The approval of Washington’s plan to fulfill the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act comes after more than a year of work by state education officials, months of waiting and a few revisions of the original draft plan, which was submitted in September 2017.
U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved Washington’s plan for how it will meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the new federal K-12 education law that takes effect this fall.
The approval comes after more than a year of work by state education officials, months of waiting and a few revisions of the original plan, submitted in September 2017.
Earlier this month, the state superintendent’s office resubmitted its revised plan after the education department sought clarification in nine areas, including how the state will measure the progress of students who are learning English.
“Washington’s plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it,” DeVos said in a news release sent Tuesday evening. “This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which Washington can improve education for its students.”
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Washington’s ESSA plan outlines how the state will measure student progress and hold schools and districts accountable for that progress, or lack of progress. The change in accountability from the previous law — No Child Left Behind — is significant, and allows each state to come up with its own method to measure schools. Washington will use a 1-10 scale to identify schools that need support.
Elementary and middle schools will be measured on math- and reading-test scores, academic growth, English-language-learner progress and rates of chronic absenteeism. High schools will be measured on those indicators, and graduation rates, ninth-grade academic achievement and dual-credit opportunities.
DeVos praised Washington for how it plans to assess its schools and its emphasis on continued training for new and veteran teachers.
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal said the ESSA plan “will define education in Washington for years to come” and noted that hundreds of education experts and community members weighed in on the plan.