colorado, for which approval appears to still be pending. US ED has committed to providing feedback to each SEA prior to reaching a decision on that state’s plan. Under ESSA, US ED has up to 120 days to approve/deny each State Plan. Under this timeline, the State Plans submitted for the September deadline are targeted for approval sometime this month.
- Federal Flash: DeVos: “Federal Education Reform Efforts Have not Worked as Hoped” (Alliance for Excellent Education | January 19)
- This Week’s ESSA News — Inside the Dept. of Education’s Feedback to 10 States on Testing, Accountability & Disadvantaged Students (The 74 Million | January 7)
- Trust the Process (U.S. News and World Report | January 4)
- Concerns Mount Over K-12 Education Plans (U.S. News and World Report | January 3)
- Education’s Unhappy New Year (Flypaper | Jan 3)
- Sharp Decline in High School Graduation Exams is Testing the Education System (The Washington Post | December 2017
Be a Part of the Process:
- Get Informed: Read your state’s ESSA plan and learn more about US ED’s review of your state’s plan.
- Take Action:
- This Thursday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee will consider the nomination of Frank T. Brogan for Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education in US ED. Mr. Brogan would become the official at US ED principally responsible for state ESSA plans.
- Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-2311 to speak with your members of Congress about Mr. Brogan’s candidacy and US ED’s enforcement of the statutory language of ESSA.
- Take Local Action: Contact members of your state’s legislature regarding their position on your state’s ESSA Plan. Contact your state educational agency (SEA) and local school board about the details of your state’s ESSA Plan, including implementation and monitoring activities.