September ESSA Deadline Approaches

As of May 2017, 17 states have submitted their complete plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The remaining states are expected to submit their plans this September. This map, created by Education Week, provides a visual breakdown of each state’s ESSA status, including states that have received feedback from the ED, states that have had their plans approved, and states that have not yet submitted plans.

As states have been submitting plans and receiving feedback from the ED, Check State Plans has been providing review and analysis for each ESSA plan. Check State Plans is a project of the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners. The project is an independent peer review of the ESSA plans, conducted by more than 30 state and national experts to provide constructive feedback to the states. Check State Plans encourages states to develop accountability measures that go beyond what is asked of them by ESSA.

The official report identified bright spots and opportunities for improvement. Some of the bright spots included an emphasis on student growth, the continuous thread of college and career readiness, and broadened accountability measures. The report raised concerns as well. One major concern is how schools will be identified for improvement, and what steps such schools will need to take to improve. According to the report, most states met just the bare minimum of federal requirements in terms of how they will identify schools in need of improvement. Rather than employing flexibility and creativity, the states often repeated the law verbatim for this category.

The peer review process allows state leaders to view how their state plans stack up according to state and national education experts, to identify shared challenges and solutions with other states, and to view key trends across all submitted ESSA plans.

Full state plans, finalized versions as well as available drafts, can be found here.