Flexibility for States in the Every Student Succeeds Act
INTERIM COMMITTEE TO STUDY THE EVERY STUDENT SUCCEEDS ACT
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01:04 PM -- Flexibility for States in the Every Student Succeeds Act
Representative Pettersen, chair, called the meeting to order. Roll call was taken and a quorum was present. Michelle Exstrom, Education Program Director, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), introduced herself to the committee and talked about the mission and purpose of NCSL. Ms. Exstrom provided background information about each of the upcoming speakers and summarized what each speaker would be speaking about.
Michael Petrilli, President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (Fordham), came to the table and introduced himself to the committee. He explained that Fordham was supportive of the provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) at the beginning of the process, especially because of the flexibility it offers for states. He stated that there are several key things for states to know about ESSA in terms of flexibility, especially around the accountability system. He spoke about the innovation of the Colorado Growth Model, school report cards, and the importance of focusing on individual-level growth as the fairest way to measure growth. He discussed the need to measure academic achievement at more than one level, and said that ESSA requires states to look at multiple indicators instead of just test scores to measure accountability and growth.
Mr. Petrilli explained that another area of flexibility for states is figuring out what to do about schools that are low-performing. He said there is more flexibility in this area compared to what was mandated by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, especially in terms of states being allowed to use money to focus on helping failing schools. Mr. Petrilli answered questions from the committee. He talked about state-led turnaround efforts in other states and about what the next federal administration may do to repeal or not enforce certain regulations that were passed under the current administration. He answered questions about private school choice, vouchers, tax credits, and about the Colorado Growth Model.
Mr. Petrilli spoke about what other states are doing in terms of their draft state plans and concluded his presentation.