Showing posts from February, 2016

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Deadline approaching for individuals to serve on committee

I'd like to amplify the announcement from ED earlier this month that the Department is taking nominations for individuals to serve on the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. The Committee will provide recommendations on several complex regulatory issues under Title I of ESEA/ESSA.

Among the constituencies ED is looking for are members of state Boards of Education and local School Committees, paraprofessionals, teachers, historically underrepresented students, and the civil rights community.

There's a stated preference for potential Committee members with specific expertise in assessment and/or an understanding of school finance (supplement, not supplant). The two tasks for the Committee:

Prepare proposed regulations that would update existing assessment regulations to reflect changes to section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, including:(i) Locally selected nationally recognized high school assessments, under section 1111(b)(2)(H);(ii) The exception for advanced mathematics assessments in 8t…

Preview of BESE meetings next week

The Board Book arrived this weekend with the information and backup needed in preparation for the upcoming meetings on 2/22 and 2/23. The agenda hasn't been posted publicly, yet; absent requests from Board members to add to or adjust it, here's a preview of what we can reasonably expect:
At the special meeting in Malden Monday night (5-7 PM) we'll hear updates on the status of receiverships for Southbridge and Holyoke Public Schools. This is the first monthly update on Southbridge since the Board voted to bring the district into receivership last month. We'll hear about the search process for an external receiver, status on setting up the Local Stakeholder Group, and strategies for family and community engagement. The report on Holyoke includes an update on the Therapeutic Intervention Program (TIP) at the Peck School and an overview on the status of the turnaround plan. Following that we'll go into Executive Session to discuss strategy with respect to pending lit…

Intro to ESSA

At nearly 400 pages the Every Student Succeeds Act(ESSA, the new iteration of ESEA/NCLB) intends to recalibrate the federal-state relationship (thrown out of whack with NCLB) and continues the commitment of the federal government to "quality and equality in the education that is offered to our young people". The law brings with it several key changes in policy for states and districts, including:

State Assessment Programs support high-quality assessments through state and district assessment flexibility, federal funding, and a new pilot program to encourage innovation. Still in: the provision that at least 95% of students and 95% of each group of traditionally underserved students will participate in statewide assessments (grades 3-8, once in high school, in ELA & maths).State Accountability Systems focus resources on low-performing schools and traditionally underserved students who consistently demonstrate low academic performance. State goals and accountability systems …

Expanding jobs for youth

Last week the US Department of Labor announced a $20M competition: $2M each for 10 local workforce development boards to expand existing summer jobs programs into year-round employment, career pathway, and work experience programs for eligible youth.

The grants intend to strengthen alignment of partnerships under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to encourage partners to collaborate and expand their capacity to serve youth entering the workforce in their local community.

The grants will require partnerships between Local Boards and local summer employment programs, employers, local education agencies, and re-engagement centers to expand summer into year-round employment and work experience programs for eligible youth.

The competition focuses on young people, both in school and out of school (ages 16-24) who have limited or no work experience. Applications are due on March 25.

More information is HERE.

US House: Next steps for implementing ESSA

US House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Education, Elementary, and Secondary Education to hold hearing on restoring state and local control of K-12 education (implementation of ESSA), tomorrow, Wednesday, February 10, 10:00 AM.

Live proceedings of the hearing may be viewed HERE.

"Negotiated rulemaking" and its role in ESSA

In addition to releasing guidance on assessments (my previous post), the US Department of Education (ED) announced last week that it will engage in "negotiated rulemaking" for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Negotiated rulemaking is a process where ED appoints people to serve on a committee to help develop regulations, as opposed to "regular rulemaking" which is undertaken by ED staff. Negotiated rulemaking is intended to increase the likelihood that regulations will be accepted by all interested parties, in part by having them at the table during regulation development.

ESSA requires ED to use negotiated rulemaking in the areas of:

assessments,standards, andthe "supplement not supplant" provision (which involves funding).
Individuals appointed to the Negotiating Committee will represent a broad range of constituencies, including state and local educators, administrators, civil rights organizations, parents, students, the business community, and mor…

ED releases guidance to states on assessments under ESSA

Last week the US Department of Education (ED) released guidance to Chief State School Officers on assessments under the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The guidance document builds on President Obama's Testing Action Plan released last October, which included a set of principles for encouraging assessments that promote learning and equity, while scaling back on those practices that haven't served students - or educators - well.

Through new assessment flexibility, funding, and a new pilot program under ESSA, states are supported in their implementation of high quality assessments. While the law eliminates federal mandates for test-based teacher evaluation, states are still required to administer an annual assessment of students in grades 3-8 and once in high school in ELA and maths. With release of the guidance, states and districts are offered specific examples of ways to use federal funds to:
Conduct assessment audits to help eliminate low-quality or redundant assessmen…