Leading up to ESSA:
Delaware's Transition Plan:
In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main federal law governing public education. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). As part of NCLB, Delaware is one of the 43 states operating under ESEA Flexibility. This new law gives states more flexibility and provides more state and local control over the accountability process.
ESSA implementation will begin during the 2017-18 school year. The 2016-17 school year is our opportunity to consult with stakeholders, develop our plan, and submit it to the U.S. Department of Education for their approval.
Although ESSA was signed into law last December, we are still waiting for detailed information that will be included in federal regulation and guidance.
In the meantime, DDOE staff have been learning the content of the new law and working to understand the changes in policy and requirements. These efforts helped us to see Delaware’s strength and readiness for ESSA and to identify areas of opportunity and discussion.
Our early work has set the stage for us to plan for effective, focused, and meaningful stakeholder consultation, which we will use to draft our State Plan.
DDOE ESSA State Plan and Timeline of Activities:
Engaging our stakeholders during the development of the DSSF and equity plan left us well positioned to meet the requirements of ESSA, but there is more work to do. We will re-engage with stakeholders and use the additional feedback to inform our ESSA state plan development and to check our progress as we implement that plan.
Stakeholder consultation will be carried out in multiple ways:
- First, we are in the process of scheduling time during existing group meetings. We are calling these stakeholder consultation meetings.
- Second, the department has scheduled community conversations across the state. These meetings will be open to the public.
- Third, the Governor through Executive Order 62 created an ESSA Advisory Committee . This committee brings together a variety of education leaders and advocates who are required to be part of the consultation process and will provide input to the state plan.
- Fourth, the department will engage representatives of stakeholder groups in ESSA discussion groups Stakeholder groups will nominate participants to these topical discussion groups. The first group will focus discussions on technical topics related to measures of school success and reporting. The second group will focus discussions on provisions for student and school supports. The discussion groups will provide information to the Advisory group created by this Executive Order.
- Finally, the department has established an ESSA state plan email account so that we can share information and collect feedback. Surveys will also be available on the ESSA webpage in September to provide additional feedback.
We also have timelines for plan development. After the conversations and consultations, we will synthesize input and feedback into our first draft of the Delaware State Plan by the end of October. We will share our first draft and continue to solicit feedback on the draft plan to produce our second draft, which we plan to complete by the end of December. Our goal is to submit the final plan by March, which will allow us to have the plan approved prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year.