Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Development and Implementation of an Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan

After providing support to develop an ESSA State Plan that is coherent, meets federal requirements, and reflects the California context, the CA CC is working closely with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the State Board of Education (SBE) on further defining and implementing provisions in the plan and resulting state policies.

Work Highlights

ESSA State Plan

The CA CC served as a critical thought partner for the CDE in developing the ESSA State Plan, including convening cross-department meetings to learn about the legislation, helping to draft policy briefs and summarizing stakeholder feedback in order to prepare items and presentations for SBE meetings, and providing feedback on every section of the ESSA plan based on the federal peer review guidelines. CA CC staff also developed ESSA-related resources, including crosswalks of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and ESSA legislation, scans of draft ESSA plans from other states, and background research.

The CA CC continues to provide support in determining strategies for implementing the ESSA plan, including policy guidance on the use of set-aside funds, content expertise on assessment and accountability, collaboration in developing a plan to identify and support the bottom 5% of schools, and how to define and support equitable access to effective educators. The CA CC’s extensive work in Assessment and Accountability also directly connects to ESSA plan implementation.

Statewide System of Support

The CA CC is helping the state to think through re-conceptualizing supporting schools and districts not meeting the needs of students, with an emphasis on how to marry the state’s focus on providing technical assistance to districts with ESSA’s requirement to support the lowest 5% of schools. In collaboration with the CDE and SBE’s leadership, the CA CC is facilitating a series of working sessions with key state level organizations (e.g., CDE, SBE, the California Collaborative of Educational Excellence (CCCEE), and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA)) to design and construct a statewide network of support. The CA CC is also working with the Improvement and Accountability Division (IAD) to convene a work group of practitioners called the School Improvement and Support Network Work Group (SISN) to think through the implications of any new statewide system of support design for the field.

Program Support

CA CC staff provided thought partnership, policy guidance, and stakeholder support in developing the plan and continue to provide implementation support for offices across the CDE, including Titles I, II, III, and IV. Specific examples include:

  • Title I: The CA CC has worked closely with the IAD to identify approaches to identifying and providing support to Comprehensive Support and Targeted Support Intervention schools per the requirements of ESSA. This includes reviewing and synthesizing evidence-based strategies, engaging stakeholders and analyzing their feedback, and co-drafting policy briefs.
  • Title II: To prepare for ESSA, the CA CC assisted the PLSD division within CDE (1) to determine strategies and identify programs to meet the requirements of ESSA and prepare for implementation in the section of the plan dedicated to supporting excellent educators (Title 2, Part A-ESSA Section 5), (2) to develop an approach to supporting educator excellence by reexamining existing programs, setting new goals for statewide performance and identifying innovative solutions to challenges within our current system.

Educator Equity Plan

With CDE, the CA CC led, co-planned and facilitated focus groups to engage diverse stakeholders in reviewing the state equity plan and new data and suggested additional causes for or strategies to address inequities in providing equitable access to excellent educators. The updated Educator Equity Plan (EEP) 2017 was included in the development of the state’s ESSA plan. Following ED approval of the 2017 ESSA plan, the CA CC will support the CDE (Professional Learning and Support Division) in leading the implementation of strategies to address identified gaps in providing low income and minority students equitable access to excellent educators.