Thursday, December 1, 2016

What happened with ESSA this week?

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Education issued regulations on the Every Student Succeeds Act around school accountability. The Department's summary is here; EdWeek does their summary here.\
First, do note that regulations are under the purview of the administration, so it's completely unclear what happens when the Trump administration comes in at the end of January.
That said, we do have regulations, so, a few pieces of note:
  • states now don't have to ID schools for "comprehensive support" until the 2018-19 year, which is a year later than was originally proposed.
  • the summative evaluation versus how schools are identified for support has been fleshed out a bit (if that interests you, I'd read the US Ed summary)
  • the "at least one additional indicator" now has to have "a positive impact on student learning," which is more flexible than the draft language (and, should we all push, could give states much much more to consider) 
  • states can set their own maximum subgroup size, but if it's bigger than 30, they must justify why it is good for kids that it is that big.
  • "consistent underperformance" was original over a two year period, now is tweaked a bit to allow for more time if it can be justified
  • 95% participation on testing is still required, but if states decide to come up with their own systems of dealing with that, they can have different remedies for different rates of participation (those that barely missed possibly having something less draconian).
  • ELL's are to become proficient in English on a "research-based" timeline.
Also a reminder that there are TWO MORE DESE input sessions on ESSA implementation: tonight at Holyoke High and Tuesday night at Collins Middle in Salem, both at 6 pm. (Sorry for the lack of coverage on these; I have had, and still have, meetings opposite every single one.) 

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