Secretary DeVos Announces Approval of Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico's ESSA Plans

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Secretary DeVos Announces Approval of Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico's ESSA Plans

August 9, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico's respective consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

"Throughout this approval process, it has been exciting to see how each state has chosen to serve its students through the flexibility afforded to them under ESSA," said Secretary DeVos. "Nevada, New Jersey and New Mexico's plans meet the statutory requirements of ESSA and these plans will provide a solid framework for educating students in ways that meet each individual state's needs."

"The efforts put into these plans by chief state school officers, governors and others is evident, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with each of them as we work to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students."

Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students. The following are some of the unique elements from each state's approved plan as highlighted by each state:


  • Creates pre-approved evidence-based intervention lists to streamline district identification, review and approval processes.

  • Implements strategies that will target rural districts that typically struggle to provide a wide variety of advanced course offerings and CTE courses to students, as well as urban schools with low participation rates of underrepresented subgroups.

  • Supports college and career readiness through a competitive grant process focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for middle and high school students, an increase in AP enrollment and support for AP success and an increase and expansion of dual enrollment for students enrolled simultaneously in high school and college courses.

New Jersey

  • Implements the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports, which is an evidence-based framework for implementing academic and behavioral supports and interventions to improve achievement for all students.

  • Supports LEAs in offering greater opportunities for middle school students to enroll in advanced-level math coursework by designing, implementing and evaluating research-based technical support around math literacy; designing and disseminating guidance to LEAs on the use of Title I to support preparation for advanced math; and designing multiple, model course pathways for middle schools that allow eighth-grade students to complete Algebra I.

  • Aims for at least 80 percent of all students and at least 80 percent of each subgroup of students in each tested grade to meet or exceed grade-level expectations on the statewide ELA and mathematics assessments by 2030.

New Mexico

  • Provides clear measurements of interim progress and targets for all subgroups for ELA and math through 2020, including targets for all subgroups for four-, five- and six-year adjusted cohort graduation rates through 2020.

  • Utilizes an A-F "School Grades" accountability system, with grades tied to a school's identification for comprehensive support and improvement.

  • Implements the Principals Pursuing Excellence and Teachers Pursuing Excellence programs, which embed mentors for educators in struggling schools.