- The Alliance for Excellent Education, a national education policy and advocacy organization that focuses on the needs of underserved high schoolers, has released five Next-Generation High School toolkits to help districts understand how the Every Student Succeeds Act can and will impact schools.
- District Administration reports the toolkits cover Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, career and technical education, dual enrollment and early college high school, deeper learning, and personalized learning — and they’re all available for free as downloadable PowerPoints.
- Each toolkit includes informational videos, analyses of ESSA policies and standards, best practices, links to additional resources, worksheets for planning and data collection, case studies, and new program options because of funding differences between ESSA and No Child Left Behind.
States are expected to move ahead with full implementation of ESSA for the 2017-18 school year, which means that districts should be planning ahead now. Resources and advice about how to go about implementing new initiatives or understanding how ESSA is going to change schools will be plentiful in the coming months. Beyond nonprofit education organizations, schools can also look to their own state boards of education for support, and district leaders should be engaging with state boards to impact final rules to which they’ll soon be held.
When it comes to English learners, ESSA brings a handful of new requirements for ensuring equity for students. For one, districts will no longer be able to make up their own definitions for classifying students as English learners. States will have to come up with uniform processes. There are also changes to assessment, reporting and the importance of English proficiency.