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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and was signed into law in December 2015. ESSA is the major federal legislation aimed at supplementing public school funding to support the learning needs of students living in poverty, English Learners, and other students who have been educationally disadvantaged. This legislation was first passed in 1965, originally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
ESSA returns a great deal of autonomy and authority to states, including the flexibility to design accountability and support systems that work to improve outcomes for their students and schools. The new law encourages states and schools to innovate, while at the same time maintains a focus on equity and accountability. In place of the NCLB one-size-fits-all approach, states have the flexibility to set their own goals for improving student achievement and graduation rates. States also have more flexibility in how they identify and support struggling schools and districts.
While the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) must develop and submit a state plan for approval to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that meets the requirements in ESSA, the ODE will design and implement an equitable, student-centered State Plan that honors the priorities of Oregon students, families, educators, and community stakeholders. So, while ESSA offers Oregon an opportunity as a state to enhance our larger state vision, it also reinforces the fact that we have many systems that are working well. The Every Student Succeeds Act provides Oregon with additional leverage to advance this work. The department is committed to ensuring that Oregon’s State Plan represents the concerns of all stakeholders and our collective commitment to the success of Oregon’s students.
The 2016-2017 school year will be a transition period, with full implementation of most provisions effective in the 2017-2018 school year. In the fall of 2017, ODE will run the new accountability model to identify schools that may be designated as Comprehensive or Targeted Support schools. ODE staff will work with these schools and districts throughout 2017-18 to conduct a needs assessment and additional local data. Schools will be formally identified as Comprehensive or Targeted Support schools in the fall of 2018.
No. The requirements for local district plans for federal program spending and implementation remain the same in 2016-17. As districts begin planning for ESSA implementation, they must be sure to engage their stakeholders in the process to reflect their communities’ needs.
April - June 2016: ODE engaged stakeholder work groups and the ESSA advisory committee to provide initial recommendations on key areas of the state plan
July - August 2016:
September - December 2016:
January - April 2017:
More than ever before, this new law creates an opportunity for stakeholders to play a more active role in the creation of state policy and for ODE to foster relationships that will strengthen implementation and the launch of new initiatives. As we gain momentum in developing Oregon’s State Plan, we want to ensure that you are informed and understand how you can play an active role in this work. Your feedback is very important to ODE’s development and implementation of Oregon’s State Plan. Send your comments or questions to ESSA.Oregon@state.or.us
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