Olympia – Parents, students, teachers, and community members can help shape the public education policy that will affect students for years to come.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has created a draft Consolidated Plan that outlines how the state intends to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act(ESSA).
The plan is the result of a nearly yearlong collective effort between the agency and hundreds of stakeholders, including parents, districts from across the state, higher education institutions, tribes, other state agencies, educational organizations and members of the Legislature.
Beginning Nov. 14, OSPI will educate the public and solicit public comment during a “review tour.”
The tour will make stops in Burien, Selah and Spokane and wrap up with a webinar later in the month.
“Washington state is highly encouraged by the opportunities that are included in ESSA,” said State Superintendent Randy Dorn. “That includes the flexibility states have been provided to think comprehensively about implementation of programs across ESSA, and specifically how districts may leverage Title program funding to ensure a focus on equity and excellence for all students.”
Throughout the process, OSPI and the Consolidated Plan Team integrated the core themes of ESSA into their planning and decision-making process.
Specifically, the Consolidated Plan draft addresses gaps in the education system, and works to promote equitable access and opportunity for all Washington students, particularly low-income students who may slip through the cracks.
ESSA builds on key themes of the bill it replaces, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, while allowing states more say in how to address struggling schools.
While NCLB brought focus to education gaps across the nation, the bill was punitive towards schools that weren’t succeeding.
ESSA instead allows states to dictate what measures will be taken, working to improve schools by offering professional development opportunities, teacher recruitment and retention incentives, and more.
During the review tours, facilitators Dr. Gil Mendoza, OSPI Deputy Superintendent of K-12 Education, and Gayle Pauley, OSPI Assistant Superintendent of Special Programs & Federal Accountability, will present the key components and recommendations included in Washington’s Draft Consolidated Plan and explain how and when the public can provide formal comment on the plan.
OSPI’s Consolidated Plan draft will be open for review and public comment for 30 days beginning in early to mid-November. After that, public comments will be reviewed and provided to Superintendent Dorn for consideration. The plan will then be finalized and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for final review in late December.
Sponsored by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the U.S. Congress passed ESSA in December 2015. The bill will be implemented in America’s schools in the 2017–18 school year.
Those who wish to learn more about the Consolidated Plan draft review tours and public comment period can do so at www.k12.wa.us/essa.
Review tour dates