02/10/2016

National groups to work for effective ESSA implementation

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The AFT is joining with nine other leading education organizations to form the State and Local ESSA Implementation Network, a new coalition aiming to work in partnership on effective implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

In a Feb. 10 joint letter to acting U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr., the coalition pledged to work together "to ensure a timely, fair transition" to the new law and to coordinate ESSA implementation by governors, state superintendents, school boards, state legislators, local superintendents, educators and parents. The coalition also will "promote state, local and school decision-making during implementation" and collaborate with other education stakeholders to provide guidance to the federal government on implementation.

"ESSA replaces a top-down accountability and testing regime with an inclusive system based on collaborative state and local innovation. For this vision to become a reality, we must work together to closely honor congressional intent," the letter observes, adding, "ESSA is clear: Education decision-making now rests with states and districts, and the federal role is to support and inform those decisions.

"We are dedicated to working together at the national level to facilitate partnership among our members in states and districts to guarantee the success of this new law."

Joining the AFT in this new network are AASA-the School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Education Association, the National Governors Association, the National PTA and the National School Boards Association.

[Mike Rose]