The Council of Great City Schools 2017 District Operations Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Report from Fiscal Year 2015-16 is now live! Download here

U.S. Department of Education issues fact sheet and guidance related to students with disabilities

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 18, 2017

On December 28, 2016 the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released three new sets of guidance “to assist the public in understanding how the Department interprets and enforces federal civil rights laws protecting the rights of students with disabilities” (see here). This may be the last effort of an ongoing focus by the current administration to highlight aspects of the Civil Rights of students with disabilities.

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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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ESSA State Plan Development Activity Intensifying

By Dr. David Holbrook | January 11, 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 fleshing out the details of their plans in preparation for submission to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for review.

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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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Former WIDA Chief Strategy Officer, Jesse Markow, joins TransACT – The leader in K-12 compliance and educational management software solutions

By Alyssa Thornley | December 16, 2016

TransACT Communications, LLC, provider of federal compliance and education
management software and services to the K-12 industry, announced today that Jesse Markow has joined their team.
As Director of Key Accounts and Partnerships, Jesse's addition reinforces TransACT’s commitment to provide districts and states with effective resources for parent and community engagement during the implementation of ESSA.

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ESSA & the presidential transition: A Q&A with Dr. David Holbrook about what to watch

By Alyssa Thornley | December 12, 2016

The election of Donald Trump and the presidential transition presents a number of unknown scenarios for school districts and educators across the country, with many questions surrounding education legislation, federal education funding, and immigration enforcement.

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ESSA: December 10, 2016 deadline for implementing Title I foster care requirements

By Dr. David Holbrook | December 12, 2016

The 2016-2017 school year is a transition year between the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which goes into full effect in 2017-2018. While most of the requirements for ESSA are scheduled to be implemented after July 1, 2017, guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) indicates that the new requirements under Title I for students in foster care must be implemented starting December 10, 2016. 

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Plain Language for ESSA Parent Notices

By Dr. David Holbrook | November 21, 2016

While parent notices have the requirement to meet federal standards of communication, it remains pivotal that they also meet the spirit of the law itself: helping parents be an informed participant in their student's education. Towards this end, and based on feedback from customers and our ESSA National Advisory Board, all new parent notices in the TransACT Parent Notices collection are being written following plain language criteria.

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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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