Secretary DeVos Approves District Of Columbia, Illinois, Oregon And Tennessee’s ESSA Plans

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of the District of Columbia, Illinois, Oregon and Tennessee consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  

“As more and more state plans come under the Department’s review, I am heartened to see how states have embraced the spirit of flexibility under ESSA to improve education for individual students,” said Secretary DeVos.

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: 

District of Columbia

  • Creates the School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) framework, a universal framework for every public school in DC that will provide an easy-to-understand annual rating to each school based on 1-5 stars.
  • Measures the quality of Pre-Kindergarten through use of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), which assesses the quality of teacher-child interactions in early childhood classrooms.

“DC’s plan is guided by our commitment to providing equitable access to high quality education for all students and flexibility for our schools to meet the unique needs of all students,” said DC State Superintendent for Education Hanseul Kang. “This plan is the right one for DC, and I am proud that it was informed by rigorous engagement with partners and community members, including the DC State Board of Education, local education agencies, parents, educators, and advocates.” 

Illinois

  • Creates a College/Career Ready Indicator for high schools that measures the readiness of students for college based on several indicators, including GPA, performance on postsecondary readiness exams and attendance, in addition to considering community service hours, summer employment, participation in ROTC, and/or earning industry credentials.
  • Uses survey responses from students to help assign schools a “school climate” score, giving students a chance to provide meaningful feedback and ensuring the student perspective will be a part of the school’s overall summative rating.

“Illinois is committed to supporting the whole child in transforming learning opportunities for all students in our state,” said Illinois State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “We want every child to feel well known and well cared for in our schools and to receive the individual support they need for academic excellence and postsecondary success. The Illinois ESSA Plan gives us the opportunity to foster collaboration and partnerships to build educators’ and leaders’ capacity for improved student outcomes. We appreciate the partnership with the U.S. Department of Education throughout the ESSA process, and we look forward to our continued efforts on behalf of each and every child.” 

Oregon

  • Prioritizes four commitments in its plan: advancing equity; creating a well-rounded education; strengthening district systems; and fostering ongoing stakeholder engagement.
  • Implements a new “Freshmen on track” measure to confirm that students have completed at least 6 credits within the first semester of freshmen year, recognizing the importance of credit attainment in early high school in order to graduate on time.

“Today is a tremendous milestone for Oregon. Oregon’s State Plan is founded on equity and represents the voices and communities we serve,” Oregon Deputy Superintendent Salam Noor said. “We want to put every one of our learners on a path to success from birth through high school, and beyond. And whether our students choose to attend college or go straight into the workforce, it’s critical that their school experience is full of opportunity, and ensures they are college and career ready.” 

Tennessee

  • Supports teacher and principal residencies to create more high-quality pipeline opportunities for prospective candidates to move into those roles; also establishes new grant initiatives that focus on increasing innovation and diversity in the educator workforce.
  • Focuses on college readiness through the Tennessee Promise initiative.

“Our ESSA plan is built on what we’ve started in Tennessee and centered on the belief that every student should be ready for postsecondary when they graduate high school,” said Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen. “Tennessee’s education community helped us to create a strong plan that will help us take our work to the next level, and we look forward to continuing these partnerships now as we move forward.”



Vital To Address Graduates At CSCC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony

Cleveland State Community College will hold its annual spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium. Greg A. Vital has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. In January 2017, Cleveland State Community College announced the creation of Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation, the college’s first ... (click for more)

CHS Teacher Named UT Math Teacher Of The Year

Cleveland High School mathematics teacher Valerie Capps received the University of Tennesee Math Teacher of the Year Award at the UT Department of Mathematics Honors Day 2018 Awards Ceremony in Knoxville on Thursday. This award is given to a local high school mathematics teacher who best exemplifies the knowledge of and enthusiasm for the discipline of mathematics inside the classroom ... (click for more)

TBI Puts Man Who Killed 4 At Waffle House On Its "10 Most Wanted" List

A man who killed four people and injured two others at a Waffle House near Nashville on Sunday morning is still on the loose and has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. He was identified as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Ill., was arrested last year when he was in a restricted area at the White House in Washington, D.C. Reinking ... (click for more)

Dayton Teen Arrested After Running From Deputies On Highway 60; Passenger Caught With Drugs

Hamilton County Sheriff deputies caught up with a Dayton teen who drove off at a high rate of speed on Highway 60 on Sunday afternoon. A passenger in the vehicle was caught with drugs. At approximately  5 p.m. , deputies observed a white Chrysler 200 traveling south in the 7800 block of Highway 60 at a high rate of speed. The driver was improperly passing other vehicles ... (click for more)

Teachers Have Good Compensation Compared To Other Taxpayers - And Response

Hamilton County experienced a property tax increase of about 10.7 percent in 2017. By law the reappraisal of property shall not increase tax revenue. So after the reappraisal the state certified millage rate for Hamilton County was 2.4976 per hundred dollars assessed value. The county commission voted to raise the millage rate to 2.7652 per hundred. That's about a 10.7 percent increase ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)