MDE Submits ESSA Plan to Governor for Review

Bob Kefgen's picture

Despite urging by many in the education community to delay submission until September, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) will move forward with their plan to submit Michigan's plan for ESSA to the US Department of Education (USED).

The plan was submitted to Gov. Rick Snyder for his 30-day review period after which MDE will submit to the USED. The final plan is not available for release or comment, but MASSP will prepare an analysis once it becomes available.

According to a press release from MDE, the key components of Michigan’s ESSA Plan include:

  • Defining the purpose of school accountability as providing direct supports to the districts, rather than labeling and sanction.
  • A differentiated response to schools based on their academic need, with the most intensive interventions and supports being provided to those most in need.
  • A true focus on the whole child and the aspects of a well-rounded education, including not only academic subjects like fine arts and physical education, but also areas related to safety, health, school culture and climate, food and nutrition, early childhood, postsecondary transitions, and social-emotional learning.
  • Flexibility in the interventions and actions taken by districts and schools, rather than prescribed certain models or interventions. This plan helps local districts diagnose their needs across the whole child spectrum, identify evidence-based practices, and implement a plan that is tailored to their needs.
  • Integration and focus on alignment with early childhood initiatives and goals.
  • Educator quality that goes beyond a focus on "highly qualified" (which was required under NCLB) to supporting teachers and leaders throughout their careers.
  • Assessment systems that are designed to measure within-year student growth in addition to proficiency on rigorous content standards.
  • An accountability system that provides clear information to all stakeholders, based on areas that relate to the progress toward being a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

Further, MDE included a one-page document to explain why the department believes an early submission will benefit Michigan. MASSP will continue to monitor and provide updates as they become available.