Teach Plus ESEA Priorities Focus on Improving Equity, Maintaining Annual Assessments

Teach Plus ESEA Priorities Focus on Improving Equity, Maintaining Annual Assessments

Washington, D.C. — Teach Plus today released a letter to Congress that outlines its priorities for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). 

“Our priorities for the reauthorization, developed after conversations with thousands of teachers in our network, focus on improving equity.  This requires annual statewide assessments that teachers can use to inform their practice,” said Dr. Celine Coggins, CEO of Teach Plus.   “We urge Congress to consider this as it moves forward with its work on the ESEA.”

“Good assessments that are aligned to standards are a powerful way to raise the bar for students. Teachers need data that shows how our students are growing,” said Alex Fuentes, Teach Plus Teacher-in-Residence and an alumnus of the Teaching Policy Fellowship program.   

Teach Plus’ priorities for the reauthorization of ESEA are outlined below and the letter to Congress is attached:

  • Modernize and Elevate the Teaching Profession:  Improve the ability of high-need schools to recruit and retain effective teachers; promote teacher-led, evidence-based professional development; and improve teacher preparation through incentive grants to establish 21st century teacher preparation programs that are selective and rigorous, and that emphasize clinical practice and research rather than theory.


  • Provide Equitable Opportunities for Students and Schools Most in Need:  Honor ESEA’s focus on providing funding to serve disadvantaged students, which will require protecting “Maintenance of Effort” provisions and the requirement that at least 40 percent of students in school-wide Title I programs be from low-income families in order to ensure that the funding reaches those schools most in need.  It is also essential to invest in low-performing schools and maintain accountability for the students in our teachers’ classrooms:  low-income students, students of color, English language learners, students with disabilities, and other traditionally underserved students.


  • Maintain Statewide Annual Assessments while Reducing Over-testing at the District Level:  Maintain annual statewide assessments and streamline district assessments, as called for in The Student and the Stopwatch.  Funding should be available for district level audits as called for in the Support Making Assessments Reliable and Timely (SMART) Act.