Keys to ESSA Implementation

Free Online Event: Keys to ESSA Implementation

The Every Student Succeeds Act finally becomes a classroom reality this fall, putting more authority—and on-the-ground responsibility—in the hands of district leaders, school-level educators, and state policymakers.

Education Week offers a big-picture look at how prepared states, districts, and schools are to meet the challenges of the new federal K-12 law and what they can do to assure a smooth rollout in the 2018-19 school year. In this virtual event, Education Week journalists and guests will staff online "discussion" booths on a host of topics, including details of the law itself; its impact on teacher policy; testing and assessments; how schools and districts are meeting the law's demands for data and transparency; what ESSA means for minority students, English-learners, and those with disabilities; and market opportunities and challenges for the business sector as educators move to meet ESSA's requirements.


May 1, 2018
1:00-3:30 p.m. ET*

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*Agenda and times subject to change. Check back regularly for updates.

  • 1:00–3:00 p.m. ET | #ESSASummit18 Discussions Open
    Education Week journalists and guests provide practical takeaways on the Every Student Succeeds Act.

    Room 1: ESSA’s Government Policy Landscape
    Moderator: Alyson Klein
    ‣ Join Education Week’s lead federal policy reporter Alyson Klein for a discussion of how ESSA is reshaping the relationship between states and the federal government when it comes to setting and carrying out K-12 policy. Both parties are still figuring out the balance on issues like school accountability, federal oversight, civil rights, and using data to turn around low-performing schools. And there’s plenty to catch up on in the way of pilot programs, grant, and regulatory wrinkles as the new law goes into effect.

    Room 2: ESSA Policy: Who’s Calling the Shots Stateside
    Moderator: Daarel Burnette II
    ‣ There’s plenty of tension at the state level over just who gets to wield the new policy flexibility ESSA offers, with state superintendents, board, governors, and legislators all jockeying for a piece of the pie—and local districts worried they’ll be overlooked or caught in the middle. State policy reporter Daarel Burnett II leads a session on how these rival interests are working out their differences, and what the real-world impact for students and teachers.
    Guests: Officials from two states with different approaches to ESSA implementation.

    Room 3: New Wrinkles in Testing and Assessments
    Moderator: Catherine Gewertz
    ‣ ESSA gives states new openings to shape student-testing regimes to their own liking, including innovative pilot programs and fresh options on how to meet federal requirements. Senior contributing writer Catherine Gewertz examines why this new flexibility has been a hard sell for many states, and how to make the most of law’s new opportunities in this sensitive area.
    Guests: Guest experts familiar with testing policy and execution.

    Room 4: ESSA and High-Quality Teaching
    Moderator: Madeline Will
    ‣ How should states go about assuring that every student has a high-quality teacher in the classroom, and how should that be measured? Teacher policy reporter Madeline Will examines those key questions and the still-emerging framework states are using to assess and deploy their teacher workforce.
    Guests: State-level official working on teacher policy and an expert from a research/policy shop.

    Room 5: Minorities, English-Learners, and Special Education—Who’s Keeping Watch?
    Moderator: Andrew Ujifusa
    ‣ ESSA’s been called a civil rights law at base, setting tough standards for states in measuring and boosting the performance of historically disenfranchised groups of students. But civil rights advocates worry about compliance and oversight in an era of new flexibility. Federal policy reporter Andrew Ujifusa moderates a discussion about these concerns and what states are doing to allay them.
    Guests: A state policy/compliance official and a representative of the civil rights community.

    Room 6: The ESSA Marketplace
    Moderator: Sean Cavanagh
    ‣ Get a detailed look at the business and private sector opportunities ESSA offers as states, districts, and schools seek to benefit from the new law’s flexibility and live up to mandates that affect policies in assessment, school turnarounds, professional development, ed-tech, and school budgets. This wide-ranging discussion is led by Sean Cavanagh, senior editor of EdWeek Market Brief.

  • 3:00–3:30 p.m. ET | Final Reporter Wrap-up
    ESSA: In Conversation With Education Week
    Led by the reporters, the Education Week newsroom will close out the day with insights from the discussions they’ve had with you, the readers.

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Daarel Burnette II
Staff Writer
Education Week

Burnette II is a staff writer for Education Week, covering education policy at the state level. He is the author of the blog State EdWatch.

Sean Cavanagh
Associate Editor
Education Week

Cavanagh is an associate editor for Education Week and Senior Editor, EdWeek Market Brief. His primary focus is on business and technology issues in K-12 education.

Catherine Gewertz
Senior Contributing Writer
Education Week

Gewertz is a senior contributing writer for Education Week. She covers assessment and pathways through middle and high school.

Alyson Klein
Assistant Editor
Education Week

Klein is Education Week's lead federal policy reporter with primary responsibility for the U.S. Department of Education, the White House, and other executive agencies.

Andrew Ujifusa
Assistant Editor
Education Week

Ujifusa is Education Week’s lead congressional reporter. His coverage also includes the U.S. Department of Education, other federal agencies, and federal education policy.

Madeline Will
Staff Writer
Education Week

Will is a staff writer for Education Week. She covers the teaching profession as it relates to both policy and practice, including changes to teacher evaluation and the inner workings of the teachers' unions.


Education Week's ESSA Resources: A Video Tour

Take a video tour of Education Week’s ESSA resources including:
our topics page, Spotlights, special reports, e-books, videos, Market Brief articles, and more!

ESSA Explained: Inside the New Federal K-12 Law

The new Every Student Succeeds Act rolls back much of the federal government's big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools. And it gives big new leeway to states in calling the shots.

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