Secretary DeVos Approves South Carolina and Virginia’s ESSA State Plans

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Secretary DeVos Approves South Carolina and Virginia’s ESSA State Plans

May 3, 2018

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of South Carolina and Virginia’s consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“The state plans meet the requirements of ESSA, and I am pleased to approve them,” said Secretary DeVos. “As implementation begins, I look forward to seeing how local leaders are able to use the flexibility afforded by ESSA to innovate on behalf of their 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 South Carolina’s approved plan as highlighted by the state:

  • The differentiated model for meeting interim targets based upon each school’s baseline allows the statewide goals to be individualized to a particular school.
  • Measures nine different ways a student can demonstrate college and career readiness by the time they graduate high school. These differentiated college and career readiness metrics allow students to drive their post-secondary goals and maximize the world class knowledge and skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate.
  • Reports on their level of engagement and academic opportunities through the student engagement survey. Having the student “voice” in the accountability system is a first for South Carolina.

“South Carolina’s ESSA plan embodies our vision that every graduate is prepared for success in college, career and citizenship,” said South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “This vision is carried out using multiple metrics to deliver rigorous and personalized instruction to every student.”

The following are some of the unique elements from Virginia’s approved plan as highlighted by the state:

  • Creates a multi-step process to identify schools for support and improvement that emphasizes the importance of academic growth and English learner progress.
  • Includes two new indicators—chronic absenteeism and the Standards of Accreditation Rating indicator—to measure school quality and student success.

“Virginia's ESSA plan reflects the state's mission to increase student learning and academic achievement,” Virginia Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven M. Constantino said. “The wide range of strategies articulated in the plan—which include supporting identified schools, improving school conditions for student learning and identifying and addressing disproportionate rates of access to quality educators—reflect Virginia's commitment to ensure an excellent education for all students.”