Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Important Information about ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)

From Down Syndrome Indiana

View the archived webinar on the ESSA featuring Ricki Sabia, Senior Education Policy Advisor for the National Down Syndrome Congress. Here is a link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WhVSYQZCoM&feature=youtu.be.

Important: ESSA and your Child

What is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) passed in December 2015 replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The U.S. Department of Education has published proposed regulations on how States and school districts report on the academic performance of all students under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The U.S. Department of Education has also included in the proposed regulations, how States and school districts are held accountable to improve the performance of students who are not making sufficient progress on grade-level State academic content standards under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Take Action on ESSA
Watch/Listen to ESSA Webinar from Monday, September 12th 2016:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WhVSYQZCoM&feature=youtu.be.%20.
Attend a Listening Tour meeting hosted by IDOE.
Submit public comments.

Attend an IDOE Listening Tour
Please attend the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) Listening Tour on Wednesday, September 14th from 4:30PM to 6:30PM at Decatur Central High School, 5251 Kentucky Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46221.
Can’t make it? Visit: http://www.doe.in.gov/essa for a schedule of listening tours.

Submit Public Comments
If you are unable to attend a listening tour but would like to submit comments, please visit:http://www.doe.in.gov/essa/essa-public-comment.

Talking Points
The final accountability regulations for Indiana should include:
  • Alternate Achievement Standards - a clear link between alternate assessments and enrolled grade content in any reference to achievement standards
  • Meaningful stakeholder consultation – a requirement for membership from the disability community on State and LEA plan development committees and outreach to disability groups regarding other stakeholder input opportunities
  • Consistently underperforming subgroups - a requirement that States use a definition for “consistently underperforming subgroup” that keeps the bar for achievement high, is not based on a comparison to other students, and has a two-year time frame
  • Transition from targeted to comprehensive support and improvement - a change to the regulations that will require, or at least encourage, States to identify schools with consistently underperforming subgroups for comprehensive support and improvement after three years, instead of keeping them indefinitely in targeted support and improvement
  • Funding for support and improvement - a better balance in the funding levels that schools get when they are identified for targeted support and improvement as compared to the much larger amount schools get when they are identified for comprehensive support and improvement
  • 95% participation rate rule for assessments - options for how States can factor in a failure to meet the 95% participation rate requirement that are stronger than most of those in the proposed regulations
  • Minimum subgroup size (n-size) - a requirement that States must justify their n-size if it will be greater than 10 to help ensure that schools have to count their disability subgroup unless it has fewer than 10 students with disabilities.
  • Diploma definition - clarification that a diploma based on a student meeting his or her IEP goals, will not be considered a regular high school diploma, even if those goals are based on the grade-level State content standards
  • Reduction of Segregation of students with disabilities - the addition of “the segregation of students with disabilities in separate classes and schools” to the list of school practices that should be reduced in order to improve school environments and post-school outcomes
Websites with additional information
For information on ESSA from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), visit:

For a Schedule of the listening tours, visit:

To submit written comments, visit:

The National Down Syndrome Congress’ State Guide to Advocacy:

For a link to the entire ESSA, visit:

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