Denise Juneau: Comment on Montana’s ESSA state plan

School leaders,

Today, the Office of Public Instruction released its draft state plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA. Since March, a group of educators, parents, and school leaders have been meeting to draft a plan that will continue to build on the successes of our public schools.

It’s exciting that Montanans now have a seat at the table in determining what our public schools should emphasize, and how we can support students and educators grow. The last thing I want to see in Montana is No Child Left Behind 2.0, which is why we’re working to include the voices of educators, parents, and school leaders in developing Montana’s state plan.

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reauthorizing the Elementary/Secondary Education Act of 1965. States have been operating under the guidance of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reauthorization since 2007. ESSA redirects former NCLB requirements in giving states the ability to develop their own accountability plans. ESSA also places a stronger emphasis on child wellbeing and recognizes there are many ways to measure performance.

Montana’s state plan will continue to build on the successes of our public schools by continuing to raise graduation rates, improve teaching, learning and student achievement, identify and support schools of greatest need, and improve non-academic student outcomes in all of Montana’s public schools.

I encourage you to share your thoughts, concerns and ideas. Click HERE to read Montana’s ESSA state plan and submit your comments. The public comment period is open through Dec. 16. Superintendent Juneau will submit Montana’s plan to the U.S. Department of Education on Dec. 23.

Thank you for the work you do,

Denise Juneau
Superintendent of Public Instruction

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