Public invited to comment on N.C.’s K-12 education plan for Every Student Succeeds Act

RALEIGH — North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) staff have scheduled a second round of six public comment sessions to receive feedback from educators, parents, students and other stakeholders on the state’s K-12 Education Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Public input will help guide the development of the state’s plan for complying with the new federal education law approved in December 2015 to replace No Child Left Behind.

ESSA continues to focus on accountability and student-level assessments for all students in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8, science assessments at least once in the elementary grades and at least once in the middle grades, college and career readiness in the high school grades, and accountability for all student groups.

States are required to develop their own ESSA plan to comply with the federal law. The state plan will address issues of school accountability, student assessments, support for struggling schools and other elements.

The state’s accountability plan must include goals for academic indicators (improved academic achievement on the state assessments, a measure of student growth or other statewide academic indicator for elementary and middle schools, graduation rates for high schools, and progress in achieving proficiency for English learners) and a measure of school quality or student success (examples include student and educator engagement, access and completion of advanced coursework, postsecondary readiness, school climate and safety). Participation rates on the assessments also must be included in the plan.

The purpose of this second round of sessions is to provide opportunities for the public to make comments on the rough draft of the state’s plan, which will be posted by Oct. 3, at the latest, on NCDPI’s ESSA website. Please note that the state plan is a draft and does not contain answers to the many questions that must be answered before a final plan can be submitted to the US Department of Education in March 2017. There are many placeholders throughout the draft document where additional information will be placed in the state plan after those decisions are made based on feedback that NCDPI receives over the next few months.

The public session for the sandhills area will take place in Fayetteville Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Long Hill Elementary’s auditorium from 5-7 p.m. The school is located at 6490 Ramsey Street.

Five other sessions are also planned, and guests may attend any session. Additional sites and dates may be found on DPI’s press release about the event.

Audience members who want to speak (up to 3 minutes) should sign in by 5:15 p.m. and are invited (but not required) to bring a copy of their remarks to submit into the record of the event. A recording and notes from each session also will be taken.

In addition, the public is invited to submit comments to NCDPI through Let’s Talk. Simply click on the Let’s Talk link on the NCDPI website and select the ESSA dialog topic when prompted.