STATEMENT: CAP’s Carmel Martin on School Accountability Regulations from the U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Education released final regulations for states implementing the school accountability systems outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement in response:
The Every Student Succeeds Act signaled an important shift towards more holistic and flexible systems for assessing school quality and promoting school improvement, and the department’s final regulations released today are aligned with the letter and spirit of the law. The regulations strike an important balance between respecting state autonomy and maintaining federal oversight. They give states wide latitude while ensuring that the performance of all students—particularly those who have been historically marginalized—continues to matter in accountability determinations and school improvement plans.
We are pleased that the Department of Education incorporated CAP’s recommendation to clarify that states could use various methods to obtain summative ratings, such as simply dividing schools into the three categories required by ESSA. The regulations also allow states to recognize additional groups of schools, such as high-performers, and ensure that parents and communities can access important information about their child’s school in a single dashboard of information.
States will have more time to develop and implement their accountability systems, including an additional month to submit their plans and an additional year to identify schools. States have the opportunity under ESSA to create systems of continuous improvement to better support student needs. It is critical that states use this additional time to seek input from all stakeholders so that their systems are relevant to state and local needs.
Click here to view CAP’s recent work on the Every Student Succeeds Act.
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