January 23

State ESSA Plans & School Discipline

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. 

How Relevant are State ESSA Plans?

Last week, the United States of Department of Education (US ED) approved twelve of the consolidated plans submitted by states as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)… READ MORE >

Possible Changes to School Discipline Policies

DeVos recently convened a public meeting to hear from teachers and administrators who felt the school discipline guidance puts them at risk… READ MORE >


Partner and Friend Updates:

  • Attendance Works hosted a webinar previewing the first part of its online Teaching Attendance curriculum and sharing how school leaders are using the strategies to improve attendance.  Register and learn more about the Attendance Works webinar series.
  • Join the Coalition for Community Schools‘ Twitter Chat on January 24th at 7:30PM ET to discuss how to establish and strengthen partnerships to create positive results for students, families, and communities. Topics will include: What are best practices to establishing meaningful and effective partnerships? How do you work with partners and teachers to provide deeper learning experiences for students? How do you sustain your partnerships? New to Twitter chats? Learn about Twitter Chats and how to participate here.  
  • The US Department of Education has published a report on the status of Preschool Development Grant.  Through the program, 18 states have increased access to high-quality programs for 4-year-olds from low to moderate income families from 230 to 250 high-need communities, increasing from 28,200 to over 34,000 additional children.
  • Results for America released its analysis of the remaining 34 state ESSA plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) in July 2017, focused on how the states proposed to use evidence, evaluation, and continuous improvement. While the report identifies 162 promising practices for building and using evidence to improve student outcomes, there are notable gaps that deserve further attention.
  • The Learning Policy Institute will launch a new webinar series, Achieving Equity Through Deeper Learning, focused on why deeper learning is crucial for students and how we can achieve greater equity in access to deeper learning. The first webinar, on February 15th, 12-1PM PT, Increasing Opportunities for Deeper Learning, will address ways that schools and school districts can improve academic achievement, through engaging students in learning that focuses on meaningful mastery of subjects, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and other skills necessary for college, career, and civic participation in the 21st Century.
  • On February 22nd, as part of Digital Learning Day (DLDay), a nationwide celebration of how technology can improve student outcomes, the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) and Future Ready Schools® are hosting a webinar on Blending Teaching and Technology, 12-1PM ET. All4Ed will spotlight DLDay events happening around the country and release a report, Blending Teaching and Technology: Simple Strategies for Improved Student Learning. The report offers a collection of strategies aligned to the Future Ready Schools® Framework that district leaders can use to implement an instructional approach supported by blended learning.



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.

Call or visit your senators and representatives to express your opinions.