With the exception of a post back in June 2016 about one of OSPI’s regional ESSA forums, I have not covered issues related to ESSA. A lot of others have done a fine job of covering ESSA related issues and there are folks in WA who have provided feedback on Washington’s Draft ESSA Consolidated Plan. You can read the Summary of Stakeholder Feedback on Washington’s Draft ESSA Consolidated Plan.
Twelve states have already submitted their plans to the US. Department of Education (USED). Washington is wisely waiting until September to submit our state plan. Education Week has published Key Takeaways: State Accountability Plans Under ESSA and presents information about the state plans that have been submitted to USED.
Both before and after ESSA was passed, I took a look at the legislation. I always had trouble with it being touted as returning control of education back to the states and local level. I find it hard to see something as local control when a plan has to be submitted to USED for approval. This seems like a step away from federally mandated local control.
I have not read Washington’s Draft ESSA Consolidated Plan or compared it to an earlier document that contains recommendations approved by Supt. Dorn for incorporation in the state’s consolidated plan. I did read through the recommendations document last fall and made lots of notes. Here are just a few of the comments I made in my notes:
ESSA requires the state to submit a plan to the U.S. Secretary of Education for approval. This is not local control and the State of Washington is not obligated to submit such a plan. The state should seriously consider not submitting a plan and exercise state sovereignty and not allow the federal government to usurp powers reserved for the state by the U.S. Constitution and the 10th Amendment.
The public has been asked for input/comments on a plan that in too many places does not provide enough information for the public, and even seasoned educators, to determine what is meant.
There are enough sections of this plan where the details are basically to be determined later. In many ways this plan appears to be a plan to develop a plan. It may be possible the U.S. Secretary of Education will not approve the plan until it is fully developed.
As mentioned earlier, I have not read the Washington’s Draft ESSA Consolidated Plan. I hope they have determined the details, especially if they want it approved, since the recommendation document was generated. Do you suppose it would be too much to hope the state would decide to sit this game out and not submit a plan?
Lemmings or lemons, anyone?