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Third draft of Iowa’s ESSA plan released for public review

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Iowans invited to comment through September 11; plan will be final next month

DES MOINES – Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced that the third draft of Iowa’s state plan for meeting the federal Every Student Succeeds Act is available for public review and comment. Iowa’s plan will be finalized and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in September.

“Iowa has several collaborative education improvement efforts underway, each with a goal of preparing students for success in high school and beyond, and the Every Student Succeeds Act is an opportunity to connect and build on those efforts,” Wise said. “We’ve made great strides in designing a plan that makes sense for our state, and this is a final opportunity for Iowans to review this plan.”

ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This update replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. Under ESSA, Iowa and other states must develop state plans that address student assessments, school accountability, funding, and support for struggling schools. 

The third draft released today incorporates feedback on the second draft, released in June. The third draft includes the following changes to an accountability index, or series of measures that will be used to identify schools in need of improvement (see pages ix and x for a complete summary of plan revisions):

  • A postsecondary readiness measure will remain part of the accountability index, but Iowa needs time to develop the right measure. Accordingly, the Department will convene a work group during the 2017-18 school year to develop a postsecondary readiness measure to be phased in starting in the 2018-19 school year. 
  • A measure of school climate and culture, called conditions for learning, will carry a smaller weight in the accountability index (5 percent) during the 2017-18 school year while the measure is fully developed. This measure relies on surveys of students, school employees and parents -- as well as data such as student suspensions -- to measure a school’s safety, engagement and environment. 

In developing the draft ESSA plan, department leaders have sought input through 18 public forums statewide, an advisory committee, focus groups, education work teams, and written comments. 

A final state plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by September 18. The plan will be revised and updated in years to come.

Iowans are invited to give feedback on the third draft in an online feedback survey, which is open through September 11. 

Feedback also can be submitted via email at or by mail: Iowa Department of Education, Attn: Deputy Director David Tilly/ESSA Feedback, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

Visit the Iowa Department of Education's Every Student Succeeds Act in Iowa webpage for more information.

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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 22, 2018 at 9:25am.