ESSA & State Accountability Systems

ESSA & State Accountability Systems

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) mandates that every state design a new accountability system to meet updated requirements and begin implementation in the 2017-18 school year. 

What are state plans required to include?

Academic Indicators Each state is required under ESSA to report academic achievement on state tests in: English/language arts and math in grades 3-8 and one grade in high school; and in three grades in science. States can report achievement data as proficiency and/or growth.

School Quality Indicators Under ESSA each state is required to include at least one school quality indicator beyond the academic requirements.

Graduation Rates ESSA requires each state to track graduation rates and to set both long-term goals and measure interim progress towards achieving those goals.

English Language Acquisition ESSA requires all states to track and report on English language acquisition in their accountability systems.

State Report Cards ESSA allows states a great deal of flexibility in designing their data weighting system with the only guidance being that academic indicators must receive a greater overall weighting than other indicators. Understanding how various indicators are weighted in state plans is important because it ultimately defines which schools and districts will be identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement.

What are the individual states proposing?

There are two windows for plans to be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the first in April 2017 and the second in September 2017. See the links below to learn more about each state’s proposal:

First Round State Plans Submitted in April

Federal Feedback on State Plans

States submitting plans for September review