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Trump Ed. Dept. Outlines Process for States Seeking to Change Their ESSA Plans

By Alyson Klein — November 20, 2018 1 min read
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State officials: Interested in making changes to your Every Student Succeeds Act plan? U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team have outlined the process for making that happen.

State chiefs that want to make changes to the ESSA plans must first consult with their governors, and give the education community an opportunity to comment. Then they need to send DeVos and company a redlined version of the plan that reflects the proposed changes, a cover letter describing what they want to do differently, and an explanation of how they reached out to the public to get feedback on the revision.

Any changes that could impact how a state flags low-performing schools in the 2019-20 school year should be submitted by March 1, 2019. Revisions submitted after that date will still be accepted and reviewed, but states may not be able to implement the changes by next school year.

The midterm election ushered in some new governors and state chiefs, so there are almost certainly going to be states looking to revamp their plans. The poster child here is New Mexico. The incoming governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, ran on ditching the state’s PARCC tests, its approach to school turnarounds, and its A through F grading system. Grisham, a Democrat who is currently serving the U.S. House of Representatives, also wants to scrap the state’s teacher evaluation system, considered the toughest in the country.

All of that would require a substantial rewrite of the state’s ESSA plan. The question is whether Lujan Grisham and her newly appointed state chief—as yet unnamed—can complete that work in time for the department’s March 1 deadline.

Want to learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act? Here’s some useful information:

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