Fall 2017, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) submitted its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education. On December 22, 2017, Devos’ Department sent feedback to IDOE about the plan.
Below are some of the areas of concern about Indiana’s ESSA plan:
- English Language Proficiency Long-term Goals
IDOE proposed tracking the number of students obtaining English language proficiency. DeVos’ team is concerned that tracking English language proficiency instead of the number of students making progress to obtain English proficiency might not meet its department requirements.
- Academic Achievement Indicator
IDOE proposed measuring the growth of high school students passing the graduation exam, but Devos’ team pointed out Indiana needs to measure student proficiency on the exam.
- School Quality or Student Success Indicator(s)
IDOE would like to measure college and career readiness for high school graduates, but Devos’ team shared Indiana must track this data for all students, including those who don’t graduate, and for each subgroup (free and reduced lunch, English learner, etc).
- Weighting of Indicators
IDOE proposed giving schools extra points in its accountability plan for high levels of achievement, progress or achievement gap closure. DeVos’ team would like specific information on how these extra points will be factored in the school’s assessment.
- Exit Criteria for Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools
IDOE plans to exit a struggling school from its support once the school earns a C for two years in a row, but DeVos’ team questions if this criterion shows the school has made continued progress to improve its academics.
- Supporting Needs of Migratory Children
DeVos’ team stated IDOE did not explain how it would address the needs of migratory children, P-12, through working with local, state and federal programs.
- Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program
Although IDOE explained how it would find a school placement for homeless children, it wasn’t clear to DeVos’ team if IDOE’s plan would help students get placed in a school in a timely manner.
IDOE must respond to the feedback by January 8, 2018 or request an extension if more time is needed. If IDOE submits the feedback by January 8, a written response of approval or denial will be sent by the U.S. Department of Education within 120 days.