"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

ESSA Does Not End NCLB

For the corporate unions and their paid stooges, the confetti from the ESSA celebration is probably getting a little soggy by now.  For anyone who has looked inside the rewrite of ESEA has done nothing but rain on the Ravitch and FairTest parade ever since. 

From a letter from ED dated December 22, 2015. If you believed the lie that federal mandates and "test and punish" are over, then think again. 

But I guess I "quibbling."  After all, there is no punishment unless you don't test, which is still the racist tool that will be used to shut down public schools in favor of segregated chain gang charters.

My bolds:

Dear Chief State School Officer: 
Before the spring 2016 test administration, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of key assessment requirements that exist under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA). These requirements will remain in place for the 20152016 school year, and similar requirements are included in the recently signed reauthorization of the ESEA, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

A high-quality, annual statewide assessment system that includes all students is essential to provide local leaders, educators, and parents with the information they need to identify the resources and supports that are necessary to help every student succeed in school and in a career. Such a system also highlights the need for continued work toward equity and closing achievement gaps among subgroups of historically underserved students by holding all students to the same high expectations.

Section 1111(b)(3)1 of the ESEA requires each State educational agency (SEA) that receives funds under Title I, Part A of the ESEA to implement in each local educational agency (LEA) in the State a set of high-quality academic assessments that includes, at a minimum, assessments in mathematics and reading/language arts administered in each of grades 3 through 8 and not less than once during grades 10 through 12; and in science not less than once during grades 3 through 5, grades 6 through 9, and grades 10 through 12. Furthermore, ESEA sections 1111(b)(3)(C)(i) and (ix)(I) require State assessments to “be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children” and “provide for the participation in such assessments of all students” (emphasis added). These requirements do not allow students to be excluded from statewide assessments. Rather, they set out the legal rule that all students in the tested grades must be assessed. 
. . . .

  1. If a State with participation rates below 95% in the 2014−2015 school year fails to assess at least 95% of its students on the statewide assessment in the 20152016 school year, ED will take one or more of the following actions: (1) withhold Title I, Part A State administrative funds; (2) place the State’s Title I, Part A grant on high-risk status and direct the State to use a portion of its Title I State administrative funds to address low participation rates; or (3) withhold or redirect Title VI State assessment funds. 

    For all States, ED will consider the appropriate action to take for any State that does not assess at least 95 percent of its students in the 20152016 school year overall and for each subgroup of students and among its LEAs. To determine what action is most appropriate, ED will consider SEA and LEA participation rate data for the 20152016 school year, as well as action the SEA has taken with respect to any LEA noncompliance with the assessment requirements of the ESEA.

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