U.S. Department of Education approves Oregon ESSA plan
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Published Aug. 30, 2017 | Updated Aug. 31, 2017
The U.S. Department of Education has approved Oregon’s plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act. A two-page letter from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos dated Aug. 30 said Oregon’s plan “warrants full approval.”
The plan, the result of nearly two years of work, lays out the guiding principles of Oregon education under federal law. Having worked out some technical details with the federal department over the summer, Oregon is among the first 10 states to have plans approved.
“We want to put every one of our learners on a path to success from birth through high school and beyond,” said Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Salam Noor in a statement.
ESSA allows states more flexibility in how they monitor schools. Oregon’s plan emphasizes chronic absenteeism rates and ninth-grade on-track figures, as well as equity in education.
“The plan shows a commitment to equity and a well-rounded education for all students,” said Betty Reynolds, OSBA board president. “Noor’s approach was a model of stakeholder engagement during development of the plan, and he included school board members throughout the process. He is committed to continuing that collaboration, empowering school boards.”
The Oregon Department of Education has already begun implementing its ESSA plan with efforts to redesign the school report card and to support educators and low-performing schools.
Districts will not be required to submit a continuous improvement plan this year or use the Oregon Matrix for evaluating teachers, said Tricia Yates, ODE communications director.