Living With ESSA’s Changes

Free Online Event: Living With ESSA’s Changes

Download a PDF of the key takeaways

With the Every Student Succeeds Act now in full effect three years after its passage, Education Week unpacks how states and districts are using ESSA to transform and customize their education systems, in line with the federal K-12 law’s grant of greater autonomy and the guardrails it lays down for quality and accountability.

Using the law’s specifics and states’ own ESSA plans as a jumping off point, Education Week journalists and expert guests will answer questions and guide online discussion in specialized booths focusing on how the law’s implementation affects:

    • School improvement and accountability;
    • Data reporting and transparency;
    • Testing and student assessment;
    • Vulnerable groups of students, including English-learners, minorities, and those with disabilities;
    • Funding and resources at the state and federal levels;
    • New ways of weighing school quality and performance; and more.

Join Education Week on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, from 1 to 3 p.m. ET for a deep dive into the Every Student Succeeds Act. This Online Summit provides you a unique opportunity to directly interact with reporters and experts about implementation of the nation’s marquee K-12 law.

Thank you to those who joined us for this event, which took place on May 14, 2019.


May 14, 2019
1-3 p.m. ET*

Social Media


EdWeek on Facebook EdWeek on Twitter

Event Video

Living With ESSA’s Changes: In Conversation With Education Week

  • 1:00–2:30 p.m. ET | Discussion Rooms Open
    Education Week journalists and guests provide practical takeaways how the Every Student Succeeds Act is playing out in states and districts.

    Room 1: How ESSA’s New Leeway Affects School Improvement and Accountability
    Moderator: Alyson Klein, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    Guests: Sara Kerr, Vice President of Education Policy Implementation, Results for America; Carlas L. McCauley, Director, Center on School Turnaround, WestEd
    ‣ ESSA takes a carrot-and-stick approach to school accountability. States get big new leeway in how to fix their lowest-performing school. But they’re on a tight leash in identifying those schools and coming up with turnaround plans backed by evidence. Klein and her guests discuss how states are meeting those challenges, what looks promising, and the potholes so far.

    Room 2: Creating Complete, Usable School Report Cards for Educators and the Public
    Moderator: Daarel Burnette II, Staff Writer, Education Week
    Guest: Katie Carroll, Program Director for Accountability, Council of Chief State School Officers
    ‣ The nation’s main K-12 law creates powerful tools for seeing how schools stack up against their peers on student achievement, classroom environment, teacher quality, school funding, and more. But that data’s only as good as how complete, accessible, and understandable it is. Burnette outlines the hurdles states and districts face in remaking their school report cards, and how that information can be used by parents, educators, and the public.

    Room 3: Beyond Test Scores: ESSA and Alternative Yardsticks for School Quality
    Moderator: Evie Blad, Staff Writer, Education Week
    Guest: Hedy N. Chang, Founder and Executive Director, Attendance Works
    ‣ States are on a quest for different ways to gauge school quality and student success, things like school climate and social-emotional learning that don’t mirror the same old measuring sticks. But some say they haven’t been too creative in breaking with the status quo—in fact, most states have chosen simply to integrate chronic absenteeism into their accountability plans. Blad will lead a discussion of how ESSA’s mandate for an alternative indicator of school quality is playing out in practice.

    Room 4: What ESSA Means for Vulnerable Subgroups of Students
    Moderator: Christina A. Samuels, Associate Editor, Education Week
    Guest: Allison Rose Socol, Assistant Director of P-12 Policy, The Education Trust
    ‣ ESSA is supposed to shine a bright light on what states and schools are doing—or failing to do—in meeting the needs of vulnerable groups of students and assuring that they do better. Samuels digs into how well the law is living up to its promises on behalf of minorities, English-language learners, and students in special education.

    Room 5: Tapping ESSA Funding and Flexibility in an Uncertain Budget Landscape
    Moderator: Andrew Ujifusa, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    Guests: Brian Harris, Superintendent, Barrington 220 District in Barrington, Ill.; Anne Hyslop, Assistant Director for Policy Development and Government Relations, Alliance for Excellent Education
    ‣ There’s money in ESSA for states eager to get creative in funding areas like the arts, health, safety, foreign languages, college-and-career ready coursework, and more. The law also offers states greater freedom in using federal funds in a variety of key areas. Ujifusa unpacks the potential behind ESSA’s Title IV grants, the “weighted student funding” pilot program, and more.

    Room 6: ESSA and the Student Assessment Landscape
    Moderator: Sarah D. Sparks, Assistant Editor, Education Week
    Guest: Lillian Pace, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, Knowledge Works
    ‣ The federal mandate for standardized testing has given educators heartburn for a long time. An ESSA pilot program aims to prime the pump on other ways to gauge student achievement, lets them use SAT and ACT college-entrance exams for accountability purposes, and makes other changes. But it also keeps testing requirements in place. Sparks leads a discussion looking at what ESSA means for alternatives to the usual testing regime, and how states are rising to the challenge.

    Room 7: Connecting School Quality and Student Outcomes
    Moderators: Dr. Mark Quintana, Ed.D., Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, AdvancED | Measured Progress; Alice Sneary, Senior Product Marketing Manager, AdvancED | Measured Progress
    ‣ Come connect the dots between effective learning environment observations, engagement survey results, and academic assessment data to improve school quality and increase student achievement. Hear the results of proven evidence-based interventions for schools in need of comprehensive and targeted support.

