Key Takeaways: State Accountability Plans Under ESSA
Twelve states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. The law gives states significant new leeway to set student achievement goals and calls for looking beyond test scores in gauging school performance.
What is a state plan?
The Every Student Succeeds Act pushes states to move beyond test scores in gauging school performance and gives them all sorts of new flexibility when it comes to funding, turning around low-performing schools, and more. But states still have to submit an accountability roadmap—including long-term goals for student achievement—to the U.S. Department of Education for approval. States get two chances to turn in their plans—either the spring of 2017 or the fall, with a final deadline of Sept. 18. A team of experts will review each plan, but it will be up to the secretary of education to ultimately decide if it complies with the law.
What are states planning for ESSA?
The following have already submitted ESSA accountability plans: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Vermont.
Select a state for a brief overview of its plans and downloadable PDF:
For a more detailed look at state ESSA plans:
|STATE||GOALS||SCHOOL RATINGS||ACADEMIC INDICATORS||SCHOOL QUALITY INDICATOR||MEASURING SUBGROUPS ("N"-SIZE)||TESTING OPT-OUTS|
|Connecticut||100 percent of all students and subgroups will hit various growth targets by 2029-30; 94 percent will graduate high school in four years by 2029-30||Rating based on a 0-100 index score||Achievement in reading and math; growth in reading and math; four-year adjusted cohort for graduation; six-year adjusted cohort for graduation||Chronic absenteeism; preparation for college-and-career coursework and exams; participation rates on tests; postsecondary enrollment; physical fitness; access to arts education; on-track graduation for 9th graders||20 students||A school otherwise getting highest or second-highest ranking would be knocked down one ranking|
|Delaware||Cut in half the share of all students and subgroups not proficient on English/language arts and math exams by 2030; cut in half the share of high school students not graduating after four years||Index score to create a "text-based" rating||Achievement; growth; social studies in certain grades; growth of students; on-track high school graduation for 9th graders; progress in English-language proficiency; four-, five-, and six-year cohort graduation rates; science in certain grade spans||Chronic absenteeism; college-and-career preparedness (including things like SAT and ACT scores and career certification)||15 students||A school would have to submit plan to increase testing participation, with further state action possible|
|District of Columbia||By 2038-39, 85 percent of all students and subgroups will score a level 4 or 5 on the PARCC exam; 90 percent of high school students will graduate after four years||Five-tier performance rating system||Achievement, growth, graduation rates, English-language proficiency; college-readiness measured by ACT, AP, and IB participation and scores||Chronic absenteeism; a mix of attendance indicators; choice to re-enroll in same school; standardized observations that take into account factors including classroom organization, emotional support, and instructional support||10 students||A system would monitor and assist school, with interventions possible after multiple years|
|Illinois||By 2032, 90 percent of all students and subgroups will be proficient in English/language arts and math; by 2032, students in grades 3, 5, and 9 and high school graduates will meet four other percentage-based goals; 90 percent of students will graduate||Four-tier school-rating system, ranging from "exemplary" to "lowest-performing"||Proficiency, growth, English-language proficiency, graduation rates; plans to do science proficiency; exploring fine arts and another indicator for elementary and middle schools||Chronic absenteeism; climate surveys; whether 9th graders are on track to graduate; an early-childhood education indicator; exploring an arts indicator||20 students||A school could not get top score for academic proficiency; participation rate would factor into school-improvement decisions|
|Louisiana||Annual average improvement target of 2.5 percentage point gains in achievement on state reading and math tests between 2018 and 2025 for all students and student subgroups; plan includes goal of reaching a graduation rate of 90 percent by 2025 for all students and student subgroups||A-F school grades, based on an index scores ranging from 0-150, would be given to schools; ratings system would shift in 2021 and again in 2024||Achievement on state exams, including high school end-of-course exams and an ACT/WorkKeys index; growth index; graduation rate index; English-language proficiency index; school quality indicators including access to a well-rounded education and "strength of diploma" depending on grade level||Middle schools would be measured on credit accumulation through 9th grade; high schools would be measured on the "strength of diploma" students receive; all schools would be measured on "interests and opportunities" that cover access to arts, physical education, and foreign language programs, among others||10 students||All nonparticipants in the state exam will receive a score of zero, which will in turn impact school scores on the state's accountability system|
