Assessing ESEA Flexibility

I encourage a review of the ESEA Flexibility proposal.

I was very interested in the suggestions for “Consultation” and this proposal should be great motivation for community and stakeholder discussion.

There is good and bad in this proposal.  It essentially guts NCLB and replaces it with state-level approaches, though generally those approaches must be based on multi-state or nationwide, but state-level agreements.  And though it opens the door to other areas for achievement, the new proposal still focuses too much on basic reading/math skills.  This may be OK for poorer, Title I schools, a heavy focus area of the proposal, but our community needs a broader set of achievement metrics.  Discussions on High Quality Teachers, High Quality Assessments, and Student Growth will be valuable.

The proposal is short on metrics and clear statements of desired outcomes, but that may be intentional.  I’m disappointed that it doesn’t do enough to support programs that address underlying poverty, instead leaving states and districts to figure things out.  Our nation still not getting serious on this supreme factor in student achievement.

I am very pleased with the recognition that students should be prepared for college OR other careers.  Hopefully, this will generate more community discussion and media attention on technical skill development.  Our own career-tech school is a shining example to be promoted.

There are many items that local communities can explore with or without an ESEA waiver.  I support discussions on how to inform and engage our community on these topics.  As always, I welcome thoughts on this discussion.