No Child Left Behind created an accountability system that highlighted standardized testing. The Every Student Succeeds Act (passed by government in 2015) gives states the opportunity to redefine what accountability looks like for each state. However, the draft regulations provided by the US Dept. of Ed don’t remove NCLB’s emphasis on testing, and seem to be working against the intent of the new legislation. For example, the new draft regulations state that “robust action” – read: punitive action – must be taken against schools that don’t test 95 percent of students.
Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt recently provided testimony to the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (29 minute mark) and expressed many of the same concerns many educators and stakeholders have been echoing in JCPS and in school districts across the country.
They are seeking public feedback on these ESSA regulations to maintain flexibility/autonomy for states and local districts, and to get free of onerous federal testing requirements before they are finalized.
Feedback is open to all educational shareholders. He’s looking for 1,000 comments by August 1.
You can find guidance and information here: http://www.getESSAright.org
For more information on the specifics of this new federal law and decision making points on the local level please see: