Debbie Veney, Director of Communications for NewSchools Venture Fund, kicked off a lively discussion about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), using a fun, game-show style competition and Q&A. The games participants included:
- Alyson Klein, Assistant Editor for Education Week
- Michael Watenpaugh, Superintendent of San Rafael City Schools
- Shavar Jeffries, National President, Democrats for Education Reform
The session focused on how ESSA will impact low-income, Black and Latino students in particular.
The panelists discussed how at a local level, the need to engage families in planning to support students for their future is important and how outreach efforts need to be specific to the needs of families. Parents of color are saying that assessments to see if their students will be college and career ready are wanted, but they also want these measures to be fair and reasonable.
It was also mentioned that schools will soon use school opportunity factors (e.g. course offerings) as a part of their accountability systems. States will consider all of these factors as they move forward with implementation.