A Look at How Some States Want to Handle School Ratings in ESSA Plans

Written By: Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week

“One of the most closely watched issues in states’ Every Students Succeeds Act plans will be how they plan to assign ratings to schools. Thanks to several states that turned in their plans by the April 3 deadline, we have an early idea of where states on headed on this.

One important decision is whether to issue schools single, summative ratings (like an A-F school rating), or use a “dashboard” approach that displays how a school is doing on different indicators, but doesn’t give the school an ultimate rating.

You might remember that how to handle school ratings was one of the most contentious issues in the development of the now-discarded Obama ESSA accountability rules. The Obama Education Department initially wanted to require states to assign a single, summative rating to all schools. But Republicans in Congress and others objected, arguing that this was not a requirement in ESSA itself and was an unfair, onerous requirement.

You can read more about the plans from eight states plus the District of Columbia below. We are also waiting on the full state plan from New Mexico, which the U.S. Department of Education has said was submitted. And further down the line we’ll get more plans from states that have submitted their ESSA plans to governors for a 30-day review. (Governors don’t have veto power over these plans, but ESSA says they have to get a chance to read them before their education departments submit them to Washington.)”

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