State Board Provides Update on ESSA Plan at its September Meeting

At its September meeting, the State Board of Education reported that PA will be filing its ESSA plan with USDE on September 18. The plan is the culmination of two years of work. USDE will review the plan and PDE will then have a 15-day window to make any necessary revisions. Subsequently, USDE will provide a written determination within 120 days. Highlights of the plan include academic proficiency goals. One goal aims to cut in half the percentage of non-proficient students on PSSA and Keystone exams by 2030. Another goal is to cut in half the number of students who fail to graduate, with cohorts being both four and five years. The plan also includes a reduction in time required for standardized testing. Beginning in Spring 2018, testing time will be reduced by up to 20% across all affected grades. In Spring 2019, testing windows will be condensed from three weeks to two weeks to minimize disruption to the instructional program. Testing will also be moved to later in the school year.