Iowa Department of Education submits ESSA plan to U.S. Department of Education
DES MOINES – After more than a year of development, collection of feedback and revision, the Iowa Department of Education on Monday submitted to the U.S. Department of Education its plan for meeting requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
ESSA, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, was signed in 2015 and requires each state to have a plan for implementing the law. ESSA maintains the former No Child Left Behind Act’s focus on school accountability and equity for all students while shifting decision-making back to states and local school districts.
Iowa’s plan builds on bold education improvement efforts underway that align with ESSA requirements, including clear and rigorous standards for what students should know and be able to do, a school accountability system that targets support where and when schools need it most, and a structure for professional learning that emphasizes teacher leadership and evidence-based practices.
Iowa Department of Education officials responded to ESSA by launching a broad effort in 2016 to collect input on development of the state’s plan. This outreach effort included 18 public meetings across the state in the fall of 2016 and winter of 2017, meetings of a state advisory committee and 11 education work teams, convening of focus groups, and collection of written comments through online feedback surveys, email and mail. The Department released three drafts of Iowa’s plan for public review in 2017. About 1,000 people gave input throughout the plan’s development.
“This effort to collect feedback from Iowans about what they think student success should look like has been critical in the development an ESSA plan that makes sense for our state,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “We will continue to listen to feedback and update our plan to reflect Iowa’s commitment to ensuring students are prepared for success in high school and beyond.”
Iowa’s ESSA plan, which was signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds, will be under U.S. Department of Education review for up to 120 days. The Iowa Department of Education will provide further guidance and support to school districts on ESSA plan implementation this fall.
More information, including a snapshot, summary overview, and Iowa's complete ESSA plan, are available on the Iowa Department of Education's Every Student Succeeds Act webpage.