Pennsylvania’s Proposed ESSA Consolidated State Plan – Webinar


Good afternoon.
My name is Matthew Stem. I’m the deputy secretary for the Office
of Elementary and Secondary Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. And I want to thank all of you so much for
making the time to join us on today’s webinar. I appreciate you taking time out of your summer
schedules to really be a part of this very, very important conversation around
how we serve students in Pennsylvania and the systems that serve our students.
We’re excited about this plan. It reflects months of effort and interaction
with various groups and various individuals. And we’re excited to bring it forward as
we enter into the phase of public comment. For those of you that have taken a look at the
plan itself, which is posted on our website, you’ll note that it is a long
plan, it’s a little over 140 pages. And so the purpose of today’s webinar is to
essentially highlight some of the key components of the plan, try and explain a little bit
more background on those key components, and hopefully generate enough thoughts
and feedback that can then be parlayed into the online surveys that we have set up. The other thing I’ll share as we then
move on from here is that this PowerPoint, almost identical — I think we
changed the order on just one thing — but essentially this PowerPoint is
available online in both English and Spanish. And so if any of you want to follow
up or want to use this PowerPoint in any fashion, certainly feel free to do so. So by way of background, the Every
Student Succeeds Act was passed on December 10th of 2015. And President Obama signed the Act,
which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of
1965 as it was developed and passed with strong bipartisan support and
it replaces No Child Left Behind as the nation’s main education law. For — excuse me — for ESEA, the underlying
goal remains the same back to its roots in ESSA, ands that is to promote equal
education opportunity for traditionally underserved children.
So at its core ESSA is a civil rights law. Couple of brief notes as I mentioned before, we’re not taking question
and answer on this webinar. This webinar is almost going
to go the full hour; however, public comment is open through August 31st. And we strongly encourage everyone to
provide feedback using the survey tool. And that allows us to capture and
aggregate feedback in a very formalized way. So in terms of what ESSA means for
Pennsylvania, for Pennsylvania ESSA allows us to maintain the changes under No Child Left
Behind that has produce positive outcomes for our students while at the same time
making revisions to the system in areas that have not served our students well. So it allows us to identify fairer, more
valid ways to measure school performance; determining how to best support schools
identified as needing improvement; accelerating important reforms already
underway; and moving state education policy away from a strict focus on compliance
and toward the establishment of rigorous expectations for all students. For us, this ESSA work is not as much
about submitting a plan to USDE as it is about capturing the values and
beliefs of citizens of Pennsylvania. And in many cases the work that we captured in our plan was occurring even
before the ESSA law was passed or was even known that it
was going to be passing. So in short, everything that is
in our plan should be focused on best preparing students
for success beyond graduation. This slide serves as a table
of contents for our review. And what you’ll notice, it essentially
follows the layout of the actual plan itself. So that if you do a side by side, we’re going
to highlight certain things in each section and we’re trying to make it easy to
essentially connect the dots back to the plan and then see where you can find more detail. The only thing that we’re doing differently
on this webinar than on the PowerPoint that you’ll see on the website is we’re actually
— after the introduction, we’re going to begin with section two instead of section one
because it’s going to allow the conversation to flow a little bit more
smoothly given the fact that section two is sort of
a stand-alone type section. So the introduction of our plan talks
about some really key values and beliefs that are guiding the development of the plan
and underscores the importance of things like investments in education funding, you
know, especially at the federal government level as identified in ESSA itself as necessary
to accomplish the goals and strategies that we’ve identified in the plans;
allows us to highlight the importance of comprehensive measures of school success;
the importance of high-quality early childhood; the investments that we need to make in
recruiting and developing great teachers and leaders; we’re really elevating some
of the work in STEM that’s been a focus over the past year and will continue,
particularly as it aligns to our economy and jobs right here in Pennsylvania;
we’re looking to expand pathways to post-secondary success; and
to continue holistic models that serve students, such as community schools. Section two focuses on what’s called
consultation performance management. And this is really about how states
have engaged stakeholders in the work. Our stakeholder engagement activities have
reached parents and families, educators, legislators, community leaders, education
advocates, researchers, experts, and others. Ultimately we’ve had input from more
than 2,000 individuals and counting. And I’ll pause here to say we have a
number of communities members on this and parents and others on this webinar. And we do want to thank you if you’re one of
those individuals that either attended one of our town hall meetings, was a part of our
feedback loops on the Future Ready PA Index, was a part of any of our public
