Public has more time for review and comment on state plan to comply with Every Student Succeeds Act

The Seattle Times reports that the public will have an additional two months to consider the state’s response to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. 

State education officials, already under pressure from parents, teachers and the State Board of Education, will delay submission of their plan for how Washington state will deal with the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction announced Tuesday that it would offer the public at least two more months to weigh in on a 241-page draft, which outlines how the state proposes to set new academic goals for students, provide support for teachers, overhaul the state’s school accountability system and much more.

We wrote about the ESSA, which replaces the No Child Left Behind law, last December. At the time, we said,

The new reforms offer new opportunities. The ultimate objective of all good education reform, as we’ve written before, aligns with our Achieve objective: Provide a high-caliber education and workforce development system geared to the demands of the 21st century. We are confident Washington lawmakers, educators and education advocates can make ESSA work to expand opportunity for the next generation of Washingtonians.

With that in mind, the extra time for review makes sense. And, as the Times reports, leadership changes at SPI further warrant the extension.

Initially, after opening the proposal to public comment earlier this month, Superintendent Randy Dorn planned to submit a final version in December to the U.S. Department of Education.

But in a statement Tuesday, Dorn said he decided to delay submission after consulting with Gov. Jay Inslee, incoming Superintendent Chris Reykdal and “various stakeholder groups.”

The important thing is to get it done right. Increased public participation, transparency and accountability increase the likelihood of the plan’s success.