Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Seattle Schools Community Forum: ESSA: NCLB Lite (Plus Lots for Charters)

Seattle Schools Community Forum: ESSA: NCLB Lite (Plus Lots for Charters):

ESSA: NCLB Lite (Plus Lots for Charters)

I've been saving up articles on ESSA (Every Child Succeeds Act, the next No Child Left Behind).   Congress may have given more power back to the states but there appear to be some truly troubling issues around increased data collection, opting out, and what "indicators" they will be collecting on each and every child.
From the wonderful Deutsch29 blog from Mercedes Schneider:

  • ESSA requires the 95 percent of testing for the states even as it says, “Don’t pin your state opt-out policies on us for our federal policy. 
  • My second concern involve data collection and especially security. Pages 79 and 80 state that no data is to be collected except that which is “explicitly authorized under this Act.” However, as the February 02, 2016, Congressional Oversight Committee Hearing of US Department of Education (USDOE) Chief Information Officer (CIO) Danny Harris demonstrated, not only was the federal government able to hack into the USDOE data system; acting US secretary John King bent over backwards in defending Harris’ questionable conflicts of interest and shoddy upkeep over the course of years with securing said data.  USDOE has failed for years to secure the data it has, which includes to date 139 million unique social security numbers.
  • As was true for NCLB, ESSA is very friendly to charters. In Title IV, ESSA seeks to open and expand “high-quality” charter schools (page 194). The problem is the USDOE’s history of failing to properly account for its own spending on charter schools. Indeed, in November 2015, USDOE awarded a recommended $71 million to Ohio for its charter schools despite the fact that Ohio admitted to tampering with the numbers on the USDOE application.
She sums up:  I would like ESSA a whole lot better if USDOE would flip the intensity of its 95-percent testing grip in Title I with its nonchalance both about charter spending related to Title IV and keeping the likes of incompetent CIO Danny Harris in annual bonuses.
This from Education Post (a Gates-funded group):

A little-noticed provision in the new Every Student Succeeds Act(ESSA) allows states to set aside funding to help schools create new programs for underserved students and to expand choices for students and parents.

The provision allows states to use up to 3 percent of their federal Title I funding to help districts create innovative new programs for underserved students. States opting into this program for what’s known as Direct Student Services (DSS) can develop a grant process to award the funds.

That 3 percent means as much as $425 million can be available annually for school districts to develop new, innovative ways to provide students in struggling schools a range of additional academic opportunities not available right now.
From EdScoop,  How Schools Can Track Kids' Progress Under ESSA Using Seattle Schools Community Forum: ESSA: NCLB Lite (Plus Lots for Charters):

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