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ESSA Implementation in Michigan

Aaron Keel

By Aaron Keel, MASB Assistant Director of Government Relations

Jennifer Smith

and Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, June 29, 2016

On the heels of the National School Boards Association’s annual Advocacy Institute where the focus was on the implementation of the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act, there are many questions about where Michigan is in the process and the role school boards can play.

ESSA requires each state to develop its own plan to implement the provisions of the new act and Michigan is still early in its planning process. MDE’s stated goal is to have a draft plan finalized by December 2016 in anticipation of a formal public comment period and submission of the final ESSA plan to the USED in spring 2017.

Stakeholder input and involvement is perhaps one of the most important requirements of ESSA. One of the key leadership groups will be the External Advisory Committee—comprised of leaders representing various stakeholder groups and organizations throughout the state.

The committee’s role will be to provide high-level input on the strategic direction for the state’s ESSA plan, as well as assuring alignment of the multiple plan components viewed through the various lenses and priorities that make up MDE’s Top 10 in 10 goals and strategies. MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba is playing an integral role on the External Advisory Committee, ensuring the voices of school board members are at the table and included in any final plan.

There will also be several other ways in which external stakeholders will be asked to be involved in the plan development. One such way is through Action Teams, comprised of internal and external subject-matter experts for each topic, who will meet frequently and be tasked with drilling down into the more detailed work required to create various sections of Michigan’s ESSA plan.

In speaking with MDE this week, we were informed that the Action Teams have received far more interest than expected. They are now in the midst of creating new opportunities and it was suggested that these new groups would be the best place for school board members to get involved. If you are interested in participating in these new groups or the Action Teams, email MDE directly. We will also pass along information on how to get involved as soon as we receive it.

MDE also has two focus groups you can participate in—the virtual parent and virtual teacher. We encourage you to sign up for MDE’s mailing list to receive updates and requests for review and feedback on the state plan, as well as other ways to get or stay involved.

On MDE’s webpage you will find more information on the state’s approach to ESSA, timeline for implementation and other helpful resources as we make the transition to the new law. Additional resources can be found on the USED’s ESSA webpage and through NSBA.

If you submit a request to MDE to be involved with one of the new groups or Action Teams or are named to one, please let us know. We’d like to be able to follow up to make sure that the requests of our members are being honored.

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