|Maine||By 2030, 90 percent of Maine students will graduate "college-and-career ready"||A four-tier rating system, similar to one the state already uses, from "exceeds state expectations" to "requires review for supports"||Achievement; growth; four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates; progress for English-learners||Percentage of students who have consistent attendance||10 students||Schools with participation rates between 75 and 94 percent would have to submit a plan; schools below 75 percent would have to show steps taken; participation not factored into summative school rating|
|Massachusetts||No long-term academic goals are set because state says it must wait for new baselines; increase overall and subgroup graduation rates by 5 percentage points by 2020||Six-tier rating system, based on 1-100 index||Achievement in reading and math; growth in reading and math; achievement in science; four- and five-year graduation rates plus percentage of students still enrolled in high school; dropout rates; English-language proficiency||Chronic absenteeism; success in 9th grade courses; successful completion of a broad and challenging high school curriculum (including things like AP and IB course-taking)||20 students||A school’s overall summative rating would decline|
|Michigan||Proposes that 75 percent of schools and 75 percent of all student subgroups reach various proficiency targets on state exams in English/language arts, math, science, and other subjects by 2024-25||The state included two options for A-F school grades, with one giving schools a final, summative grade, and the other only giving A-F grades to different components of the accountability system; the state is also developing a dashboard system combining the system's six elements||100-point achievement index; 100-point growth index; four-, five-, and six-year cohort graduation rates; 100-point English-learner progress index; various school-quality indicators depending on grade level; participation in state assessments||State would include four factors in this indicator: chronic absenteeism; time spent in arts, library, and physical education programs in K-8; advanced coursework in grades 11-12; and postsecondary enrollment rates||30 students, except for English-learners, whose n-size would be 10 students||Eligible students who do not take state exams would be recorded as having a score of zero when determining proficiency rates in the state accountability system|
|Nevada||By 2022, have 61 percent of all students and subgroups proficient in English/language arts and 41 percent proficient in math; have 84 percent of high school students graduate after four years||Five-star rating tool, based on 1-100 index||Proficiency; English-language proficiency; growth; graduation rates for high schools||Student engagement; college-and-career readiness (for high schools) closure of opportunity gaps for elementary and middle schools||10 students||A school would initially be labeled with a "warning," then subject to increasing penalties after multiple years|
|New Jersey||By 2030, have 80 percent of all students and subgroups meet or exceed expectations on PARCC; have 95 percent of all students and subgroups graduate after four years in high school by 2030||Score based on 100-point scale||Achievement, growth, four- and five-year graduation rates, English-language progress||Chronic absenteeism||20 students||As ESSA requires, each student at the school causing a participation rate below 95 percent would be scored not proficient|
|New Mexico||By 2022, 64.9 percent of students will be proficient on PARCC English/language arts test, and 61.2 percent proficient on PARCC math test||A-F grading system||Four-, five- and six-year graduation rates; achievement; growth in four-year graduation rate; STEM readiness; English-language proficiency||"Opportunity to learn surveys" to capture climate, student engagement, and more; attendance measures; college-and-career readiness, including remediation and persistence||20 students||A school will have its A-F grade decrease by one letter if 95 percent of students don’t take the state English/language arts or math test|
|Tennessee||Perform in top half of 4th and 8th grade NAEP scores among states by 2019; 75 percent of 3rd graders proficient in reading by 2025; average ACT composite score of 21 by 2020; 95 percent graduation rate by 2024-25||A-F grading system||Achievement; growth; graduation rates combined with college-, career-, or military-readiness measures; English-language proficiency||Chronic absenteeism and out-of-school suspensions; graduation rate indicator incorporates whether students have met ACT benchmarks or earned military or workforce certification||30 students||A school would get an F grade in academic proficiency for all student groups not reaching 95 percent participation|
|Vermont||All schools score, on average, at the midpoint of the Smarter Balanced test’s proficiency range by 2025; 90 percent graduation rates for all students and subgroups by 2025||There would be five separate ratings for different accountability measures||Achievement, growth, four- and six-year graduation rates, English-language proficiency, English language proficiency in schools with sufficient numbers of ELLs||College-and-career readiness, physical education, science, postsecondary outcomes||25 students||School’s initial summative score would be multiplied by the percentage of students who took the exam|
Vol. 36, Issue 28, Page 19