Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Every Student Succeeds Act

Ohio releases draft essa amendment for public comment

The Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 82 in June 2021, which included changes to the Ohio School Report Cards for schools and districts. Governor DeWine signed the bill into law on July 1, and it became effective on Sept. 30, 2021.

The key provisions of this bill reform Ohio’s school accountability system starting with the 2021-2022 school year. This reform was passed after years of collaborative research and design by education stakeholders, including the major education associations, business community and General Assembly. The Ohio Department of Education began working to implement these new reforms in October with the State Board of Education.

With these changes comes the need to revise Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds Act state plan with the U.S. Department of Education.

The draft linked below has “red-line” changes specifically in the sections that relate to the accountability and school improvement identification. These changes are being proposed to align with Ohio’s new state accountability system. Font in red with a strikethrough are deletions from the initial ESSA state plan, while font in red with an underline are new additions to the initial ESSA state plan. The only sections that have been reviewed and revised relate to accountability and school improvement identification.

The Department is soliciting public comment on the proposed changes until Wednesday, June 1st. Submit all comments to Accountability@education.ohio.gov by 5 PM on Wednesday, June 1st. After the public comment window has closed, the Department will review all comments and update the ESSA Amendment as necessary prior to submission to the U.S. Department of Education.
Ohio's Draft ESSA Amendment for Public Comment


Every Student Succeeds Act Overview

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.

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

See OHIO'S U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION-Approved ESSA PLAN and Requested Waivers

​ESEA Addendum Flexibility for the 2020-2021 School Year [COVID19] 

The U.S. Department of Education issued guidance in October 2020 specifying how states can submit an addendum to their ESSA plans for one-year flexibilities related to states’ Every Student Succeeds Act state plans. This addendum process allows states to address specific issues arising from missing data from the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ordered school building closures, and the cancelation of the spring 2020 assessments.   

The memo linked below summarizes those limited flexibilities available to Ohio through the limited one-year ESSA addendum. The intent of Ohio’s proposal is to limit the consequences of any data generated during this school year to the extent allowable and make allowable technical adjustments to relevant aspects of the report card. This addendum request was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in February 2021 and later rescinded in favor of submitting the accountability waiver opportunity that was released post-submission. 

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.  

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.

Revised Federal Middle School Testing Waiver

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

How to Share ESSA and keep the conversation going

Share with your network #ESSAOhio | Share your ideas: essa@education.ohio.gov
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Last Modified: 11/29/2022 2:41:32 PM