Thursday, March 24, 2016
Accomplishing change w/o changing anything: ESSA RULEMAKING - DAY 3
By CAITLIN EMMA | Politico Morning Education | from Fritzwire via e-mail
A negotiated rulemaking committee on the Every Student Succeeds Act (a rewrite of the Great Society ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), the previous rewrite being the execrable NCLB [No Child Left Behind]) meets today for the last day of its first round of talks. On the agenda: the inclusion of English-language learners in assessments and in English-language proficiency tests. Expect the committee to sort through more big-picture questions. For example, ESSA requires states to identify among students languages other than English that are present to a "significant extent" and "make every effort" to develop tests in those languages. The committee will discuss what exactly that effort would look like and what it means when a language is present to a significant extent. Then they'll talk about how the actual regulatory language should look - revealing where true consensus emerges and where negotiations fall apart. The committee meets again for three days starting April 6.
One of the most heated debates Tuesday has centered on whether to define "students with the most significant cognitive disabilities." The issue resulted in the creation of a subcommittee first thing this morning. Committee members representing the civil rights community said on Tuesday that a definition is needed. And Lisa Mack, a member of the Ohio PTA representing parents and students, said one would be helpful so parents know when their child falls under that umbrella. But other members, including Wisconsin Superintendent Tony Evers, said it's not necessary and will only make things more complex for states, which have operated for years without a federal definition*. I have more: http://politico.pro/1ULmwcB.
There's been a "surge" of legislative activity related to using test scores in teacher evaluations after the enactment of ESSA, according to The Brookings Institution: http://brook.gs/1pHpHa0 .