speaking events and has given feedback. Thank you for your participation
in helping develop this plan. Our stakeholder engagement efforts
have received national notice and played a vital role in
the development of the plan. And it’s important to note that
this is still work in progress. So our public comment through August 31st
is part of our stakeholder engagement. And even after we submit
our plan on September 18th, our team is already planning the stakeholder
engagement activities well into September, October, November, and beyond as we
look at adding detail and implementation of some of the initiatives in our plan. So we hope that all of you on this webinar
will continue to be partners of the department and giving your critical feedback
to the work that we’re proposing. Section one of the ESSA plan
talks about long-term goals. And the long-term goals for us
in Pennsylvania, although — and we’re going to talk about
how they’ve been developed — but, again, it’s important to note these aren’t
just about submitting long-term goals to USDE, but these are the goals that have to drive
our work and the goals by which we’re going to hold ourselves at the department
and as a state accountable for moving student achievement forward at
the all group level and also for subgroups of students and closing those achievement gaps. The long-term goals help provide context for
interpreting performance and inform the delivery of our technical assistance and other supports. There are three sets of long-term
goals that we’ll highlight. Academic proficiency and graduation
rate use a similar methodology. So we’ll talk about the two of
them together and then very briefly about English learner proficiency. So first of all, both the
academic proficiency goal and the graduation rate goal
are mapped out to the year 2030. The reason that we’ve identified our goals as
such are that it allows us to follow a cohort of students who enter kindergarten in 2017
all the way up to their graduation in 2030. Also, it allows us to balance between
ambitious yet attainable goals as well as establishing a sense of urgency
and consistency in our approach. Establishing 2030 goals, just by way of context, is a number of other states are
pursuing a similar approach as well. In both — so aside from the mapping to 2030,
academic proficiency goals in short are centered around reducing in half the percentage of
non-proficient students on PSSA’s and Keystones by 2030 and applying that to
all students and subgroups. And we’re going to go over that in a minute. And then the education rate goal similarly is
to reduce by half the percentage of students who fail to graduate in any given year. And, again, that applies to
all students and subgroups. Pennsylvania is seeking to use the greater
of a four- or five-year cohort rate, and we’ll talk about that
in a couple slides ahead. I mentioned before the English
learner proficiency goal. Describing the methodology to that is beyond the
scope of this webinar, but if this is an area of particular interest for you, we would
strongly encourage you to look in the plan where we describe the very specific
methodology for ensuring that English learners, whether they come in at the entering level
or more advanced levels of English language, are making the progress towards attaining
the English language that’s going to set them up for success in school.
So it’s a very, very different methodology. It’s an indexed approach.
It’s a different timeline. But it is described in the plan. So the long-term goal design — and this
is for now we’re going to focus this on the academic goals — again, map out to 2030;
reflect that the analysis of achievement data at the state and the subgroup
levels are disaggregated by subgroup, as well as by content area.
So we’ve included here a sample calculation. We’ve kept this simple as well so that stakeholders have no
problems understanding exactly where these goals are derived. So as an example, if we look at English language
arts with a current proficient rate or baseline of 61.6%, the goal would be to
reduce in half the gap to 100. So in this case reduced in
half 38.4%, which becomes 19.2% and then to close that gap over 13 years. So in this sample the expected growth for
each of those years at the state level for that group would be one
and a half percentage points. Here’s a table that maps out what our
goals are by subgroup and by content area. This isn’t going to be up on the screen
long as we move forward; however, if you’d like to do a deeper dive with these
goals, you can pull this table up right from the plan and look through each of them. But the methodology applied to
each of the subgroups is the same as the methodology we described
on the prior slide. And we believe that those are ambitious
but attainable state-wide goals. For graduation rate Pennsylvania will report
both four- and five-year graduation rates, and we are seeking flexibility from USDE to base accountability decisions
on the higher of the two rates. So this approach reflects our
belief — the state’s belief — that accountability decisions should
consider the full efforts of a high school, including efforts to serve old or undercredited
students and traditionally underserved students. So to give a little bit more detail, in
Pennsylvania, if we look at current data, there are approximately 20 high schools
that would be identified for CSI if we used a four-year cohort rate; but
if we were to apply a five-year rate, these same schools would actually show a higher than a 67% graduation rate
if we use a five-year rate. And in these 20 schools in the years that we’ve
looked at, we’re talking about 25,000 students, including high numbers of English learners,
students with IEP’s, and other students who have actually benefited from
the extra year of schooling. So we believe that that is an appropriate
