HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a Joint House and Senate Education Committee hearing this week, Secretary Pedro A. Rivera provided lawmakers with the Department of Education's (PDE) blueprint for developing Pennsylvania's plan to implement the federally-approved Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
In addition to providing an overview of ESSA and outlining the department's plan, Rivera also sought to assure committee members that the General Assembly would be an important partner in the implementation of the landmark federal law that replaces No Child Left Behind.
"ESSA provides a once-in-a-decade opportunity to implement thoughtful education policy that will impact every public school student in the commonwealth," Rivera said. "While we await further guidance from the federal government, the department's vision is to engage diverse stakeholders in a productive, inclusive, and transparent process to develop our state plan."
Rivera said PDE is planning a series of stakeholder sessions and workgroup meetings to maximize stakeholder engagement in developing the state plan. Workgroups of 15 to 25 members are being formed using nominations from state lawmakers, professional associations, and education leaders around the state in an effort to reflect Pennsylvania's diversity.
The meetings, which begin on April 28, will be facilitated by PDE and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the nonpartisan, national association of state education leaders. Meetings will include two large stakeholder sessions, as well as the smaller workgroup meetings. The workgroups will focus on four key areas of ESSA: accountability, assessment, educator certification, and educator evaluation.
"ESSA provides states with unparalleled flexibility in setting standards, selecting assessments, determining school performance measures, and designing strategies to help schools improve," Rivera said. "The department's ultimate goal is to harness the expertise and experience of advocates, school leaders, lawmakers, the State Board of Education, and others to develop and deliver a thoughtful, comprehensive, and efficient state plan to implement ESSA in Pennsylvania."
Meetings are planned through fall 2016, and PDE anticipates it will submit its state plan to the U.S. Department of Education in spring 2017. ESSA goes into full effect in 2017-18.
For more information on ESSA, visit www.education.pa.gov.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Reigelman, 717-783-9802.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Education