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Neighbors Growing Together | Jan 18, 2017

Input sought on first draft of Iowa’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan

Jan 13, 2017

Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise has announced that the first draft of Iowa’s state plan for meeting requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is now available for public comment through an online feedback survey, as well as a two-week statewide tour that Department leaders have already kicked off.

“We have spent several months collecting feedback from Iowans about what they think student success should look like in our state, and this first draft is a critical step in the process of implementing the ESSA,” Wise said. “I want to emphasize that this draft is not our final plan, and we need broad input from education stakeholders to guide our revisions so that we ultimately submit a final plan that makes sense for Iowa.”

Wise and other department leaders have sought input on the ESSA through 13 public forums in 2016, a state advisory committee, focus groups with education advocates, education work teams focused on specific components of ESSA, and written comments.

Iowans are invited to give feedback on the first draft of Iowa’s ESSA plan in the online feedback survey, which is open through Feb. 15, or in person during the statewide information tour from Jan. 9-19. A meeting schedule is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Feedback also can be submitted via email at ESSA@iowa.gov or by mail at: Iowa Department of Education, Attn: Deputy Director David Tilly/ESSA Feedback, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146.

Comments will be considered in a revised draft of Iowa’s ESSA plan, which is expected in May.

ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This update, which received bipartisan support in Congress and was signed by the President in 2015, replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and will be fully implemented in the 2017-2018 school year.

ESSA maintains a focus on transparency and accountability while returning more authority to states and local school districts to set goals and create systems of support that will improve student learning. Under ESSA, Iowa and other states must develop state plans that address academic standards, assessments, school and district accountability, funding, and support for struggling schools.

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