State Ed Dept. releases new achievement guidelines

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

The Michigan Department of Education on Tuesday released its full draft plan for meeting the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which will replace the No Child Left Behind Act for the 2017-18 school year.

The draft plan was detailed at a State Board of Education meeting.

The draft plan is open for a 30-day public comment period, ending March 16. Input will continue to be incorporated until the the state’s final plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in April. The plan can be viewed online at,4615,7-140-37818_76731---,00.html

“This ESSA plan is a key component of making Michigan a Top 10 education state in 10 years,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said in a statement.

“Educators, parents, legislators and community members across the state devoted significant time and effort over the past several months to help us shape this plan. I appreciate their time, vision, feedback and continued collaboration as we finalize and implement our plan,” Whiston said.

In the statement, Whiston said the proposed plan has a “whole child” focus that reduces less student testing; focuses on student academic growth; institutes a Partnership Model for improving low-performing schools; implements a new school accountability system; gives schools more flexibility on how they choose to improve; and gives schools greater ownership in how they follow their own plans.

ESSA was signed into federal law on Dec. 10, 2015, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act.

The law represents a shift from federal oversight of primary and secondary education to greater flexibility at the state and local levels. ESSA requires states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, school and district accountability, and provide special help for struggling schools.

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