USDE Releases Initial ESSA Feedback For Certain States

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The US Department of Education (USDE) posted its first feedback on state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act earlier this week.

The feedback asked for more information from several states.  It was provided by department officials and peer reviewers who reviewed the plans to ensure they comply with the law.  Among the information requested:

  • Delaware was asked to ensure that its long-term goal for ensuring English language learners make progress toward English proficiency isn’t “ambitious,” instructing the state to come up with something better;
  • New Mexico was coached that it must use consistent terms in referring to racial and ethnic groups of students in its plan, asking for more clarity and better consistency; and
  • Nevada was challenged to provide more information on how they plan to measure school quality and student success and how the state will identify and intervene in low-performing schools.

New Jersey was not asked any clarifying questions at this juncture.

States have to act on the changes recommended by the Education Department in the next 15 days. They can use the notes from peer reviewers to make further improvements.  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has final say over the plans. The law gives her 120 days to approve or reject a state’s plan after it has been submitted.