The DDOE released a second draft of its Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan earlier this week. This version of the plan is a significant improvement from the first version (which had very little to respond to) and incorporates several recommendations our ESSA coalition of 24 community and business groups outlined in letters (see here and here) we sent to the DDOE. But there are some parts of the draft that anyone interested in creating an excellent education system for every kid in Delaware should be very concerned about.
Firstly, the DDOE is considering setting a less ambitious goal for student progress in its plan: moving from reducing the share of non-proficient students in each student subgroup by 50% to reducing it by 40% by 2030.
Also, instead of providing a transparent and meaningful summary rating (e.g. 5-star system or A-F system) to every school, the Department proposes to give schools the following ratings: “Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI), and a third “Other.” This is not a summary rating system that would be meaningful for parents and community members.
To make things a bit more confusing, at this week’s ESSA Advisory Committee meeting, Deputy Secretary Karen Field Rogers suggested the DDOE actually intends to use a 5-star summary rating system even though this is not included in the draft plan. It will be important to get clarity here and continue to push the DDOE to create a plan that will not simply reinforce the status quo.