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Education Department to Release Some Draft ESSA Regulations Later This Week

The U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday it will release draft regulations and other materials related to testing and federal school finance under the Every Student Succeeds Act by the end of this week, and that it will soon begin the regulatory process for the portions of the law dealing with accountability.

The draft regulations will cover the topics subject to negotiated rulemaking: assessment and the requirement that federal Title I funds for low-income students must supplement and not supplant state and local funding. The negotiated rulemaking committee began meeting last week, and will review the draft regulations when it meets again from April 6-8.

In addition, the department announced that it shortly will begin the regulatory process for state accountability systems, state's ESSA plans, and the innovative assessment pilot, in which states will be able to try out new tests in a handful of districts. (The innovative assessment pilot is not subject to negotiated rulemaking.)

"While we will continue to seek input on other areas where guidance and technical assistance would be helpful, the department does not plan to propose regulations on any other areas of the new law this year," the department said its statement.

The full statement from the department with updates about ESSA regulations is below:

Over the past several months, we have held well over 100 meetings with stakeholders from across the education system, including parents and teachers, school leaders, state and district officials, and civil rights groups, to listen to their thoughts and concerns about implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. During these conversations, we have been asked repeatedly to provide further clarification in key areas, particularly on those that are essential to the equity and excellence goals of ESSA and to protecting the civil rights of students across the country. In response, we began the process of negotiated rulemaking earlier this month on two issues within Title I, Part A of ESSA: assessments and the requirement that federal funds supplement, and not supplant, state and local funds. In addition, we will begin shortly the regulatory process on state accountability systems and reporting, submission of state plans, and the Title I, Part B innovative assessment demonstration authority. While we will continue to seek input on other areas where guidance and technical assistance would be helpful, the Department does not plan to propose regulations on any other areas of the new law this year. 

The Department will continue to welcome comments and feedback throughout the regulatory process, and there will be numerous opportunities for stakeholders and members of the public to engage. Along with the regulations currently under development through negotiated rulemaking, the public will be invited to comment on the Department's draft regulations on accountability and reporting, state plans, and innovative assessments later this year.   

We greatly appreciate all of the thoughtful feedback and suggestions thus far from individuals and groups across the country. We look forward to a continuing conversation on ESSA implementation and how we can work together to help the law meets its goal of ensuring our education system prepares every single child to graduate from high school ready to thrive in college and careers. The Department will also make additional resources available for technical assistance beginning this summer, so we can better support states and districts as we move forward.

(As a reminder, in response to conversations in their first negotiating session, the Department will be posting materials, including draft regulations, on assessments and supplement not supplant by the end of the week for the negotiating committee to review and discuss.)


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