States: Give Families More Options and Power

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Education Next recently ran a forum for education policy experts to express their hopes for how states should approach policy decision during Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation. National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees weighed in, and while she applauded the continued requirement for states test, disaggregate, and report student assessment data, she also notes the need for states to devise new accountability systems now that ESSA has overturned many No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates.

In order to provide the best educational results for all students, Rees makes the following recommendations based on lessons learned under NCLB:

  • Give parents options. Recent federal support of the Charter Schools Program and school turnaround efforts can help leverage charter schools as a tool to expand the number of quality schools.
  • Help all students succeed. The legacy of disaggregated data reporting will help ensure schools are effectively serving all students to reach their potential.
  • Utilize partnerships. Third-party validators can improve the flow of information between districts and parents so that families are empowered to make the best choices to suit their children’s needs.

Rees ends on a note of optimism that the top-heavy policies of NCLB have been overturned in favor of more local control—presenting an opportunity for states to create new paths to achieve higher student outcomes. Please click here to read the full original article by Nina Rees.

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