Ratings Revelations from the First Batch of State ESSA Plans

     Although the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rolls back federal education mandates to allow states more authority over their accountability systems, it nonetheless requires that the Secretary of Education approve each state’s accountability plan to be implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Under an Obama Administration policy, states (and Washington, DC) could submit their …

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Feds and States and Widgets—Oh My!

The Feds For nearly seven years the Obama Department of Education (USDOE), through its Race to the Top (RttT) program and its issuance of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers, pushed states to establish “rigorous” teacher evaluation systems that incorporated student achievement evidence, the results of which would then be used in personnel decisions. The …

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Testing and Accountability for Public Power

Testing and accountability policy has consistently been held up as a way to empower parents, especially in poor neighborhoods. Give parents clear, objective information about how schools are doing, and schools, facing complaints from parents and shrinking enrollments as parents opt to send their children elsewhere, will be pressured to reform themselves. In essence, accountability …

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Social-Emotional Learning: States Consider New Accountability Indicator

In December 2015, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), bringing changes to accountability requirements for state systems. While many of the accountability provisions were consistent with the flexibility permitted via ESEA waivers, one noteworthy addition was the explicit requirement to include a non-academic indicator of …

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Lessons from New Hampshire’s PACE

As a previous post discussed, the Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority was inspired by New Hampshire’s Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) pilot. As states consider applying for the authority to develop their own assessment pilots, attention has turned to PACE and what lessons can be gleaned from New Hampshire’s experience. What is PACE? …

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Opportunities and Limits of the ESSA’s Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority

Opportunities and Limits of the ESSA’s Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority | Green And Write – Education Policy Research Insights The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers new opportunities for states to customize, innovate, and improve their assessment and accountability systems. One such option is the Innovative Assessment and Accountability Demonstration Authority, which gives …

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The Idiocy of AYP

  AYP, or “Adequate Yearly Progress”, is one of those seemingly benign terms that pops up in the educational lexicon every few years. AYP sounds…friendly. Unassuming. Who could argue with a reform initiative based on kids, teachers, or schools making “adequate yearly progress”? What are we, communists? Of course we want our schools to make progress…and …

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The ESSA’s New Transparency Requirements

The recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) received acclaim for scaling back the federal government’s role in accountability. But at the same time it loosened the accountability reins on states, it also bolstered transparency requirements. The biggest changes on this front are new requirements which add additional subgroups to existing school and district report …

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Revisiting Michigan Charter School Authorizers: An In-Depth Look at Central Michigan University

Earlier this year, Michigan’s application for the Charter Schools Program State Educational Agencies (SEA) Grant was rejected. In a previous piece, the Governance & Finance Blog explored the low ratings Michigan received on their application, particularly in the area of Authorizer Accountability. To gain a better understanding of the work that Michigan charter school authorizers …

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State Superintendent Flanagan Wants to Stop You from Building New Charter Schools, or Does He?

Call for a Moratorium on New Charters In an address to the Michigan Legislature on Thursday, March 5th, Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan called for a moratorium on new charters schools in Michigan, saying, “There’s enough (charters) now to give appropriate choice to parents.” Amidst an ongoing debate about the role of charters in the …

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Engaging in Educational Policy Issues

Last week, the College of Education launched its new educational policy blog, Green & Write.  The blog, coordinated by faculty member and educational policy expert Rebecca Jacobsen, focuses on four main topics: Teacher quality; Common Core and curriculum standards; Student accountability and assessment; and Governance and finance issues. The purpose of the blog is articulated …

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