Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow signed off on Wyoming’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan, ESSA, Thursday, August 17. It will now be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.
The federal education policy fully replaces No Child Left Behind, giving states more authority to define educational goals for students.
The U.S. Department of Education still requires every state to submit a plan detailing how it would provide an adequate and equitable education.
Balow made remarks at a public signing of the plan. She said public input was essential to the formation of Wyoming’s ESSA plan.
“The law, the ESSA law, states over and over again that our state plan must be stakeholder driven,” said Balow. “And it must include meaningful and continuous consultation with a diverse set of stakeholders.”
Balow said Wyoming’s Department of Education, or WDE, held 14 public meetings, got over 500 responses to a survey and received over 100 public comments on the plan.
She said the WDE heard: “That we can and must do better for all of our students. What we heard is that one test cannot and should not define student success.”
Balow said this plan moves away from the more standardized approach which characterized No Child Left Behind, and is rooted in what’s best for Wyoming — like including more opportunities for career and technical training.