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Betsy DeVos Approves Vermont and Maine ESSA Plans


U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has approved Vermont's and Maine's state accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Education Department announced Thursday.

The plans detail how the states will comply with the federal law which goes into effect this fall. The Education Department cited several components of the states' plans in announcing the approvals. 

In Vermont's case, that includes the inclusion of physical fitness in its accountability system, as well as tracking the percentage of high school students who go on to college, the workforce, military, or trade school 16 months after graduation.

In Maine's plan, the department cited coaching and mentoring of teachers working at low-performing schools, and its plans by 2030 to cut by half the number of non-proficient students.

DeVos has now approved 12 of the 17 submitted to the federal government so far. On Wednesday, she approved the plans of The District of Columbia, Illinois, Oregon, and Tennessee. Next month, 34 states are expected to turn in their plans, many of which will be voted on by state board members and reviewed by governors in the coming weeks.

The review process has been criticized for the level of transparency and several advocates have said the feedback is inconsistent and doesn't follow the letter of the law.


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