EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT
close of 2015, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Every
Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which brings about the first major overhaul to
federal education policy in almost 15 years. The ESSA provides our state an
opportunity to leverage new flexibilities that bring greater emphasis to Texas’
priorities in educating our more than five million schoolchildren. Over the
next several months, TEA will begin the process of engaging with stakeholders
across the state to develop our plan for implementing ESSA. But in the short
term, I wanted to provide you with an overview of the immediate impacts of this
new federal legislation. Please note
that the new legislation does not impact any requirements or reports for the
2015-2016 school year, nor does it change any current state statutes or
general, ESSA did not change assessment requirements. All states accepting
Title I federal funds used by LEAs must assess students as follows:
- Reading/language arts and mathematics
– assess annually in each of grades three through eight and once in high
- Science – assess once during each
of three specified grade spans: grades three through five, six through
nine, and ten through twelve.
- English language proficiency –
assess English language learners annually in each of grades kindergarten
through grade twelve.
Most of the new accountability
provisions of ESSA will not take effect until the 2017–2018 school year. For
the transition year (2016-2017) we will maintain our current list of priority
and focus campuses. This decision is a change from what is currently outlined
in our September 2016 waiver renewal with the U.S. Department of Education
(USDE) due to a new requirement from the Department that all new priority and
focus campuses must be identified by March 1, 2016. Given the short time frame
and inability to run data using the current school year assessment results, we
have determined that maintaining our current list is the best, and least
disruptive, action during this transition period.
Interventions for the 2016-2017 school
year will be differentiated based on state accountability ratings that will be
released in August 2016. We will provide more detailed information to affected
campuses and districts.
Qualified Teacher Requirements/Title II Professional Development
Requirements related to highly qualified teachers
will remain in place through the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Beginning
with the 2016-2017 school year, schools will no longer be required to comply
with the highly qualified teacher requirements. It is important to note that all
state certification requirements adopted in State Board for Educator
Certification rule remain in place.
Provisions under the ESSA will take effect when a
new state plan is approved by USDE, which we anticipate being prior to the
2017-2018 school year. Many provisions that are currently outlined in the 2015
Texas State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators will
cover the requirements outlined in ESSA. With that in mind, we will be using
the 2016-2017 school year to prepare LEAs for the equity plan reporting and
transitioning state data collection processes from highly qualified teacher
requirements to state in-field data reporting.
III English Language Learners
restate, most of the new accountability provisions of the ESSA will not take
effect until the 2017–2018 school year. Standards for 2015–2016 and 2016–2017
are still to be determined and announced to LEAs. In the future, accountability
for ELLs at the federal level is still required.
Consolidated Grant Application
stated previously, the new requirements for ESSA will not take effect for
formula grant programs until the 2017-2018 grant year. With that timeline in
mind, there will be few changes to your current NCLB Consolidated
Grant Application for the 2016-2017 grant
year with more extensive changes to the application for the 2017-2018
grant year. Grant formulas for allocating entitlements, federal
program plans, and federal requirements that are currently in
place will remain for the 2016-2017 school year as well.
In closing, I look to gather input and guidance from
stakeholders across our state as we develop Texas’ state plan to be submitted
to U.S. Department of Education.
If you have any questions, comments, and feedback
regarding ESSA implementation in Texas, please direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to this opportunity to build upon
our work to improve the educational outcomes for all schoolchildren in Texas.