U.S. Department of Education Names Committee Members to Draft Proposed Regulations for Every Student Succeeds Act

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Names Committee Members to Draft Proposed Regulations for Every Student Succeeds Act

March 4, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education today named committee members who will draft proposed regulations in two areas of Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This is the latest step in the process of implementing ESSA.

“We look forward to working with the committee to promote equity and excellence for all students by providing states and school districts with timely regulations so that they can plan ahead and support students and educators,” said Ann Whalen, senior advisor to the secretary, delegated the duties of the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education.

ESSA replaces the outdated No Child Left Behind law and expands on the work this Administration, states, districts and schools across the country have already started. The new law will help build on key progress that we’ve made in education over recent years—including a record high school graduation rate of 82 percent, significant expansion of high-quality preschool, and a million more African American and Hispanic students enrolled in college than in 2008, when President Obama took office.

ESSA promotes equitable access to educational opportunities in critical ways, such as asking states to hold all students to high academic standards to prepare them for college and careers and ensuring action in the lowest-performing schools, high schools with low graduation rates, and in schools that are consistently failing subgroups of students. Maintaining effective, high-quality assessments and ensuring that all states and districts know how to meet the updated “supplement not supplant” requirement are crucial to achieving these objectives.

The Department hosted public forums, held meetings with stakeholders and received hundreds of written comments on how to best support states, districts and schools in the transition to the new law, which informed the negotiated rulemaking process that is now underway. The negotiators and alternative negotiators announced today represent the constituencies that are significantly affected by the topics proposed for negotiation, including state and local education administrators and board members, tribal leadership, parents and students, teachers, principals, other school leaders, and the civil rights and business communities. Negotiators were selected to represent all of the geographic regions of the country. In addition, the Department selected negotiators who would contribute to the diversity and expertise of the negotiating committee.

The committee will draft proposed regulations in the following two areas of Title I, Part A of ESSA: (1) the requirement that federal funds supplement, not supplant, non-federal funds in high-need schools and (2) assessments. The selected negotiators and their alternates have received background materials to help prepare for their discussions, including issue papers on key areas identified by the Department in the notice announcing formation of the committee. Those areas are:

1. Supplement not supplant

2. Assessments

  • Computer adaptive testing
  • The exception for advanced mathematics assessments in 8th grade
  • Locally selected, nationally recognized high school assessments
  • The inclusion of students with disabilities in academic assessments
  • State administration of alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, subject to a cap of 1 percent of students assessed in a subject
  • The inclusion of English learners in academic assessments
  • The inclusion of English learners in English language proficiency assessments
  • Updating existing regulations to reflect statutory changes

In some issue papers, the Department included draft regulatory language intended to facilitate discussion among the negotiators. The committee has ultimate authority over the content of its final recommendations to the Department and may use the materials as guides. To access the materials provided to the committee, please see our website: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/essa/index.html.

The committee will convene March 21-23 and April 6-8 with an optional session April 18-19 at its discretion. These meetings are open to the public, and more information on the time, location and other logistics for the meetings will be distributed at a later date.

Members of the ESSA Negotiated Rulemaking Committee:



State administrators and state boards of education

Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Marcus Cheeks, Mississippi Department of Education

Local administrators and local boards of education

Alvin Wilbanks, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia

Derrick Chau, Los Angeles Unified School District, California

Thomas Ahart, Des Moines Public Schools, Iowa *

Tribal leadership

Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, Michigan

Leslie Harper, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota*

Parents and students, including historically underserved students

Lisa Mack, Ohio

Rita Pin Ahrens, District of Columbia


Audrey Jackson, Boston Public Schools

Ryan Ruelas, Anaheim City School District, California

Mary Cathryn Ricker, St. Paul Public Schools/American Federation of Teachers, Minnesota*


Lara Evangelista, New York City Department of Education, New York

Aqueelha James, District of Columbia Public Schools*

Other school leaders, including charter school leaders

Eric Parker, Montgomery Public Schools, Alabama

Richard Pohlman, Thurgood Marshall Academy, District of Columbia*


Lynn Goss, School District of the Menomonie, Wisconsin

Regina Goings, Clark County School District, Nevada*

Civil rights community, including representatives of students with disabilities, English learners, and other historically underserved students

Delia Pompa, Migration Policy Institute, Texas

Ron Hager, National Disability Rights Network, District of Columbia

Liz King, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, District of Columbia*

Janel George, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, District of Columbia*

Business community

Kerri Briggs, Exxon Mobil, Texas

Kenneth Bowen, Office Depot, North Carolina *

*Non-voting member