Louisiana has released its Draft Framework for the state’s plan to follow the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The most significant changes, by my reading, seem to be that schools will start to be evaluated on annual progress, not absolute performance standards. A percentage of the evaluation will still be on “Assessment Index,” which I believe are absolute numbers, but 25% of the evaluation will be on “Progress Index,” or “on the rate of annual progress all individual students make in their fundamental academic skills, no matter how high or low their ultimate performance.” This change is more in step with NCTE’s call for formative assessment (http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/formative-assessment/formative-assessment_full). The report goes on to say:
ESSA calls on states to calculate and report not just the progress of schools but also the progress of individual groups of students within schools, particularly historically disadvantaged groups of students, such as those still learning English or students with disabilities. While previously a struggling school might never be rewarded for strong gains by a given subgroup, under this draft Louisiana framework, each subgroup of students in a given school will receive its own
performance score and rating so that achievement gaps are addressed with urgency, and schools exemplifying growth with
Louisiana’s most underserved student are commended for their work.
Another noteworthy item from the Draft Framework is the plan regarding testing. The report proposes:
*Confining end-of-year state testing to no more than one week per student and never allowing testing to exceed two percent of all instructional minutes in a year.
*Eliminating the duplication in high schools between the ACT series of tests and end-of-course tests. This draft framework proposes one test of math and English per year in grades 9, 10, and 11, with all duplication between ACT and end-of-course tests removed.
*Making available to schools and school districts a series of optional, efficient “check up” tests that align with state standards in grades K-10 so that districts can eliminate time-consuming, antiquated, costly, and unhelpful tests administered throughout the year.
It’s still unclear to me from the appendixes in the report that students will take fewer tests, but the cap on testing time is more in line with NCTE’s statements about assessment and testing, which can be found here: http://www.ncte.org/positions/assessment
Finally, the report also addresses the preparation and mentoring of teachers, including more training for teaching English Language Learners, as well as placement of highly qualified teachers in all schools, also addressed in the NCTE 2016 platform: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/2016-policy-platform
Other relevant NCTE statements are:
Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/school-to-prison
Statement about the Role of Early Childhood Education and Racism: http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/early-child-educ-racism——-