By Alyson Klein
We know. The Every Student Succeeds Act is over 1,000 pages long. And it’s not exactly a thrill ride to read. Couldn’t Congress have just put that thing on YouTube?
Sorry, that’s not exactly what the Founding Fathers envisioned when it comes to legislation.
But, luckily, Education Week has you covered with this ESSA explainer video. Enjoy!
Source: The Every Student Succeeds Act Explained! Now in Video! – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Andrew Ujifusa
Plenty of issues have gotten more ink and pixels in coverage of the Every Student Succeeds Act than parent, family, and other forms of engagement. But advocates for those issues are excited about how the federal education law could reinvigorate communities’ relationships with schools and enhance their impact on policy.
Here’s one big theme in the article I co-wrote this week on how ESSA could change engagement: A lot of the potential changes for the issue don’t necessarily have to do with how the law’s language departs from the No Child Left Behind Act. Instead, there’s a sentiment that because the law shifts more decisionmaking power to states and districts, it’s a big, fresh opportunity for local and state groups representing parents, civil rights groups, and others to work from the ground up with K-12 officials and policymakers.
Source: Examining How ESSA Changes the Terrain for Parent and Community Engagement – Politics K-12 – Education Week
By Andrea Ball
This is a year of unexpected opportunity to strengthen early childhood programs and policy in California. The new federal education law, Governor Jerry Brown’s surprising early education budget proposal and the continued commitment of the Legislature to early childhood programs together offer a unique chance for state policymakers and local educators to deepen support for early learning programs and address achievement gaps.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, the title of the federal law, contains new recognition of the importance of early childhood education. There is new language encouraging the use of federal education funds at the local level to help children successfully transition from pre-kindergarten programs into elementary school. School districts will also have to address these transitions in federally required local plans. State agencies will have to outline how they will support local efforts in early childhood education. And for the first time, federal professional development funds will include preschool administrators and teachers, including those who work with pre-kindergarten dual-language children.
via Bold action needed on early childhood education | EdSource.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that the federal government has granted California flexibility on rules regarding Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for the 2016–17 school year, the last year those rules would have been in effect.
SES funds are used to provide tutoring or other academic instruction outside the regular school day for academically deficient students at certain Title I schools, which have high numbers and high percentages of low-income students. Programs are often away from school grounds and require travel.
The decision, contained in a letter from the U.S. Department of Education last week, allows California school districts to have the flexibility to make their own decisions about how to spend an estimated $233 million in SES and transportation funds for public school choice. The estimate is based on the amount of funding allocated by California districts this year: $222 million for SES and $11 million for transportation.
via Flexibility in Spending $233 Million for Students – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education).
How should the U.S. Department of Education regulate under the Every Student Succeeds Act? People got a chance to share their thoughts with the department face-to-face during two hearings this month. But the public also got a chance to submit public comments on the Internet. The comment period for those submissions just closed Thursday. And as of about 6 p.m. that day, there were more than 200 comments filed.
So what were some of the highlights? You probably wont be surprised to learn that accountability took up a lot of the oxygen in the comments. And testing issues like how to handle opt-outs were also expounded upon. Plus, school turnaround issues and funding got some attention.
Weve tried to organize the highlighted comments into several categories where there was a lot of input. Confession: We havent been through all 200-plus comments. But dont worry, this isnt the last time well take a look at what folks want to see in ESSA regs.
via Heres How the Education World Thinks the Feds Should Regulate Under ESSA – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By Alyson Klein
We know that the Every Student Succeeds Act, which passed with big bipartisan support, doesnt force states to stick with or adopt the Common Core State Standards. So what does it actually ask for when it comes to this particular issue?
The short answer is that the standards language in ESSA—the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—strikes a delicate compromise thats kind of complicated to wrap your mind around.
via How Does the Every Student Succeeds Act Deal With Standards? – Politics K-12 – Education Week.
By John Fensterwald
Members of the State Board of Education who favor replacing the three-digit Academic Performance Index with a “dashboard” of measurements highlighting school performance can count on the backing of Gov. Jerry Brown.
The K-12 summary (pages 22-23) of Brown’s proposed 2016-17 state budget, released last week, stated, “The state system should include a concise set of performance measures, rather than a single index.” Brown said the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act creates the opportunity to design a “more accurate picture of school performance and progress” than in the past.
But whether the state should or even can switch, under the new federal law, from a single index like the API to a more complex school improvement system will be a potentially contentious issue this year. Both approaches to accountability, the dashboard with multiple measures – such as test scores, high school graduation rates and an indicator of student readiness for college and jobs – and a single index compiled from a mix of factors, have strong advocates.
via Brown says it’s time to abandon API to judge schools’ performance | EdSource.