Talking points on ESSA hearings on opt out and opportunity to learn

The NYS Education Department has proposed a new school accountability system under the federal law known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). The Regents have not yet accepted this proposal and are gathering input through public hearings happening now through Friday, June 16, 2017 as listed here, starting Monday night in Staten Island and Tuesday in the Bronx.

ESSA allows states more leeway to shape their accountability systems than did its predecessor No Child Left Behind – and to include a range of school quality factors in addition to test scores and graduation rates.  Yet NYSED’s proposal falls short in many ways by failing to move away sufficiently from NCLB’s damaging high-stakes testing regime and towards a new evidence-based accountability system that would incentivize schools to provide the sort of well-rounded education that research shows improves students’ chances at success and that parents want for their children.

Instead, the state’s ESSA proposal is overly simplistic, and could undermine children’s opportunity for an equitable and quality education. It would also likely brand schools with high opt-rates as failing and need of comprehensive support. It’s important that parents attend these hearings and make their voices heard.

For a summary of what’s wrong with the NYSED proposal, and what Class Size Matters and NYSAPE would like to see instead, including offering incentives for schools to provide an equitable well-rounded education with small classes, art, music, physical education, and more, please click here (pdf) or here (in word) for our fact sheet. If you do attend these hearings, please let me know and feel free to draw from our talking points. The public can also email their comments through Friday, June 16, 2017 to

Include an Opportunity to Learn Index in the NYS Accountability System


Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on May 17, 2017

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