approach to looking at graduation rates, especially in allowing that extra year for
students that are particularly likely to benefit from the extra year of programming. Here’s the table that identifies
the long-term goals for each of the subgroups based on baseline data. And, again, you will see this exact
table in the plan that you can reference. We’re now going to move into
section three of the plan. And section three is about academic assessments. And as we get into this section,
always want to put a little bit of a disclaimer on the front end. When ESSA was originally passed and
communicated as restoring authority to states in their education systems, one of
the questions that we received — and actually we continue to
receive this question quite often — is, you know, if Pennsylvania is going
to do away with standardized assessments or if Pennsylvania is going to
roll back the number of grades that are tested as part of our system. And so want to begin this section by reminding
or by clarifying that ESSA does still require that all students be tested
annually in grades three through eight and at least one in high school. So that No Child Left Behind
requirement has not gone away under ESSA. And perhaps in part because this core tenant
of No Child Left Behind remains with ESSA, states are only asked to speak to
just a couple of items with respect to assessment policies and practices. And they have to do with informing a
balanced coherent accountability system and ensuring language access and accommodations. The assessments that we use in Pennsylvania
for accountability and will continue to use are the PSSA in grades three through
eight, Keystone exams in high school, the PASA for students with
significant cognitive disabilities. And all three of those assessments are aligned to our PA core standards
and our academic standards. And while ESSA doesn’t speak to testing time per
se, PDE has heard a clear and compelling message from the field, from parents, from lawmakers and
others that reducing testing time is a priority. And reducing testing time may help reduce test
anxiety and also ensure that schools can focus on what matters most, and that is
maximizing time for core instruction. So PDE will reduce testing time for
PSSA’s in both English language arts and math effective this Spring of 2018.
And we talk about this in the plan. We’re going to continue to detail this
effort in the days and weeks ahead, but for now know that we are confident in
our ability to reduce testing time beginning in 2018 while maintaining
the appropriate, and valid, and reliable assessments
aligned to our content standards. Two other questions that are a part of —
that states have to respond to in their plans, one is around the exception for
eighth grade math assessments. And unfortunately, PDE is not currently
pursuing an exception regarding the eighth grade math assessment. And the reason being that the ESSA
statute does not contemplate being able to reduce eighth grade math without
adding another high school math assessment into the equation. So, for example, right now in Pennsylvania we
have a significant number of eighth-graders that take both the Algebra I
Keystone and the PSSA Math. I think that we are in agreement with
stakeholders that that double-testing of math in eighth grade is not ideal. But given the fact that we’ve also
heard clear and compelling rationale for not increasing testing time in Pennsylvania,
we have currently not pursued this option. Just know, though, that we’re going
to stay closely connected to USDE. We’re going to monitor what
happens in other state plans. And if an opportunity arises for us to move away
from double-testing for eighth grade students with regards to math without adding
another high school assessment, we will be very interested
in pursuing that option. ESSA also requires states to speak to
language translations of assessments. We are going to continue to provide
side-by-side assessments materials in Spanish. And then we also mentioned in the plan
that if we have other populations that grow with other languages, that there are pathways
for us to consider additional translation in the years ahead should
Pennsylvania populations shift and would require that sort of translation. Now moving into section four —
assessments was a little bit more nimble. Assessment four is a significant component
the plan around accountability, support, and improvement for struggling schools. And throughout this section, we highlight
the need to ensure fair, transparent, and appropriate accountability determinations;
the shift on a focus from prescription to appropriate flexibility and support. And we’ll talk more about what we’ve heard
from stakeholders on that particular topic. And the other thing that we’re elevating here
is the importance of aligning what we report at the state level with federal
reporting and accountability. Currently they run in separate
tracks, which can cause a lack of coherence and potentially confusion. We’re looking to bridge state reporting
and federal accountability together. So this slide is actually a table of
contents just for section four of the plan. So we have a number of slides forthcoming around
subgroup reporting, accountability indicators, methodology around annual
meaningful differentiation. And then we’re going to talk about exit
criteria for schools that are identified in CSI, what more rigorous interventions
look like for those that remain, and additional supports for school improvement. So starting with subgroup reporting, we’ve had a
few questions come our way regarding, you know, how we determine which subgroups are going to
be reported both at a state and federal level. And these are the subgroups as determined
and utilized by the Office of Civil Rights. So this is a list that’s consistent with
other reporting, even outside of education and assessment and accountability.
