When Do States Have to Release Their ESSA Report Cards?
Welcome to the 16th installment of Answering Your ESSA Questions! Our next question, which deals with Every Student Succeeds Act report cards, comes from a reader who preferred to remain anonymous.
Question: When do states need to publish their ESSA report cards?
Short answer: There's really no deadline. It only has to happen once a year.
Longer answer: ESSA requires states to identify schools that are in need of improvement and those where vulnerable groups of students are struggling. And it calls for states to publish all sorts of new data—showing just how much they are spending per kid per school; comparing the test scores of kids in foster care, homeless students, and military-connected students with their peers; reporting on postsecondary enrollment; reporting results for long-term English-language learners, and more.
Under accountability regulations written by the Obama administration, states were supposed to publish this data by Dec. 31, 2018. But those regulations were scrapped by Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration in early 2017. So now there is no exact deadline for getting the information up, it just has to be published annually.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' team could suggest (in guidance) that states should publish report cards on a particular timeline, noted Anne Hyslop, the assistant director of policy development and government relations at the Alliance for Excellent Education, who served in the Education Department during the Obama administration. But the Trump Team has been reluctant to issue guidance in general, she said. The Trump administration's November 2018 ESSA "parent guide" has a section on report cards, but makes no mention of a date for them to be released.
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