    Room 8: Unlock limitless learning
    ‣ Fewer than half of today’s students will be prepared for tomorrow’s fastest growing jobs. Research shows that personalized learning can maximize student success. Microsoft Education can free up as much as 30% of teachers’ time and provides the tools needed to enable personalized learning at scale. Affordable Windows 10 devices and free Office 365 support collaboration and individualized learning while built-in learning tools leverage proven techniques to help students of all abilities improve reading, writing, and numeracy skills.

  • 2:30–3:00 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 Education Week readers.

Guests, Speakers, and Moderators

Evie Blad
Staff Writer
Education Week

Blad is a reporter for Education Week who covers school climate, student engagement, social-emotional learning, discipline, nutrition, and student well-being. Before coming to Education Week in 2013, she was a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, where she covered K-12 education at the state and local levels, higher education, as well as health issues.

Mark W. Bomster
Deputy Managing Editor
Education Week

Bomster edits Education Week's Government & Politics section, overseeing coverage of federal and state education policy, along with early-childhood education, special education, and school law.

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.

Katie Carroll
Program Director for Accountability
Council of Chief State School Officers

Carroll joined the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) in 2013. She worked for the State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards, the NAGB Task Force, the EIMAC Task Force with NCES, and on several early childhood grants for her first 2 years at CCSSO. She currently works on the accountability team supporting states as they work to develop and refine their state accountability systems under ESSA. Prior to joining CCSSO, she taught preschool and pre-Kindergarten at an all-boys public charter school in Washington, D.C.

Hedy N. Chang
Founder and Executive Director
Attendance Works

Chang has spent three decades working in the fields of family support, family economic success, education and child development. She served as a senior program officer at the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and as co-director of California Tomorrow, a nonprofit committed to drawing strength from cultural, linguistic and racial diversity. Attendance Works is the nation’s “go to” resource for strategies to reduce chronic absence (missing more than 10% of school for any reason). Since its founding in 2010, Attendance Works successfully moved chronic absence from a little-known term to a required reporting and optional school accountability metric in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Brian Harris
Barrington 220 District in Barrington, Ill.

Harris has been the superintendent of the Barrington 220 district since 2014. He previously served as a principal in the district from 1993 to 1998. Harris has implemented extended-day kindergarten and a blended-learning program in Barrington 220, among other initiatives.

Anne Hyslop
Assistant Director for Policy Development and Government Relations
Alliance for Excellent Education

In her role at the Alliance for Excellent Education, Hyslop works with states to build systems that promote equity and excellence and with policymakers, advocates, and thought leaders to build understanding of states’ policy choices as they implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). From 2014–2016, she served as senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education where she led the agency’s efforts to write regulations for accountability, school improvement, and innovative assessments under ESSA. Through past work for Chiefs for Change, Bellwether Education Partners, and New America Foundation, she has provided technical assistance to policymakers, conducted research, and written extensively on school accountability, high school exit exams, and college and career readiness.

Sara Kerr
Vice President of Education Policy Implementation
Results for America

Kerr previously served as a senior advisor on leadership and systems improvement at Education Northwest, and before that, was a senior engagement manager with the nonprofit U.S. Education Delivery Institute (EDI), where she oversaw a portfolio of engagements with states, districts, and education organizations focused on effectively implementing priority reforms, including those focused on educator effectiveness systems and new standards and assessments. Before joining EDI, she served as the chief performance officer with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), where she oversaw the implementation of Delaware’s $119 million Race to the Top grant. Sara managed the Department’s internal performance management system, tracking and reporting progress towards statewide student outcome goals; she also led the district support and accountability program, through which the Department conducted ongoing and differentiated district routines focused on results for students.

Kerr also worked as a policy analyst at the Council of the District of Columbia, providing education policy expertise to council members and serving as the liaison between the council and executive agencies, including the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Prior to that, she worked with the DCPS to implement its special education reform agenda and evaluated a number of state and federally funded education programs as a research associate with the American Institutes for Research. She got her start in education as a special education teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland.

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.

Carlas L. McCauley
Center on School Turnaround

McCauley is nationally recognized for his work developing, supporting, and monitoring federal School Improvement Grants and other education improvement initiatives within the U.S. Department of Education, overseeing administration of approximately $5 billion dedicated to improving low-performing schools across the country.

Lillian Pace
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
Knowledge Works

Pace directs the foundation’s policy and advocacy strategy, forging partnerships with national organizations and federal and state policymakers to create flexible policy environments that support the exploration, replication, and transformation of high quality personalized learning systems. During her time at KnowledgeWorks, she has authored a number of national publications on competency education, innovative assessments, and high school redesign. Pace came to KnowledgeWorks after directing the U.S. House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education. She spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill advising policymakers on K-12 and higher education policy.

Christina Samuels
Associate Editor
Education Week

Samuels is a reporter for Education Week who covers early-childhood education and special education. She started working at Education Week in 2004, after stints at the Miami Herald and The Washington Post.

Allison Rose Socol
Assistant Director of P-12 Policy
The Education Trust

Socol develops and conducts data and policy analyses related to trends in student achievement and achievement gaps, accountability, school and district improvement, college and career readiness for all students, and school funding. She also helps to develop recommendations for federal and state policy.

Sarah D. Sparks
Assistant Editor
Education Week

Sparks is a reporter for Education Week who has covered education research and the science of learning for more than a decade. Sarah joined Education Week in 2010, and has published on education and other issues in Education Daily, the Republican-American, the Wall Street Journal, National Geographic Traveler, and others.

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.


Keep up with Education Week by following us on Twitter and Facebook!