Tennessee Department of Education

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-59-02-pmThe Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion has entered the “Writ­ing the Plan” stage of the Every Stu­dent Suc­ceeds Act plan set out in ear­ly May of this year. In ear­ly Octo­ber TDOE released a sta­tus report detail­ing the work done so far on craft­ing the state plan. The report also puts forth the fol­low­ing major take aways from the Stake­hold­er Input stage from across the state.

  • Align the ESSA state plan to the Ten­nessee Suc­ceeds strate­gic plan in order to build on suc­cess­es and con­tin­ue to raise expec­ta­tions and reach goals
  • Start with our cur­rent account­abil­i­ty frame­work as the base for the sys­tem, and build the A-F grad­ing sys­tem in align­ment with the cur­rent frame­work.
  • A well-round­ed stu­dent should have access to learn­ing expe­ri­ences out­side test sub­jects and oppor­tu­ni­ties to par­tic­i­pate in extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties.
  • Stu­dents should be pre­pared for col­lege and career, and should have access to more career and tech­ni­cal edu­ca­tion and ear­ly post­sec­ondary oppor­tu­ni­ties.
  • Stu­dents need com­pre­hen­sive sup­port for plan­ning for col­lege and careers.
  • There is a need for addi­tion­al ser­vices at schools to pro­mote health, well being, and safe­ty.
  • Include some addi­tion­al data report­ing through “trans­paren­cy met­rics” that are not cap­tured in the for­mal account­abil­i­ty sys­tem but that provide more insight to the suc­cess of schools/districts.

The report also iden­ti­fies crit­i­cal deci­sion points of each phase of ESSA, and puts forth next steps through March of 2017.

The Ten­nessee Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion is expect­ed to release the draft plan in ear­ly Decem­ber. The state is required to have a pub­lic feed­back peri­od for gath­er­ing input on the plan for at least 30 days. The Ten­nessee Edu­ca­tion­al Equi­ty Coali­tion is prepar­ing to respond to the state’s draft law once released. Keep an eye out for action alerts in the com­ing weeks.


U.S. Department of Education


The U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion released non-reg­u­la­to­ry guid­ance on ear­ly learn­ing in the ESSA. The guid­ance is intend­ed to remind states and local deci­sion-mak­ers about the impor­tance of invest­ing in ear­ly learn­ing, high­light the oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able under the new law to strength­en ear­ly edu­ca­tion, and provide exam­ples of how states and local com­mu­ni­ties can sup­port young children’s suc­cess in schools.

The guid­ance pro­vides addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on the pos­i­tive impact of high-qual­i­ty ear­ly learn­ing, ear­ly learn­ing in the ESSA, and invest­ing in ear­ly edu­ca­tion.

Expand­ing High-qual­i­ty ear­ly learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties helps close achieve­ment gaps because it gives all children—no mat­ter their zip code—a strong start,” said U.S. Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion John B. King Jr. “A high-qual­i­ty ear­ly edu­ca­tion can sup­port social-emo­tion­al devel­op­ment and unlock a child’s poten­tial, so that all chil­dren have the foun­da­tion they need to thrive in school and beyond.”

- Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion, John King

Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition


Mem­bers of the Ten­nessee Edu­ca­tion­al Equi­ty Coali­tion attend­ed The Edu­ca­tion Trust’s ESSA Boot Camp in Hous­ton, Tex­as Octo­ber 20th-21st. The Boot Camp was a gath­er­ing of over 200 edu­ca­tion advo­cates from 19 states work­ing to advance issues of equi­ty in state ESSA plans. This gath­er­ing was a con­tin­u­a­tion of the first ESSA Boot Camp which was host­ed in Chicago, IL. While the first Boot Camp cov­ered issues of account­abil­i­ty and the addi­tion­al indi­ca­tor, the sec­ond ESSA Boot Camp focused on school rat­ings and school improve­ment.