Keys to ESSA Readiness - An Education Week Online Summit

As state and school district leaders scramble to prepare for the Every Student Succeeds Act’s new challenges and flexibility, Education Week provides practical takeaways on ESSA’s crucial 2017-18 rollout.
Keys to ESSA Readiness

Free Online Event: Keys to ESSA Readiness

As state and school district leaders scramble to prepare for the Every Student Succeeds Act’s new challenges and flexibility, Education Week provides practical takeaways on ESSA’s crucial 2017-18 rollout. The new law resets the relationship between the federal government and other players on K-12 policy, giving greater autonomy—and added responsibility—to state and local officials. This virtual event will outline the state of play on ESSA implementation, including new federal regulations and guidance, timelines, and the capacity lift for state and local officials. Education Week journalists and guests will staff discussion rooms dedicated to specific high-profile topics, including: testing and assessments; whole-child and non-academic factors in weighing school quality; federal regulation and oversight; teacher professional development; and states’ capacity and role in stakeholder engagement.

Thank you to those who joined us for this event, which took place on Feb. 1, 2017. Below, you can watch the reporter wrap-up we streamed at the end of the event and our explainer video on ESSA.

Keys to ESSA Readiness: Reporter Insights

On Feb. 1, 2017, Education Week hosted "Keys to ESSA Readiness," an online event connecting our readers with reporters for a day of discussions about the new federal law, the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this livestream, hosted by Broadcast Correspondent Lisa Stark, veteran reporters Catherine Gewertz and Alyson Klein provide key takeaways from the day's discussions.

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.


Feb. 1, 2017
1:00-5:00 p.m. ET

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  • 1:00–1:15 p.m. | Welcome
    Watch the video greeting and introductory remarks by Education Week Correspondent Lisa Stark. Find out how your day will roll out.
    Then, join Holly Peele, Education Week librarian, and David Rosenzweig, EdWeek Press Program Associate, for an exploration of anything you might ever want from Education Week on ESSA, including:
    ESSA Explainer (Video)
    ESSA Spotlight
    ESSA Topics Page
    Inside ESSA Webinar Series
    (E-Book) Inside the Every Student Succeeds Act: The New Federal K-12 Law
  • 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!

  • 1:15–2:45 p.m. | #ESSASummit17 Discussions Open
    Education Week journalists and guests provide practical takeaways on the Every Student Succeeds Act.

    Room 1: Assessments
    Moderator: Catherine Gewertz, associate editor, Education Week
    ‣ Join us for a discussion of topics such as ESSA’s new local assessment pilot program; the option to use college-entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT instead of high-stakes state tests for accountability purposes; and the impact of the opt-out movement and other factors affecting mandatory test participation.
    Guests: Guests will come from the assessment world.

    Room 2: Whole-Child and Non-Academic Factors
    Moderator/Guest: Evie Blad, staff writer, Education Week
    Education Week’s lead reporter on social-emotional learning will discuss how districts can go about incorporating factors other than standardized testing, such as school climate and graduation rates, into school ratings as required by ESSA. She will examine what factors are gaining traction; how they will be measured; practical challenges in putting them into effect; and what the research says.

    Room 3: ESSA’s Federal Landscape
    Education Week’s federal policy reporters Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa unpack the state of federal ESSA regulations and implementation in areas including school and student accountability, federal funding, English-learners, students in special education, and the changing power balance on K-12 policy.

    Room 4: Teacher Professional Development
    Moderator: Michelle R. Davis, senior writer, Education Week Digital Directions
    ‣ The new federal education law calls for ongoing, personalized, and collaborative professional development, with a focus on evidence-based efforts. The law steers school districts away from one-shot trainings that pull teachers out of class. Join our guests as we explore ESSA’s implications for expanded teacher professional development, including grant programs, other issues.
    Guests: Guests will include a district-level PD trainer and a national, leading voice in teacher PD.

    Room 5: State Capacity and Stakeholder Participation
    Moderator: Daarel Burnette II, staff writer, Education Week
    Education Week’s state policy reporter moderates a discussion on the resource and capacity challenges states and districts face in implementing ESSA’s requirements. Discussion also may touch on ESSA’s requirement for stakeholders to be involved in the shaping of federal ESSA plans.
    Guests: Guests may include representatives of state and local administrator organizations.

