California Educator

August 2016

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TRUE OR FALSE? 1. ESSA removes the role of the federal government from state education policy and activities. 2. California can write its own policy concerning consequences for schools that do not meet the 95 percent participation rate. 3. Now that ESSA has been signed into law, all details are clear about what the law requires. 4. California districts can replace state assessments with alternate local assessments. 5. States can adopt any type of academic standards they wish. 6. ESSA eliminates annual student assessments. 7. ESSA supports state opt-out laws. 8. ESSA allows states to use any type of standards and assess- ments to meet the annual testing requirement. 9. There is no word for accountability in Finnish. 10. ESSA removes requirements to intervene in the state's low- est-performing schools. ANSWERS 1. False. ESSA provides states the ability to implement new education systems and policy but does not remove the federal requirement for states to annually assess students, create challenging state academic standards, and implement an accountability system that includes state intervention in the lowest-performing schools or districts. ESSA requires every state to administer annual statewide assessments in grades 3-8 and once in high school for reading and math (and for science once in grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12). The law maintains a clear role for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to enforce the provisions of the law and ensure that the nation's educational interests are protected and implemented. 2. True. California must decide how the requirement that 95 per- cent of all students and students in each subgroup participate in assessments will factor into their state accountability systems. Unlike No Child Le Behind, ESSA lets each state determine the role of the participation rate in its accountability system. 3. False. The ED announced that it would initiate the rule-making and regulations process for ESSA through 2016. States are advised not to take legislative action until the regulations have been issued. 4. True. ESSA also allows districts — in rethinking their assessment portfolio — to swap the state high school test for a national assessment, such as the SAT or ACT. States must approve the selection and will have to determine, among other things, whether the national assessment is sufficiently aligned to the particular state's standards. 5. False. ESSA requires states to adopt (or continue using) consistent, challenging academic standards aligned with the demands of postsecondary education and work for all children. States must demonstrate that their standards are aligned with entrance requirements for credit-bearing coursework in the public higher education system and with relevant career and technical edu- cation standards. Pop Quiz: The new Every Student Succeeds Act By PATRICIA RUCKER E S S A P U T S D E C I S I O N - M A K I N G for student education back in the hands of local educators, parents and communities while keeping the focus on students most in need. States are now determining imple- mentation of the new law. With educator and public input, California is developing an "accountability dashboard" with multiple drivers to assess student progress. Test your knowledge of ESSA. KNOW YOUR ESSA 38 advocacy

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