Parents And Kids Are Counting On Florida To Be Brave!

The first round of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) plans have been submitted to the feds. Florida is not one of them, opting to wait until the fall along with more than 30 other states.

So far, every state’s plan looks different due to the new choice-buffet for student performance measurement. And, honestly, it’s making me crazy-anxious.

Education Week covers the highlights from the first 12 states’ ESSA plans:

  • Maine and Massachusetts got theirs kicked back as incomplete
  • Delaware gave no hard numbers, but wants to reduce non-proficient state exam students by 50%, by 2030
  • 8 states will seek to measure school quality or student success using attendance/absenteeism as one of the indicators
  • 6 states will use college and career readiness as an indicator
  • Some states have added 5 and 6-year graduation rates, not just the traditional 4-year
  • States chose as many as 9 indicators of success, while others chose 1
  • 11 have decided to use an overall school rating, like a letter grade or score

Two things struck me immediately:

  1. How brave will Florida be in setting ambitious goals?
  2. How the heck will I ever be able to compare performance around the country? What if I want to move? It’s like a landmine out there.

The variety is overwhelming and worrisome. What if everybody wants to look good by setting goals they know they can surpass? This is really not the time to default to the super “achievable” goal, while punking-out on a great opportunity to dream “bigly” and more innovatively than ever before.

In the next few weeks, we should be watching for the feedback from the Department of Education on these initial plans, and how the other 30 states will stack up in response.

Now that we are in the driver’s seat, here’s to hoping Florida takes this opportunity out for a spin and see what it can do!

Read more of Education Weeks’ coverage of the First Wave of ESSA Plans here.

What do you think?


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