WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Minnesota and West Virginia’s consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
“States continue to embrace the flexibility and power given to them under ESSA,” said Secretary DeVos. “I am pleased to approve these plans, which comply with the requirements of the law. I look forward to seeing how the states turn ideas into action to improve outcomes for all students.”
Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students. The following are some of the unique elements from each state’s approved plan as highlighted by each state:
- Plans to ensure that by 2020, 90 percent of all students will graduate from high school in four years and that the state aligns its efforts with its workforce development goals.
- Identifies 25 percent of the lowest-performing schools across three domains—math, reading and English learner proficiency—to ensure all schools in need of support are identified and assisted, with the greatest support directed to the most acutely low-performing schools.
“Nothing is more important to Minnesotans than making sure every child has access to a great education,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Education Brenda Cassellius. “That consensus was shared by a broad majority of parents, community members and stakeholders across our state who made equity and ambitious goals the central tenants of our ESSA plan. Together, we created a shared definition of equity that serves as the foundation for a plan that is actionable, research-based and rooted in the best practices for supporting schools. Combined with rigorous accountability expectations, strategic support for schools that need it most, and the promise of easy-to-understand and transparent reporting for teachers, parents, and the public, this plan is a significant step forward in our shared vision for all kids. I look forward to implementing our new plan, and supporting every Minnesota educator as they work even harder to ensure every child has the same opportunity to learn, succeed and thrive.”
- Plans to reduce the number of non-proficient students, overall and for each subgroup, in half by 2030.
- Provides LEAs access to evidence-based interventions and professional development based on performance on individual indicators within the Statewide Accountability System, so that any school struggling with a single indicator receives support.
“The intent of our ESSA plan is to be a catalyst for economic growth and development in West Virginia. Our goal is to ensure that every student is provided the opportunity to be successful after graduating high school in their chosen career and/or post-secondary endeavors. Our comprehensive system will individualize support and capitalize on a network of education partnerships, while supporting Gov. Jim Justice’s focus on education and economic development,” said Steven Paine, West Virginia’s state superintendent of schools.