Now that all states have submitted their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education for approval, policy and advocacy leaders are beginning to weigh in on plan strengths and weaknesses.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute published their review, Rating the Ratings: An Analysis of the 51 ESSA Accountability Plans, this week, focusing in on 3 key objectives: assigning annual ratings to schools that are clear and intuitive, encouraging schools to focus on all students (not just low performers), and fairly measuring all schools, including those with high rates of poverty.
One of the most positive findings of the report is that nearly 70 percent of states earned high marks for clear, intuitive rating systems that are easy to interpret. However, the authors note that only 18 states meet their requirement for fair treatment of high-poverty schools, as measured by how states prioritize growth in their ratings.
Accompanying the report are detailed breakouts for each state, complete with ratings and recommendations for which plan components need strengthening. To connect with other advocates thinking about accountability, reach out.