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State prepares accountability plan

Cynthia E. Griffin | 5/4/2017, midnight

The state board of education is expected to vote May 10 on a draft proposal of the plan officials expect to submit to the federal government that details California’s plan detailing the accountability they will use under the newly reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

After the draft is approved, the public will have 30 days—May 22-June 20—to review, question and submit comments and other suggestions. These will be reviewed and may be included in the final document sent to Washington D.C. in September.

The ESEA was originally passed in 1965 and was designed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to address student achievement gaps and fund elementary and secondary education. States have been given the opportunity to apply to the U.S. Department of Education for waivers to utilize their own systems for school improvement since 2011. Forty-three states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico successfully requested waivers from certain requirements of federal law by showing a commitment to rigorous state-developed plans for improving educational achievements for all students.

The federal government has reauthorized ESEA every five years since its inception. The reauthorization of ESEA by President George W. Bush was known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ESEA was reauthorized on December 10, 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by President Barack Obama.

State departments of education are now in the process of developing new guidelines or revising old ones to meet the ESSA and implement in time for the 2017-18 school year.

California education officials are on track to submit the state plan by Sept. 18 and then the Department of Education will have 120 days to approve or return the plan for additional information.

According to the California Department (CDE) this year’s plan will have more flexibility in meeting federal requirements or accountability, assessment, and support for students, educators and schools than NCLB. This means that the ESSA plan will more closely reflect the California way of educating students.

California has not been allocated funding under ESSA yet, however the CDE has indicated that it is deeply disappointed with the proposed cuts in Trump’s education budget particularly the in after-school programs and teacher training.

To review the state plan, visit: http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/es.

NNPA President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., and ED Trust President and CEO, John B. King Jr., will meet today at 3:30 p.m. for a live streamed conversation concerning what ESSA means to our community and how parents can get involved. To register, http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=xxyuqpuab&oeidk=a07ee4e3rvt4864b09b