ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION®
On March 9, the Senate followed the House by voting to overturn regulations issued by the Obama Administration to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Using the Congressional Review Act, Senators voted to repeal the regulations relating to accountability and state plans, which had been issued last November, by a vote of 50-49.
With the submission of state plans looming, this repeal left uncertainty among education leaders as to next steps in ESSA implementation. To fill the void, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released a scaled-down state plan template on March 13. Other materials, including a set of frequently asked questions, a letter to Chief State School Officers and a crosswalk to the previous state plan template, are included in the guidance package as well.
The documents state that “The revised template includes only those descriptions and information that the Secretary has determined are absolutely necessary for the Department’s full consideration of each State’s consolidated plan.” However, many education stakeholders have expressed concern about elements no longer included in the plan requirements, particularly the elimination of requirements to describe stakeholder involvement.
The deadlines for state plan submission—either April 3 or September 18, remain the same. However, states that choose the April 3 deadline may have until May 3 to allow the state’s governor time to review the plan submitted under the new template, as required by the statute. States may also choose to submit their plan using an alternative template, developed in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 03/20/2017 at 02:40 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Recently, the House of Representatives voted to overturn several of the Obama Administration’s regulations on education. The first rule addresses state accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The regulation was finalized by the Department of Education under President Obama in November, but enforcement of the rule was suspended when the new Administration took over in January. It was intended to clarify use of multiple measures, including new indicators of school quality and student success, in state accountability systems, as well as the design and delivery of state and district annual report cards.
The move has raised uncertainties about how states should proceed in completing and submitting their ESSA plans. The new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who was narrowly confirmed to lead the department last week, attempted to assuage concerns in a recent letter to state school chiefs. She pledged to keep the Obama Administration’s state plan submission deadlines (either April 3 or September 18, 2017), though she indicated that the department will create a revised plan template that includes only the information that is “absolutely necessary” for states to submit. This could prove problematic for states that have largely finished their plans, as the new template will not be available until mid-March.
The House also moved to block a rule affecting teacher preparation programs that was finalized in October. It requires states to report on the quality of both traditional teacher preparation as well as alternative routes to teaching programs, and to link program quality to eligibility for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grants. Both measures are part of a larger effort by the White House and congressional Republicans to roll back many of the regulations implemented by the previous Administration.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 02/13/2017 at 02:56 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch, HEA | Permalink
Earlier this month, the Department of Education announced its first Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant competition, newly authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act. This new grant program builds on the prior “Investing in Innovation (i3)” competition and is designed to support “state and local efforts to develop, implement and take to scale innovative and evidence-based projects.”
In this new competition, however, both states and local school districts are eligible to apply for funding, and they may also collaborate with a wide range of groups to implement projects.
Three types of grants will be available:
Applications for EIR grants are due April 13, 2017, but an intent to apply should be submitted by February 13. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2017, although the total available is still subject to congressional appropriations.
Posted by Alisha Hyslop on 12/30/2016 at 11:42 AM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced its final regulations on the accountability, reporting, and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The rules address the use of multiple measures, including new indicators of school quality and student success, in state accountability systems, design and delivery of state and district annual report cards, and development of state plans across ESSA programs.
The final regulations make a few important changes from the draft version released in June. As noted in ACTE’s fact sheet on ESSA accountability, states must develop an accountability system that includes measures of student academic achievement as well as non-academic indicators of school quality or student success, which can include career readiness indicators. Under the draft rule, these additional indicators would need to be supported by research that shows the measure contributes to student achievement, or in the case of high schools, higher graduation rates. Because this standard would likely have been too restrictive to allow for many non-academic indicators, and with the urging of ACTE and other education stakeholders, the department broadened the standard in its final rule. It now states that the measure must be supported by research demonstrating that it helps “increase student learning, such as grade point average, credit accumulation, or performance in advanced coursework, or for high schools, graduation rates, postsecondary enrollment, persistence, or completion, or career success.”
You can read a summary of the final rule here. For more ESSA implementation updates, follow the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 11/28/2016 at 03:53 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
The U.S. Department of Education has released its latest batch of non-regulatory guidance on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—this time focusing on student support services funded through the new Title IV block grant. Under Title IV, Part A of ESSA, states and school districts have flexible funding that can be used to support activities that advance the use of technology in the classroom, improve school climate and provide students with a well-rounded education. ESSA includes CTE in the definition of a well-rounded education, alongside other critical subjects that contribute to the academic and career success of all students.
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant in Title IV of ESSA specifically provides funding for school districts to offer college and career guidance programs, which may include career awareness and exploration activities. It also allows districts to offer counselor professional development opportunities focused on utilizing labor market information to enhance student advisement on in-demand career pathways.
Additionally, the department has provided guidance on supporting school reforms through Title I funding for disadvantaged students. ESSA allows those schools in greatest need of assistance, operating a schoolwide program, to provide opportunities for students to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school, which can include offeringing CTE dual or concurrent enrollment programs.
