ESEA FLEXIBILITY INFORMATION FROM STATE SUPERINTENDENT PATRICIA I. WRIGHT
October 24, 2013
Public Notice: ESEA Flexibility Renewal
[Division superintendents are receiving copies of public notices for informational purposes. I hope this information is helpful to you.]
The purpose of this communication is to provide you with information about the process for Virginia’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) Flexibility renewal and to ask for your input on proposed updates and revisions to the state’s plan. The ESEA Flexibility renewal procedures require states to document the process for consulting with stakeholders, provide a summary of comments received, and note changes made as a result of stakeholder input.
As background, in September 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) offered states flexibility regarding specific requirements of ESEA in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to advance educational reforms aligned to three principles:
- Principle 1: College- and career-ready standards and high-quality assessments to ensure that every student graduates from high school college- and career-ready;
- Principle 2: Targeted and differentiated accountability systems, rigorous supports and interventions to the lowest-performing schools and schools with the lowest graduation rates, and identification of support to low-achieving students based on need; and
- Principle 3: Teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that provide teachers and principals with the feedback and support they need to improve their practices and increase student achievement.
To be granted flexibility from ESEA requirements, states had to submit applications requesting waivers and outlining the state-developed plans to meet the goals above. Virginia submitted its waiver application to USED in February 2012, and after several amendments, a final version of the application was approved by USED in March 2013. Information on Virginia’s ESEA Flexibility plan and a copy of the final approved application are available at the following Web site: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/federal_programs/esea/flexibility/index.shtml. The ESEA Flexibility plan was approved for two years, or through the end of the 2013-2014 school year. States must now apply for a renewal of their ESEA Flexibility plans or revert to implementing the provisions of ESEA without the waivers.
As part of the stakeholder input process, the Department convened a meeting of the ESEA Committee of Practitioners on October 22, 2013, to discuss the renewal process and share proposed updates and revisions to be included in the state’s renewal application. On October 23, 2013, the Board of Education’s Committee on School and Division Accountability received the same information. You are invited to view the recorded meeting of the Board’s Committee by accessing the October 23, 2013, video link at the following Web site: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/boe/committees_standing/accountability/index.shtml. A copy of the Report on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Waiver Renewal Process and Options for Amendments to Virginia’s Renewal Application can be found under the meeting materials for the same date. The portion of the video related to ESEA flexibility begins at approximately the 2 hours and 6 minutes mark. The report contains a summary of proposed updates and revisions to the application and a timeline of the renewal process.
On November 21, 2013, a draft of the proposed ESEA Flexibility renewal application will be presented to the Virginia Board of Education for first review, and a final draft will be presented to the Board on January 16, 2014. Additional e-mail communication with links to the draft application and Board meeting video will be sent to you in November and in January.
You are invited to view the video and review the report linked above and provide the Department with input on the proposed updates and revisions to the ESEA Flexibility application. Comments should be submitted to ESEA@doe.virginia.gov, and will be received through December 31, 2013. When submitting comments, please identify whether you are representing the input of an organization. We look forward to your input.