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Education Commissioner: Every Student Succeeds Act will benefit Kentucky

Gives states more control over accountability

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2015) — Reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act ushers in a new day in Kentucky and across the nation, Commissioner Stephen Pruitt told the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting today.

Today, on a vote of 85-12, the U.S. Senate approved the bill, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Presidents Obama is expected to sign the measure into law before the end of the year.

ESSA shifts much of the oversight and responsibility for schools from the federal government to the state — including how accountability is determined and how to define and improve low performing schools.

“This will give us an opportunity to bring all shareholders to the table to create a system that not only holds schools and districts accountable for students’ education, but also celebrates the good things happening in our schools,” Pruitt told the board. “Our goal is to ensure we do the very best for all of our kids and provide them with a well-rounded education.”

The board received a report on the current status Priority Schools at its meeting. Of the 36 Priority Schools assessed during the 2014-15 school year, 11 schools exited Priority status, four scored in the Distinguished category, nine scored in the Proficient category and nine were categorized as Progressing. Three schools entered Priority status.

The department has already started to address those Priority Schools making little or no progress by implementing novice reduction strategies, strengthening the capacity of leadership in those schools and districts, and working to ensure that resources are aligned to Priority School work.