Delaware Public Media

Delaware's ESSA plan first in the country to receive approval

Aug 2, 2017

Delaware is the first state to get a green light on its federal Every Student Succeeds Act plan.

The approval by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Tuesday comes after the department expressed concerns about the ambitiousness of Delaware’s student achievement goals and several other issues earlier this year.

"Delaware has always been a state of firsts, so it should be no surprise that theirs was both the first state plan submitted and the first approved under ESSA," said DeVos in a statement. 

The U.S. Dept. of Education sent Delaware back to the drawing board in June, and Delaware’s Department of Education submitted its revised plan on June 29th.

 

Then, a Delaware Dept. of Education spokesperson says that on July 18th there was a brief follow-up call with the U.S. Dept. of Education, and three clarifications were made. The final submission occurred on July 24th.

 

“Delaware worked together to create a very thoughtful and effective plan, and we appreciate that USED sees the value in how we’ve designed our systems to improve student outcomes,” Delaware Education Secretary Susan Bunting said in a statement. “Now the harder work begins as we continue to work across agencies and with stakeholders to support our districts and charter schools as they focus on implementing Delaware’s ESSA plan to benefit our students.”

 

Delaware’s Department of Education says implementation of programs outlined in state’s ESSA plan will begin during the 2017-18 school year.

 

But Education Week reports, some worry about the changes the federal Dept. of Education is making to the way it gives feedback to states – holding two-hour phone calls with state officials to discuss problems, before fully explaining issues in a formal letter.

Some like U.S. Senator Patty Murray from Washington worry that will decrease transparency about states’ plans going forward.