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Reports from Policy Analysts

Secretary DeVos Approves DC's ESSA Plan

Submitted On: Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Analyst: Cohen, Martha

DC's plan to meet the requirements of ESSA was approved by Secretary DeVos on August 30, 2017. The plan includes the creation of the School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) framework, under which all DC public schools will receive an annual rating between 1 and 5 stars. Pre-K programs will be assessed through the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), which evaluates teacher-child interactions in early childhood classes.

According to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), the STAR framework meets 2 goals for the District: "clear and consistent information" for parents and families and a "common understanding of school outcomes" for educators, leaders, and policymakers.The Deputy Mayor for Education, Jennifer Niles, said the STAR system allows parents to make "apples to apples" comparisons among District schools.

Under the STAR framework, all DCPS schools are to be assessed on: Academic Achievement, School Environment, Academic Growth (Elementary and Middle), English Language Proficiency, and Graduate Rate (High School). Academic Achievement scores combine PARCC test results (ELA and Math set to Common Core standards), ACT/SAT scores, and AP/IB program participation and performance. The majority of a school's rating (70%) is based on PARCC results, which critics believe will narrow the curriculum to focus only on reading and math, neglecting other subject areas. 

Provisions for additional professional development for teachers are also included in the STAR framework.

The full OSSE plan can be found at: DC Revised State Template for Consolidated State Plan

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District of Columbia

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