TOPEKA — Kansas’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), the Kansas State Department of Education announced Friday, Jan. 19.
KSDE submitted Kansas’ consolidated state ESSA plan to the USDOE on Sept. 12, 2017, which was before the Sept. 18, 2017, deadline. The Department of Education asked for clarifications on some items, and KSDE resubmitted the plan with those clarifications.
Kansas’ ESSA Plan represents a subset of the state’s broader Kansans Can vision for education in the state. The Kansas State Board of Education in October 2015 announced the new vision, which is Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.
Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson received a telephone call from the Department of Education on Jan. 19 with news of the approval.
“This is an exciting time of opportunity for education in our state,” Watson said. “We are completely changing the way we think about and approach education, and this is reflected in the rigorous goals outlined in Kansas’ ESSA plan.”
For example, Kansas set an aggressive goal that at least 75 percent of all students and all subgroups achieve proficiency on the Kansas state assessment for English language arts and mathematics. A study conducted by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute: Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that 71 percent of all Kansas jobs will require a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2020. In order to meet this demand, it was necessary to set this goal.
Kansas also set a long-term graduation goal of 95 percent for all districts, schools and subgroups. This is another aggressive goal, but one Kansas must attain to lead the world in the success of each student.
Kansas is working to create a system that calculates annual meaningful differentiation for subgroups, buildings and districts using five identified indicators: academic proficiency, performance gaps, English language proficiency, graduation (applies to high schools only) and student success. Based on these indicators, Kansas will report subgroup, building and district differentiation using four levels: exceeds expectations, meets expectations, approaching expectations and below expectations.
For more information or to read Kansas’ approved ESSA plan, visit http://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Early-Childhood-Special-Education-and-Title-Services/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA.
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