Secretary DeVos Approves Massachusetts' ESSA Plan

Archived Information

Secretary DeVos Approves Massachusetts' ESSA Plan

September 21, 2017

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Massachusetts' consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

"I continue to be heartened by the ways in which states have embraced the flexibility afforded to them under ESSA," said Secretary DeVos. "I want to thank Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson, Governor Charlie Baker and all the stakeholders that contributed to Massachusetts' plan. This plan also serves as a testament to the leadership of the late Commissioner Mitchell Chester, who remains greatly missed. I look forward to seeing how these words on paper translate to classroom action that meets the unique needs of the students across the commonwealth."

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 Massachusetts' plan:

  • Champions strategies to help transform the lowest-performing schools and districts which includes state and local partnerships, empowering school and district innovation and bold intervention authority.
  • Measures the percentage of juniors and seniors in high school who complete broad and challenging coursework—including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and honors courses—in order to incentivize participation in rigorous coursework and to reduce equity gaps among student subgroups enrolled in advanced courses.

"Massachusetts is proud of the achievements of our K-12 student population, but like most other states, we still have a lot of work ahead to close persistent achievement gaps," said Commissioner Jeff Wulfson. “"Our ESSA state plan provides a framework for accountability and targeted assistance and builds on a system that has helped improve schools for Massachusetts students. We appreciate the support we've received from Secretary DeVos and her staff and look forward to working in partnership with them."