U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. recently announced proposed regulations to implement accountability, data reporting, and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed by President Barack Obama in December 2015.
The proposed regulations were drawn up with extensive input from a diverse group of stakeholders; the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) encourages additional feedback on the proposal from parents, teachers, and other stakeholders through the public comment period, and has said it looks forward to receiving suggestions for improvements to the proposed regulations. The public comment period began on May 31 and extends through Aug. 1.
The regulations would eliminate the one-size-fits-all approach that defined No Child Left Behind (NCLB), with new flexibility for states and districts. The proposed ESSA regulations use multiple measures of school success based on academic outcomes, student progress, and school quality, reinforcing that all students deserve a well-rounded education that prepares them to succeed in college and careers.
Where NCLB prescribed top-down interventions for struggling schools, the USDOE’s proposed regulations provide flexibility for schools to implement evidence-based, locally-designed solutions to support and improve these schools. It also defines a clear role for parents, families, teachers, principals, and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of state and local plans, and in the school improvement process.
In addition, the USDOE’s proposed regulations would help states in the implementation of the new data reporting requirements in the law, as well as promote greater flexibility and the ability to consolidate state plans to meet the needs of all students.