ESSA

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every_student_succeeds_bill_signingThe Every Student Succeeds Act: ESSA Begins

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed into effect the reauthorization of the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA ends a troublesome era of No Child Left Behind where a one-size-fit-all approach to testing, teaching and school improvement dominated our professional landscape placing unrealistic pressures on our most vulnerable students and those who serve them. Watch the signing video.

Under ESSA the responsibilities for school improvement are transferred to the state and local levels greatly reducing federal influences on local school decision making. This change is designed to honor the voice and expertise of those who know the names, strengths and learning needs of the children in their school: parents, teachers, counselors, para educators and administrators, not politicians and corporate lobbyists.

In Wisconsin we must work together to defeat bad ideas, policies, and laws at all levels that do not benefit our students. The Wisconsin Education Association Council is committed to providing its members and partners with the resources needed to take full advantage of implementing the required engagement provisions under the ESSA law. This will help assure a child’s race, income, zip code, disability, home language or background do not determine the quality of education they receive.

Use the WEAC Digital Toolkit to make ESSA work for students in your school:

  1. 5 Steps to Plugging into Your District’s ESSA Team (pdf)
  2. Invitation Letter for Members (Word)
  3. Invitation Letter to Stakeholders (Word)
  4. School Board Speech (Word)
  5. School Board Resolution (Word)
  6. 10-Minute PowerPoint (ppt)


ESSA Podcasts:


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ARTICLES RELATED TO ESSA:

  • Martin says Walker is ‘out of touch’ after governor objects to coalition’s education accountability plan

    Governor Walker objected Wednesday to Wisconsin’s education accountability plan drafted by a broad-ranging coalition of education stakeholders and with tremendous input from teachers and education support professionals. “The governor is out of touch with the people of the state,” said WEAC President Ron Martin, an eighth grade teacher who served on Wisconsin’s Equity Council comprised of state residents, parents, educators and public school leaders. The group met for 18 months to create a state education plan that crosses ideological lines and does what’s best for students. Read More...
  • Why have they taken the fun out of kindergarten?

    Kindergarten was designed as an introduction to schooling, and one that should help children discover that learning can be fun. But many believe that kindergarten has become the new first grade, and that pressure on schools to demonstrate student progress, even at the kindergarten level, has led schools to take the playfulness out of kindergarten. This week, Wisconsin Public Radio examined this issue by interviewing Christopher Brown, an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in early childhood education at the University of Texas at Austin, who says that heightened standards have pushed some teachers to forgo the emphasis on play and spend much more time on structured learning, a trend that is exhausting both children and teachers. Read More...
  • Community Schools model cited as a successful strategy for improving schools under ESSA

    Community schools — which feature integrated student supports, expanded learning time, family and community engagement, and collaborative leadership — can be a successful strategy for improving schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). That’s the conclusion of a new research review released at the Community Schools Awards for Excellence Symposium. Read More...
  • NEA’s Eskelsen García says DeVos is ‘throwing students under the bus’

    In testimony before Congress Wednesday, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to say she would deny federal funding of private schools that discriminate against students. That, and other responses from DeVos to questioning by members of a House appropriations committee during a review of the Trump administration’s education budget proposal, prompted NEA President Lily Eskelsen García to tweet that DeVos was “throwing students under the bus.” Eskelsen García tweeted that DeVos is still unqualified and still using alternative facts. “We should invest in what makes schools great, the things that build curiosity and instill a love of learning,” she tweeted. Read More...
  • Racine Education Association asks for audit of all standardized testing

    The Racine Education Association is asking the school board to conduct an audit of testing in the district, including an inventory of all standardized tests, the purpose of the tests, time spent taking each test, and time spent on test preparation. “Beyond the social and emotional damage high-stakes standardized tests have on children, there is also a definite fiscal impact — whether it be the costs of the tests themselves, time lost on teaching and learning, use of technology, etc. — that should be considered as well,” said REA President Angelina Cruz. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – April 28

    The Assembly on Tuesday has several items on the docket, including a broadband expansion bill, as well as legislation that would give lawmakers direct oversight on how the state plans to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. And the Joint Finance Committee is preparing to begin votes on Monday. Other topics covered in this week’s wrap-up include: voucher accountability, mental health, campus speech, child labor, prevailing wage, school referendums, and more. Read More...
  • Legislative Update – April 24

    Bill increases state aid for special education and school age parents programs to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s costs … Bill would raise early retirement age from 50 to 52 for protective services employees and from 55 to 60 for general employees, and change the calculation for a participant’s final average earning from the highest 3 years to the highest 5 years … Series of bills introduced to restrict the ability of school districts to win passage of local referendums … Bill would require DPI to first submit its ESSA plan to the Assembly and Senate education committees for approval before it goes to the federal government … Joint Finance Committee to begin state budget deliberations … Senate Education Committee will hold an executive session on bills related to recovery charter schools and a mental health training program. Read More...
  • The case for using ESSA audits to curb high-stakes testing

    In about 2 weeks, Angelina Cruz, a 6th grade social studies and reading and language arts teacher, will attend a meeting she hopes will result in her district taking a hard look at the number of high-stakes, standardized tests students are required to take. Read More...
  • Teachers strongly believe that far too much time is spent on student testing, surveys show

    Teachers throughout the nation feel that there is far too much time spent on testing students, according to this analysis from the Atlantic. On average, it says, teachers estimate spending 14 days preparing students for state-mandated exams, and 12 days for district-mandated exams, and eight in 10 teachers think their students spend too much time taking government-mandated tests. Read More...
  • U.S. Education Department proposes new regulations for school accountability

    After more than 100 meetings across the nation with students, parents, educators, state and local leaders, and other stakeholders, the U.S. Department of Education has released a set of proposed regulations to help states as they rethink their accountability and school improvement systems under the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Whereas No Child Left Behind prescribed top-down interventions for struggling schools, the new proposed regulations provide flexibility for schools and districts to implement locally designed solutions and offer a more holistic approach to measuring a quality education than NCLB’s narrow definition of school success. Read More...