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Ed Dept Releases Summary of Regulations Under ESSA as Implementation Approaches

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The U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary John B. King Jr. have released regulations regarding how the Every Student Succeeds Act will be implemented considering accountability, state plans, and data reporting.

When it comes to accountability, lawmakers have done their best with ESSA to ensure that while states are held accountable for overseeing schools that drive student success for all subgroups of students, the federal government lets states determine how to do so.

"The proposed regulations reinforce the statutory requirement that states have robust, multi- measure statewide accountability systems, while giving them the flexibility to choose new statewide indicators that create a more holistic view of student success,” the summary says.

Specifically, under the legislation states will be held accountable for ensuring that schools: "

  • Measure the performance of all students in all public schools (including public charter schools); 
  • Allow for comparisons between subgroups of students; 
  • Demonstrate variation across schools in the state; and 
  • Are likely to increase graduation rates or academic achievement.

But while states are free to build their own systems of measurement for schools, the summary includes several reasons why a state must consider and weigh-heavily certain indicators to protect students in poor performing schools.

For instance, the summary says that "a school identified for targeted support because of a struggling subgroup cannot be removed from targeted support status on the basis of an indicator of school quality or student success unless that subgroup is making significant progress on at least one academic indicator.”

The summary also emphasizes schools’ role in engaging parents and community members in student success.

"The proposed regulations recognize the critical role of stakeholders, including parents, educators, principals, and other school leaders, in supporting the development and implementation of school improvement activities by requiring that each district notify parents of students at schools identified for support and improvement of how to be involved in the school improvement process, so they can participate in developing a plan that fits its unique needs,” it says.

When it comes to data reporting, the regulations require annual report cards that reflect the multi-level rating system states design. Parents must have input in report card design, the summary says.

Action is required quickly- "the proposed regulations require that all states identify schools for comprehensive and additional targeted support for the 2017-2018 school year, with annual identification of schools with consistently underperforming subgroups for targeted support beginning in the 2018-2019 school year."

The Department of Education will be accepting public comments on these regulations starting on Tuesday, May 31st for a 60-day period.

Read the full summary here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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