State Department of Education seeks feedback on compliance plan

State Department of Education officials are organizing a series of public forums as part of their efforts to comply with a new federal education law.

As Idaho Education News reported last week, Idaho education officials are ramping up their efforts to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act and face a March 2017 deadline to submit the state’s compliance plan to U.S. Department of Education.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law last December and replaces the controversial No Child Left Behind Act.

ESSA, the new law, is notable because it pushes oversight and accountability of public schools away from the federal government and toward the states.

During the public forums, State Department of Education officials will present to the public the draft of the state’s plan to comply with the new law and seek comment and feedback.

The draft of the plan is expected to be published some time this month, and address a number of education topics ranging from school accountability to testing and teacher training to the education of English language learners and disadvantaged students.

The forums run Nov. 1 -9 and take place in five different Idaho towns.

Here’s a look at the forum schedule. All events run from 6 -8 p.m. local time:

  • Nov. 1: Blackfoot School District, Blackfoot Performing Arts Center, 870 S. Fisher St., Blackfoot.
  • Nov. 2: Jerome Joint School District Office, Administrative Conference Room, 125 Fourth Avenue West, Jerome.
  • Nov. 3: King Fine Arts Center Little Theater, adjacent to the Cassia County Joint School District Office, 1 Bobcat Boulevard. Burley.
  • Nov. 7: Moscow Middle School, Room 108, 1410 E. D St., Moscow.
  • Nov. 9: Canyon Springs High School, Caldwell School District, 516 N. 11th Ave., Caldwell.

Here’s a partial look at the state’s timeline and deadlines for complying with ESSA.

  • October 2016: The SDE is scheduled to complete its draft of Idaho’s state plan.
  • November 2016: Public forums (see schedule above).
  • December 2016: The State Board of Education is expected to vote on whether to approve the state’s ESSA plan.
  • February or March 2017: SDE officials will review feedback; incorporate any relevant changes into the state plan and then, potentially, resubmit it to the State Board of Education for final state-level approval.
  • March 2017: Deadline to submit the state plan to the U.S. Department of Education.