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State ESSA Plans: Gift or Empty Stocking for Nation’s Students?

State ESSA Plans: Gift or Empty Stocking for Nation’s Students?


State ESSA Plans: Gift or Empty Stocking for Nation’s Students?

Chad Aldeman
, Principal, Bellwether Education Partners
Phillip Lovell, Vice President of Policy Development and Government Relations, Alliance for Excellent Education
Nikki McKinney, Director of Policy Development and Federal Government Relations, Alliance for Excellent Education
Andrew Ujifusa, Assistant Editor, Education Week

On December 13, 2017 the Alliance for Excellent Education held a webinar exploring trends in state plans to implement ESSA.  It has been nearly two years since the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Barack Obama, who called the measure “a Christmas miracle.” Are ESSA state plans a gift for the nation’s students or do they represent an empty stocking?

Thus far, sixteen out of the initial seventeen ESSA state plans have been approved by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The remaining plans have been submitted and will likely be approved by January 2018.

Which state policies are innovative? What policies are concerning? How are the U.S. Congress and ED responding to state plans? This webinar dove into some of the details of policies that states are putting in place regarding school letter grades, opting out of assessments, identifying low-performing schools, and more.

Please direct questions concerning the webinar to If you are unable to watch the webinar live, an archived version will be available at 1–2 business days after the event airs.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.

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Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

Categories: Every Student Succeeds Act

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