Public Input needed on ESSA

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking public input on the second draft fo the Iowa ESSA State Plan. The “second draft of Iowa’s state plan” and “online feedback survey” can be accessed by clicking on the links in the press release below. I have attached a list of suggested comments to make concerning the Iowa draft plan. Our main points are:

*Stress the importance of a “well-rounded education: that includes the fine arts
*Make professional development funds available for fine arts teachers through Title II & Title IV
*Inclusion of “fine arts participation” as an indicator of school quality

These points and the corresponding sections of the online survey are highlighted in the attachment. After surveying the plan you may have additional comments as well. The deadline for online submissions is July 18th.

If you can distribute this information to your organizations, colleagues, parent groups etc, that would be great. It is very important we have a strong fine arts presence as the final draft of the ESSA plan is being written. Please contact me if you have any questions or if IAAE can assist you in any way.

Thank you so much!
Leon Kuehner
Executive Director
Iowa Alliance for Arts Education

Second draft of Iowa’s ESSA plan released for public review
Iowans invited to comment through July 18

DES MOINES – Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise today announced that the second draft of Iowa’s state plan for meeting the federal Every Student Succeeds Act is available for public review and comment.

“This draft plan ties together and builds on Iowa’s collaborative education reform efforts under way to ensure students are prepared for success in high school and beyond,” Wise said. “While this second draft is a significant step toward implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, it’s important that Iowans continue to give input so we land on a final plan that is right for the state.” (Read a snapshot of the plan here.)

ESSA is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. This update replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and will be fully implemented in the 2017-18 school year. Under ESSA, Iowa and other states must develop state plans that address assessments, school and district accountability, funding, and support for struggling schools.

The plan released today represents the second of three drafts of Iowa’s ESSA plan. Although the content is similar to the first draft, the second draft is organized differently to reflect a new template that U.S. Department of Education officials requested states use for their plans.

Other changes from Iowa’s first draft include a new postsecondary readiness measure and long-term goals based on Iowa’s current statewide assessments, as required by the U.S. Department of Education. Iowa is on track to select a new statewide assessment for the 2018-19 school year through a competitive-bidding process.

In developing this draft plan, Wise and other department leaders sought input through 18 public forums statewide, an advisory committee, focus groups, education work teams, and written comments.

A third draft of Iowa’s ESSA plan will be released in August, and a final plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by September 18.

Iowans are invited to give feedback on the second draft in an online feedback survey, which is open through July 18. Feedback also can be submitted via email at ESSA@iowa.gov or by mail: Iowa Department of Education, Attn: Deputy Director David Tilly/ESSA Feedback, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-0146

Department leaders will collect additional input on the second draft plan at a July 25 meeting of the ESSA Advisory Committee. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room B100 of the Grimes State Office Building.

For more information on the Every Student Succeeds Act in Iowa, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.