Michigan's new A-F school rating system conflicts with federal law and the state's federal education plan, said officials at the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). The A-F legislation was signed into law on Dec. 28 by then-Gov. Rick Snyder. MDE spokesman Martin Ackley said the department has received guidance from the Michigan Attorney General’s Office that the new law does not fit the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which requires states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, school and district accountability and special help for struggling schools.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have reimagined their school accountability systems and come up with new ways to identify schools for support and improvement. States are required to identify schools for three categories of support: comprehensive (CSI), additional targeted (ATS), and targeted support and improvement (TSI). States must also determine how to weight different indicators such as academic achievement, academic growth, and high school graduation rate in their systems—identifying schools that fall below the thresholds set in the law.
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) published a report in March 2019 reviewing states progress on their ESSA-driven responsibilities related to school improvement. The report includes a survey administered to 41 states and is organized around seven areas state education agencies are responsible for related to ESSA school improvement.
Education Secretary Julia Keleher, who was appointed in December 2016, stepped down on Tuesday, April 2. The same morning, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced that Professor Eleuterio Álamo will serve as interim education secretary. Keleher oversaw the closure of more than 400 schools to save millions of dollars as Puerto Rico continues to see a sharp drop in enrollment amid a recession.
Secretary DeVos Praises Tennessee's Work to Expand Education Freedom and Encourages Stakeholder Involvement During Education Roundtable
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee hosted a roundtable discussion on April 1 in Nashville, TN with more than 30 families, educators, stakeholders and elected officials to discuss the recently announced Education Freedom Scholarships policy proposal. The roundtable answered questions on the plan and discussed how these scholarships, which could total more than $100 million for Tennessee students, could be used to expand students' access to dual enrollment courses, apprenticeship programs, transportation to an out of district public school, or other education opportunities.