    Room 6: ESSA: The Implications for Education Companies
    Moderator: Sean Cavanagh, Senior Editor, EdWeek Market Brief
    ‣ The Every Student Succeeds Act, approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama late last year, marks an historic shift in federal education policy—one that will shape the work of states, districts, and individual educators for years to come. But what does it mean for companies operating in the K-12 market?
  • 2:45–3:45 p.m. | Live Webinar: ESSA's Impact—Views from Districts and Schools
    Join Holly Yettick, Director of the Education Week Research Center, and Senior Research Associate Sterling Lloyd as they explore the results of their survey of teacher and district administrator views on key elements of the ESSA transition.
  • 3:45–4:45 p.m. | Webinar Simulcast
    Hour-long availability of our “Inside ESSA Webinar Series” from Education Week including:
    ESSA Explained: Inside the Nation’s New K-12 Law
    ESSA and K-12 Policy: State and District Perspectives
    Monitoring and Improving School Climate With Student Surveys
  • 4:45–5:00 p.m. | Final Reporter Wrap-up
    ESSA: In Conversation With Education Week
    Led by the reporters and moderated by Lisa Stark, Correspondent, Education Week, 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

Evie Blad
Staff Writer
Education Week

Education Week staff writer Blad explores some of the nonacademic issues that bear on students’ learning. Join her for insights, news, and analysis on a wide range of issues including school climate, student engagement, children’s well-being, and student behavior and discipline.

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, Education Week. His primary focus is on business and technology issues in K-12 education.

Michelle R. Davis
Senior Writer
Education Week Digital Directions

Davis is a contributing writer for Education Week and a senior writer for Education Week Digital Directions who covers educational technology, including trends around digital education. Davis began working at Education Week in 2002 as a federal education reporter after covering Congress and the federal government in Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau.

Catherine Gewertz
Associate Editor
Education Week

Gewertz is an associate editor for Education Week. She covers assessment and pathways through middle and high school.

Alyson Klein
Associate 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.

Reg Leichty
Founder and Partner
Foresight Law + Policy

Leichty is a lawyer with more than two decades of experience advising national education associations, state education agencies, school districts, nonprofit leaders, and companies about federal education, student data privacy, and technology law. He represents clients before Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Federal Communications Commission, and frequently speaks and writes about emerging policy and legal issues in education reform.

Patrick Murphy
Director of Research and Senior Fellow
Public Policy Institute of California

Murphy is director of research and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he holds the Thomas C. Sutton Chair in Policy Research. He is also a member of the PPIC Higher Education Center team. As research director, he coordinates and directs the policy work of more than 25 researchers. His own research focuses on financing and management in both K–12 and higher education.
He is an adjunct professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, where he served as the director of the McCarthy Center for Public Service. His work has been published by PPIC, the Center for American Progress, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the Center on Reinventing Public Education, the Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education, and RAND. Previously, he worked for RAND and at the Office of Management and Budget.

Holly Peele
Education Week

Peele performs research for staff, maintains the electronic archive of EPE content, and helps staff and readers efficiently search She also oversees electronic and physical book and serial collections.

Marianne Perie
Center for Assessment and Accountability Research and Design (CAARD), University of Kansas

Perie brings 20 years of experience and expertise in K–12 assessment, accountability systems, test validity evaluation and performance standards to CAARD. She has extensive experience providing technical assistance and assisting states in developing valid, reliable and equitable assessments and accountability systems. She has expertise in setting performance standards and has provided technical advice to several states and consortia. She also has taught courses and written extensively on standard setting and has considerable expertise in validity evaluation. Perie has been working to develop strong validity arguments for alternate assessments and has provided several technical assistance workshops to states through the U.S. Department of Education. She is a former director of AAI's Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation.

David Rosenzweig
Program Associate
Education Week

Rosenzweig works with all departments to help manage the day-to-day editorial responsibilities, production, and marketing of digital publications including Spotlights and e-books. He also contributes to ongoing product-development work.

Lisa Stark
Education Week

Stark reports on pre-K, K-12, and higher education issues for and the PBS NewsHour.

Nader Twal
Program Administrator
innovative Professional Development (iPD), Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, Long Beach Unified School District, Calif.

Nader Twal is the program administrator for the Long Beach, Calif. Unified School District's innovative Professional Development, or iPD, initiative, within the district's Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development.

Twal leads the iPD team in its work to redesign and personalize PD offerings in the 75,000-student district. Those efforts are centered on providing well-calibrated, needs-driven professional learning options that align to district priorities and address teacher's choices and needs. He has held numerous positions within the district since he began working there in 1998 as an English teacher.

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.

Michael Watson
Chief Academic Officer
Delaware Department of Education (DDOE)

Watson serves as the chief academic officer at the Delaware Department of Education. He leads the Teaching and Learning Branch of the department in an effort to work collaboratively with schools and districts to improve student achievement.

Watson also has direct responsibility for Delaware's College and Career Readiness initiative, overseeing areas that include curriculum, instruction, and professional development. He also has responsibility for a range of other educational areas such as Common Core State Standards implementation, Next Generation Science Standards adoption, higher education, and educational technology.

Madeline Will
Assistant Editor
Education Week Teacher

Will is an assistant editor for Education Week Teacher and a contributing writer for Education Week. She covers trends in the teaching profession, including classroom practice, professional development, and recruitment/retention.

Holly Yettick
Education Week Research Center

Yettick directs the Education Week Research Center, which produces standalone studies as well as analyses for Education Week and special reports such as Quality Counts. Her areas of expertise are: news media coverage of education, dissemination and communication of education research, education policy, tracking and de-tracking, charter schools and choice.

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