Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Every Student Succeeds Act

Revised Federal Middle School Testing Waiver – Request for Public Comment

Recent changes in state law impact high school math testing requirements for students, including the elimination of the geometry test as a graduation requirement. These changes have other consequences, such as the possibility of increasing the total number of math tests required for thousands of students. The law directs the Ohio Department of Education to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to use algebra I as the “primary assessment of high school mathematics.” Per federal requirements, this waiver will be posted for public comment for 30 days and public comment will close on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. After the public comment period, the Department will revise the proposal as needed and submit it to the U.S. Department of Education for review. Please share comments and feedback on this waiver revision proposal by email to: ESEAWaiver@education.ohio.gov

ESEA Waiver for Assessment and Accountability Provisions for the 2019-2020 School Year [COVID19]

The U.S. Department of Education has provided states the ability to seek one-year waivers from the Every Student Succeeds Act’s testing and accountability requirements.  The General Assembly subsequently passed emergency legislation canceling the spring administration of the Ohio State Tests and putting into place a ‘Safe Harbor’ on much of the accountability system and state-issued report cards. Accordingly, the Ohio Department of Education sought and received a federal waiver for the 2019-20 school year. Please see the additional documents for further information. Public comment on the federal waiver can be submitted to ESEAWaiver@education.ohio.gov.

ESEA Waiver Flexibility For Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 [COVID19]

The recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides the U.S. Secretary of Education with additional waiver authority of specific ESEA requirements related to federal funding for fiscal year 2019 (state fiscal year 2020). The Ohio Department of Education has applied for these waivers from the U.S. Department of Education to support Ohio’s districts and schools during this crisis. Please see the additional documents for further information on specific waiver authority being requested. Public comment on the fiscal waiver request may be submitted to ESEA@education.ohio.gov until April 20, 2020.  

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, asked Ohio and other states to clearly articulate how they will use federal funds to ensure that schools educate every student, create safe and supportive learning environments, encourage innovation and extended learning opportunities, and more.

What’s happened so far?

Since spring 2016, Ohio collected feedback from thousands of citizens on the state’s plan for using funds set aside by ESSA. Learn more about this stakeholder engagement here. Using that feedback, the Ohio Department of Education released an initial ESSA draft plan in February 2017. The Department took feedback on that draft to develop a second version of the plan. The State Board of Education closely reviewed that draft while Ohio Department of Education leaders sought additional public feedback. The Department used this State Board and public feedback to present a final draft ESSA plan to the State Board of Education, which unanimously approved it on July 11, 2017. 

The Ohio Department of Education submitted Ohio’s Board-approved ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education on September 15, 2017. The U.S. Department of Education approved the plan on January 16, 2018. 

At the same time, Ohio requested a separate corresponding waiver to allow middle school students to take a high school end-of-course assessment in any subject, not just Algebra I, when the student is enrolled in the corresponding course for high school credit. This waiver allows the Department and Ohio's schools and districts to ensure that students are assessed on the curriculum that fully aligns to their instruction, while eliminating the need to double-test students. | Waiver approval letter


With approval of Ohio’s ESSA plan, the Department is working with districts and schools to begin implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act during the 2017-2018 school year.

What’s next?

Though the federal government approved Ohio’s federal ESSA state plan, the state is still looking for public input as it develops strategic plan for education that is more comprehensive than the ESSA federal specifications. When complete, the Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education will include a vision for education in Ohio and set of goals and strategies aligned to the vision that drive the continuous improvement of Ohio’s education system.

How to Share ESSA and keep the conversation going

Share with your network #ESSAOhio | Share your ideas: essa@education.ohio.gov
 Sign up to Receive Updates (select Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) from the dropdown list)

Last Modified: 5/26/2020 9:11:32 AM