ED Call for Peer Reviewers of ESSA State Plans
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve in a critical role as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Peer reviewers will evaluate whether each State plan meets statutory and regulatory requirements and the degree to which each State plan will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements within the areas of: consultation and performance management; academic assessments; accountability, support, and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students. Peer reviewers will work together on panels to offer vital feedback to the Department for State plans. For more information, including a link to the application, visit https://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/stateplan17/index.html.
We encourage parents to submit an application to be a peer reviewer. It is important that parents are at the table in reviewing state plans. We recognize this is a tight turnaround but hope that either you or parents you may know will submit an application. Applications are due by January 27, 2017.
In the application, each applicant can describe their relevant experience as a parent in the personal biography and can indicate where they have expertise relevant to the review of State plans which may include selection of “Other expertise relevant to ESSA State Plans” and describing their experience in the box that follows. For example, parents have expertise addressing the needs of particular groups of students and should indicate that the “other expertise relevant to ESSA State Plans.”
Questions about this request may be sent to ESSA.PeerReview@ed.gov.
New ESSA Guidance
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) released a series of resources to support States in their transition to the ESSA. The Consolidated State Plan guidance, State and Local Report Cards guidance, and High School Graduation Rate guidance provide additional clarity on the role of States, districts, and schools under the ESSA to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education and that they graduate high school prepared for success in college and career.
ESSA Consolidated State Plan Guidance
The Consolidated State Plan guidance is intended to support each State Educational Agency (SEA) in developing a consolidated State plan that meets all statutory and regulatory requirements with regard to improved student academic achievement and increased quality of instruction. Further, it will guide peer reviewers who will evaluate the degree to which each State plan meets those requirements and is likely to support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements to support all students. The document includes both required components of the consolidated State plan, as well as considerations for both SEAs and peer reviewers to improve the quality of such plans.
ESSA State and Local Report Cards Guidance
In an effort to increase transparency and inform students, educators, parents, and others invested in the success of our students and schools, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the ESSA, maintains requirements for SEAs and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to prepare and disseminate report cards that provide information on SEA, LEA, and school performance and progress in an understandable and uniform format. The State and Local Report Cards guidance is intended to assist SEAs and LEAs in implementing the report card requirements under Title I, Part A of the ESEA and implementing regulations in 34 C.F.R. §§ 200.30 through 200.37 beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
ESSA High School Graduation Rate Guidance
Student graduation from high school with a regular high school diploma is an important indicator of school success and one of the most significant indicators of student college and career readiness. The High School Graduation Rate guidance provides States, LEAs, and schools with information about how to implement the graduation rate requirements in the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA and implementing regulations in 34 C.F.R. §§ 200.34. Under the ESEA, each State and LEA must calculate and report on its annual report card a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, disaggregated by subgroups. A uniform and accurate measure of the four-year high school graduation rate that is comparable across States and consistently reported over time is critical to understanding the successes and challenges for schools in ensuring that all students graduate from high school.
Evidence for ESSA
National PTA has been working with the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University on a new online database will provide information to education stakeholders on evidence-based programs available. As background, the CRRE works to improve the quality of education for children in grades pre-K to 12 by promoting the use of evidence-proven programs in schools. In ESSA, there are new evidence definitions that will make it easier to categorize the effectiveness of education programs that have been studied, however there is currently no mechanism specifically aligned to the ESSA definitions that will allow policy-makers, stakeholders, and education leaders to apply the new standards to find which programs meet their needs under the new law. CRRE has undertaken an effort to fill that gap with plans to create a new online database -“Evidence for ESSA” to make it easy for education stakeholder to find information on the evidence base for available programs across various education grades and subjects, specifically aligned to the ESSA definitions. This is especially important for parents since they are required stakeholders in school improvement plans which must use evidence based programs for those schools identified for comprehensive and targeted support under ESSA.
“Evidence for ESSA” will be rolled out in February 2017 with information on reading and math programs meeting strong and moderate evidence standards. The first phase of the online database will include whether or not the program has a family engagement component to the strategy. Additionally, the second phase will include (pending financial resources) family engagement programs as its own category in the database, in addition to the other subject areas of science, history, etc. The goal is to include family engagement programs by 2018.