Georgia and Utah, as well as hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, have some work to do on their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act, according letters published this week by the U.S. Department of Education. Each turned in its ESSA plan back in September. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her team are just beginning to respond to state plans. (Maryland is the only other state that submitted this fall to receive feedback.)

Here’s a quick look at some of the issues the department sited in each plan. Click on the state name to read the full letter from the feds.

Georgia has proposed looking at whether schools are able to close achievement gaps as part of its academic achievement indicator. The department says that gap-closing can’t be used there, although it can figure in elsewhere in the state’s accountability system.

The Peach State has listed nine indicators of school quality or student success, but it hasn’t sufficiently explained how they would be measured, or how they will differentiate among schools, the department says.

Georgia needs to do a better job of explaining how much weight it is giving to different accountability indicators. ESSA says academic factors, like test scores, need to count for more than school quality indicators, like school climate. It’s not clear Georgia met that requirement, the feds say.

The state needs to provide more information to show that its plans for identifying low-performing schools and schools where certain groups of students are struggling meet ESSA’s requirements. And it needs to explain how it will ensure poor students get their fair share of effective teachers, the department says.

Where do state ESSA plans stand? Sixteen states and the District of Columbia submitted their ESSA plans this fall. So far, all but one of those states has been approved. (The exception is Colorado, which asked for more time to improve its plan.) Another 34 states submitted their plans earlier this fall. So far, Maryland is the only other state to receive feedback.

Keep track of state ESSA plans here.

Read the full article here: May require an Education Week subscription.

Source: Education Week Politics K-12

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