Teach Plus Teachers Discuss State ESSA Implementation with Secretary King

Teach Plus Teachers Discuss State ESSA Implementation with Secretary King

Teach Plus and Teach Plus Teachers Commend Dept. of Education’s ESSA Regulations on Accountability and State Plans

WASHINGTON, DC—Five Teach Plus teachers, representing hundreds of Teach Plus teachers from across California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland discussed their states’ ESSA implementation plans with Secretary of Education John B. King today in a virtual meeting. 

The teachers outlined their key priorities for the law’s implementation, including an accountability system that ensures equity among students and schools; and state assessments that provide clear and timely data to drive decision-making in schools and districts.  The teachers shared stories of their own involvement in the process and stressed the need for states to bring more teachers to the table as part of the ESSA plans’ development.

“An important component of Indiana’s ESSA plan is a review of our current ISTEP assessment system,” said Melissa Scherle Collins, 2nd grade teacher in Indianapolis and Teach Plus Policy Fellowship and T3 alum who participated in the meeting.  “The recommendations of Indiana’s ISTEP review panel, on which I served, closely echoed what teachers in our state wanted, including one summative, end-of-year test and a continuous improvement system for our state’s testing process. This clearly shows that a strong teacher voice has a bearing on policy and on how ESSA will be implemented in our state.”

Teach Plus and Teach Plus teachers also commended Secretary King and the U.S. Department of Education on the just-released final ESSA regulations and for listening to teachers and other stakeholders on key issues of equity, accountability, indicators of school quality, school improvement and support, and other measures of student success.  In Massachusetts and Indiana, Teach Plus teachers recently released policy recommendations for ESSA implementation on accountability and assessment that align with the final rule.

“As a teacher in a Title I school, I want to ensure that ESSA remains rooted in the rights of all students to have equal access to quality public education,” said Chris Hofmann, 4th grade teacher in Los Angeles and Teach Plus Policy Fellowship alum who participated in the meeting and has spearheaded the involvement of dozens of CA teachers in ESSA implementation, and who co-authored a state accountability system that won acclaim through the Fordham Institute’s Accountability Design Competition earlier this year.  “These regulations provide schools, districts, and states the flexibility and autonomy to redesign systems of school support to better meet local needs.”

About Teach Plus

Teach Plus empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success.  Teach Plus programs are designed to place highly effective teachers at the center of improvements in schools as leaders of their peers and outside schools influencing policy decisions that affect their classrooms.  Since its inception in August 2007, Teach Plus has grown to a network of more than 22,000 solutions-oriented teachers across the country.