For more information, read ACTE’s CTE in ESSA fact sheets on Career Guidance and Counseling and Academics and CTE in the Classroom. Additional ESSA implementation resources are available on our website and the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 10/24/2016 at 11:25 AM in ESEA | Permalink
The U.S. Department of Education recently released non-regulatory guidance that encourages states and school districts to train, recruit and provide high-quality professional development for teachers, principals and school leaders as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Funds provided to states and districts through ESSA Title II, Part A support career success for educators. The guidance focuses on the importance of aligning state strategies that promote effective instruction and improve student outcomes. The full guidance is available here.
Through funding provide under Title II of ESSA, states and districts have the option to offer specialized professional development that focuses on strategies for integrating academics and CTE. These programs encourage teachers to identify linkages across subjects, while providing common planning time to coordinate lesson plans and pedagogy. Title II also promotes efforts to develop or expand alternative routes to state certification of teachers, including mid-career professionals from other fields and occupations who want to become educators. For more information, read ACTE’s CTE in ESSA fact sheet on Teacher Recruitment, Training and Professional Development. Additional ESSA implementation resources are available on our website and the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 09/28/2016 at 04:44 PM in ESEA | Permalink
The College and Career Readiness and Success Center at the American Institutes for Research recently released some new resources to support states’ efforts to promote college and career readiness as part of the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It includes a publication on developing a state policy framework that aligns college- and career-readiness priorities with the appropriate provisions of ESSA. They particularly focus on the areas of the law that impact CTE, such as well-rounded education, which now includes CTE, as well as state accountability systems, which may incorporate measures of career readiness.
More ESSA resources are available on our website, and you can follow the latest updates on ESSA implementation on the CTE Policy Watch Blog.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/29/2016 at 02:21 PM in ESEA | Permalink
As the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) moves forward, there are new tools available on engaging K-12 education stakeholders, including the CTE community, in the process. Understanding ESSA, a new website from the Collaborative for Student Success, aggregates state-by-state information on implementation, including announcements for upcoming state outreach events, news updates and links to state resources. The Council of Chief State School Officers has a guide for stakeholder outreach that includes practical tips for states to engage ESSA stakeholders as well as examples of best practices that states are already using. ACTE has published a series of fact sheets on the CTE components of ESSA available here, and all of our online ESSA resources are available here.
Additionally, ACTE and Advance CTE submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Education’s draft federal regulations on the accountability, reporting and state plan provisions of ESSA. Specifically, our comments address the use of new indicators of school quality and student success, including career readiness measures, in state accountability systems as well as the design and delivery of state and district annual report cards that can include CTE student performance data. Our full comments are available here.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 08/01/2016 at 03:48 PM in ESEA | Permalink
Recently, the U.S. Department of Education took a big step forward on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) when it unveiled draft federal regulations on the law’s accountability, reporting, and state plan provisions. Specifically, the draft rules address the use of multiple measures, including new indicators of school quality and student success, in state accountability systems, design and delivery of state and district annual report cards, and development of state plans across ESSA programs.
As noted in ACTE new fact sheet on ESSA accountability, states must develop an accountability system that includes measures of student academic achievement as well as indicators of school quality or student success, which can include career readiness indicators. ESSA also provides the option to include Perkins performance indicators on state and district report cards, which will help parents, policymakers and the community understand important role of CTE in student success. With respect to state plans, the department is seeking input on engaging a diverse group of stakeholders, which should include the CTE educators, in the design, development and implementation of those plans. Also, the proposed regulations ask states to describe their strategies to support educator professional development and retention, and for providing student access to a well-rounded education, which can incorporate rigorous CTE coursework.
For a more comprehensive description of the department’s proposed rules, read a summary of the regulations and the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or visit the department’s ESSA page at www.ed.gov/essa. The public is invited to submit comments on the proposal now through August 1.
Posted by Mitch Coppes on 06/01/2016 at 02:51 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, 2015, ushered in a new era for K-12 education that ensures all students are prepared for college- and career-success. The new law places unprecedented emphasis on the role of CTE in achieving positive outcomes for all students, including through integration of CTE and academics, increased emphasis on career guidance and counseling, and inclusion of career readiness indicators in accountability systems.
The implementation process for the new law is now underway, which the U.S. Department of Education plans to have fully completed by 2017-18 school year. For the roll-out of this new law to provide maximum support to CTE students and professionals, it is important that ACTE members and the CTE community understand the opportunities presented for their programs.
ACTE has assembled several new fact sheets to support our members in learning about ESSA and how it will affect secondary-level CTE. They include information on:
We hope these resources will be helpful in learning more about what this major development means for CTE programs nationwide.
Posted by Sean Lynch on 05/31/2016 at 04:59 PM in ESEA, Executive Branch | Permalink
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