Seven Questions State Boards Should Ask About Their ESSA State Plans

In April and September, states will file comprehensive plans for how they will spend federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Although state education agencies (SEAs) have the primary responsibility for developing and filing the state plan, many state boards of education have statutory authority for carrying out elements of the plan, and most will take a formal vote on their plans before they are sent to the U.S. Department of Education. A new NASBE Policy Update lays out seven big questions board members should have answered before they vote:

  1. What are our goals for improving K-12 student performance and outcomes?
  2. How will our plan protect equity?
  3. How does our plan promote flexibility in allocating federal funding?
  4. How does our state plan improve the quality of teachers and education leaders?
  5. Does our accountability system measure what we want students to know?
  6. How will our state evaluate and support local plans for low-performing schools?
  7. Is stakeholder engagement embedded in the plan and seen as an ongoing activity?

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