ESSA Public Comment

wendyz@michiganprincipals.org's picture

As you a likely aware, MASSP has been working with MDE and other stakeholders for nearly a year on Michigan's submission for use of federal funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Below is information we would like to share about MASSP's position on the draft ESSA plan and a PDF copy of the public comment we submitted to MDE last Thursday. In addition to submitting public comment, I was fortunate to meet with Superintendent Whiston one​-​on​-​one to discuss MASSP's concerns.

The following summarizes the association's major concerns, particularly with the Title I​, Part A​ and Title II​, Part A sections of the ESSA plan. To read MASSP's full public comment submission, please click here.

The proposed Title I​, Part A​ plan primarily addresses the school report card concept and how schools should be "rated​.​" MASSP joins many of the other education associations in advocating for a dashboard approach rather than a single summative grade. We outlined specific concerns with the proposed subgroup size and subgroup weighting. We also expressed concerns about some of the "school quality" indicators proposed, such as Teacher/Admin longevity and Time Spent in Fine Arts, Music & PE. Lastly, under the proposed methodology, MDE projects that 14% of schools in the state (383 buildings) would be an "F" – MASSP questioned MDE's capacity to support/reform such a large number of schools.

The Title II​, Part A section on Supporting Excellent Educators is the other section where we focused our feedback. Essentially we view this section of the plan as something of a "buck shot" approach to supporting educator quality – it takes aims at a number of small projects that the draft plan concedes will impact very few educators. Instead, MASSP suggests that MDE invest in supports/resources that have already proven to be successful in other states that would provide wide-scale blended and in person PD to teachers (and pre-service teachers) in essential aspects of instruction such as formative assessment.

At this time, the public comment window on the draft ESSA plan has closed. MASSP will continue to update members on the next steps of MDE's plan. For additional information, please visit michigan.gov/essa.