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ESSA State Plans due April 3: amidst many requirements, SEAs and LEAs must provide effective ESSA compliant communications for parents, families, and communities

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 18, 2017

As deadlines approach for submission of State Plans under ESSA, the activities necessary to develop those plans are increasing. State Education Agencies (SEAs) are leaning into the details of their plans in preparation for submission to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for review and using recently issued guidance for support.

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Congress paving the way to rescind recent regulations

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 17, 2017

Speculation abounds related to whether Congress will try to rescind recent regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) and other agencies. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows for Congress to do just that, but the CRA only allows for one regulation to be addressed at a time.

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3 Ways ESSA compliance helps close the multilingual communication gap

By Alyssa Thornley | January 10, 2017

Bridging the gap between teachers, students and parents presents a daunting proposition to many school districts, particularly those located in areas where many languages are spoken throughout the community.

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How should Title I & Title III Directors work together to prepare for ESSA’s shift in EL requirements?

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

When it comes to requirements for English Learners (ELs) in ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), one of the biggest shifts in responsibility is the move of accountability for ELs progress toward English proficiency from Title III to Title I. Under ESSA (as compared to NCLB) it is more clearly noted that Title I funds can be used for programs to help ELs attain English proficiency. In addition to the accountability
measures, the following two requirements have also been moved to Title I (and must be implemented for ELs in programs funded by either or both Title I and Title III):

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U.S. Department of Education releases guidance around the new 'Block Grant'

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) released guidance for the new ‘Block Grant’ for Well-Rounded Education in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ‘Block Grant’ is found in Title IV, Part A of the ESSA and provides funding for a variety of programs.

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3 Steps to Optimizing Compliance with TransACT® Parent Notifications

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 15, 2016

When it comes to creating a state or school district communication strategy, it is equally as important to balance federal compliance with the ability to authentically reach out to parents of diverse home languages about their students. While many districts struggle to keep pace with legal requirements and the ability to sit down and provide clear school-to-home communications in plain language, TransACT® provides relief by providing states and districts with district-wide solutions that encompass unique strategies, specialized systems, and helpful customization depending on what the district needs most.

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School-to-Parent Notification Tools Achieve ESSA Compliance & Parent Engagement

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 26, 2016

As the United States seeks to enforce more competitive academic standards while continuing to increase populations who speak English as a Second Language, the way educators and communities interact to support students is rapidly changing. As of December 2015, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) has come to a close, and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA)—the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—will take its place during the 2017-2018 school year.

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Strategies for Achieving Efficient and Effective Parent Communications

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 21, 2016

Running a school district is not without challenges. In addition to the standard dynamics of running a large organization, administrators have the responsibility of communicating across diverse languages to promote student engagement and retention, all while remaining compliant with civil rights and federal education laws.

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WIDA panel on English Learner (EL) programs & ESSA: opportunity, challenges & concerns

By Alyssa Thornley | October 20, 2016

On Thursday, October 13th 2016, TransACT’s Director of Federal Programs, Dr. David Holbrook, joined a WIDA panel discussing the opportunities and challenges of ESSA implementation. The panel was moderated by Jesse Markow, Chief Strategy Officer at WIDA, and included Dr. Gary Cook, Research Scientist at WIDA, and Kenneth Bond, WIDA Executive Committee Member and ESL/Bilingual Program Coordinator at the New Jersey Department of Education. 

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Sign up for the national webinar on ESSA, Title III, hosted by NCSTIIID

By Dr. David Holbrook | October 6, 2016

The National Council of State Title III Directors (NCSTIIID) is hosting its fall webinar on October 18, 2016. The focus of the webinar will be English learner (EL) issues connected with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and specifically the recently released non-regulatory guidance on English learners and Title III from the U.S. Department of Education (USED). 

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