With the first of two major deadlines now passed, states have begun the process of finalizing and submitting their Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation plans to the U.S. Department of Education. The plans detail how individual states will address changes made to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act also formerly known as No Child Left Behind during the 2017-2018 school year.
Within these plans, states are required to layout their vision for adopting academic standards, developing school accountability plans, supporting teachers and school leaders, and ensuring that all students (including English Language Learners and students with disabilities) are provided with a high-quality public education.
Currently, 17 states have submitted their ESSA plans to the department for approval while others have released their draft plans for public review before submitting them by the final submission deadline of September 18, 2017.
In a promising development, the State of New York has included in its plan a provision for increasing school diversity using Title I School Improvement funds. During the drafting process, the state referenced a strong body of research that shows that school integration leads to higher academic outcomes for students and is effective at closing the achievement gap between students of different backgrounds.
In coordination with the National Coalition on School Diversity, Magnet Schools of America has promoted this action and also recommends that states include racial and socioeconomic integration goals in their accountability systems. This was initially proposed in the New York plan, but it was ultimately not included.
Moving forward, we encourage you to utilize our ESSA Toolkit for Magnet Schools to engage your state education leaders and ask them to make school diversity a priority as they finalize your state’s ESSA plans this summer.
Raise the level of performance consistent throughout school districts nationwide and creates a platform from which all magnet schools can flourish. Magnet Schools of America’s national certification process is designed to recognize the hard work of the best magnet schools in the nation and to help them as they grow.