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ERIC Number: EJ1155938
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
Students Can't Wait: Promoting Equity and Improvement through ESSA
Smith, Ryan; Lowery, Lillian
State Education Standard, v17 n3 p7-10 Sep 2017
Strong school accountability systems can be a powerful tool for sending a clear message that achievement of all groups of students matters and that to be considered good, a school must serve all groups of students well. But in recent years, many states put in place accountability systems that mask disparities in opportunity and achievement rather than highlight them. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers states the opportunity to refocus accountability systems on improving achievement for "all" student groups, especially those that have been underserved for far too long. The law includes key requirements that push for a focus on equity in school accountability. But it also leaves many key decisions up to states: what to measure, how to communicate how schools are doing on those measures, and how to identify when a school needs to take action to improve for any group of students. State boards of education will need to closely monitor the impacts of these policies and push for any needed course corrections to maximize improvement for all groups of students. So what questions should state boards of education ask about the decisions reflected in state ESSA plans? In this article, the authors walk through three questions that are especially important for determining whether the state's accountability system is likely to prompt schools to focus attention on all groups of students. For each question, they highlight what to look for--and what to watch out for--in state plans.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A