So these are the subgroups that are going to be disaggregated throughout
every component of our plan. And as we then look at how we determine at a
school level which of these subgroups are going to be reported, it requires
us to have an N size. And the N size is essentially the
threshold at which a number of students at a subgroup level then kicks
you into a reporting category for both state and federal accountability. And in determining this N size
— this is actually a very, very important decision point in our proposal. And in proposing in N size, the tension
around finding the just right number is to balance the transparency reporting, so
in other words really wanting to report out the performance of all of our
subgroup populations in every school while at the same time balancing
out measurement stability. In other words, if we report a group
of students where there are only five in a particular school, not only
would a number like five be unstable, it would also be identifiable, you
know, could point to a particular family or a particular group of students. And so numbers that are too small lead to
issues with stability and identification, and numbers that are too large lead you to
not report on entire subgroups of students. So in balancing that tension, we’ve landed
at a subgroup size of 20 for our proposal. Where that came from, number
one, was from a lot of feedback from stakeholders, including advocacy groups. as well as parents and others;
consultation with technical advisors; reviewing other states’ approaches. and 20 more or less falls in line with most
other states’ reporting; and we’ve done lots of models of impact data to see what does it
mean for reporting 20 versus 25, versus 30, versus 15 and playing all of
that to land at this number. So seems like a small decision
was actually a very big one a lot of time, energy, and thought put into it.
And here’s what it yields. So you can see the results of applying
an N size of 20 to the various subgroups. And this is at a state-wide level. So if you look at the next-to-last column,
which is the included student percentage, what that refers to is what percentage of
students in Pennsylvania in tested grades three through eight and eleven will be included with
an N of 20 on their school’s subgroup reporting. There are three subgroups — so
the all students isn’t a subgroup, the all students is an entire group. And as a total sidebar, by the way, the
reason that that number is not 100% is that we actually have a handful of schools
where they don’t even have 20 students in the entire school that are at a tested grade. So that’s why that’s not actually 100%
for some very, very, very small schools. But we have three subgroups that
are higher than 90% included. And those are students with disabilities,
economically disadvantaged students at nearly 100%, and African-American
students at a little over 92%. So that means that — let’s use
African-American students — of the 136,000-plus African-American students in
Pennsylvania, all but 10,000 will be accounted for in subgroup reporting at their school.
If you look at other subgroups, some are lower, and the numbers vary widely
and are also sensitive to size. The last thing we’ll say about this slide
— and, again, this is the plan itself — is that in Pennsylvania roughly half of all
school districts are less than 2,000 students. So what that means is we do have a
lot of small schools in Pennsylvania, and these include student percentages are
going to be influenced in many cases by size of schools and their subgroup populations. There are two themes that emerged consistently
across stakeholder groups in our travels over the past year when it comes
to accountability indicators for identifying our schools
most in need of support. And they are the first two
sub-bullets that you see here. One thing that we’ve heard consistently is that
academic growth matters and should matter almost as much, if not as much or more than actual
achievement numbers when we look at whether or not we deem a school to be a low-performing
school or a school that’s on track to success. So we’ve elevated this idea of growth. The other theme that we’ve heard
loud and clear is that the state has to consider non-academic measures and
interventions in our accountability indicators. Because at the end of the day, when we
look at whether or not a group of students in a school is succeeding or not succeeding, we
can’t ignore some of the non-academic variables that are impacting student success. So those are two very common themes
that are a part of our decision-making. We also discuss the importance of
establishing system-wide continuous and sustainable improvement,
and also recognition that fewer indicators may be more
meaningful than a long list of indicators. And we’re going to talk about where Pennsylvania
falls relative to other states in terms of our approach to those indicators. Finally, making sure that our system
aligns with federal requirements and also aligns with our Future Ready PA index. So here you can actually see — and
we’re going to unpack each of these by section — the accountability indicators. And what you’re looking at are the
indicators that are going to be used to identify our comprehensive support
and improvements [inaudible] so basically in simple terms, that 5% or thereabouts of
schools in the Commonwealth that are deemed to be the lowest-performing schools. So we’ll unpack the top six in the next couple
slides, but want to highlight the last bullet on this slide, and that is
about participation rate. So although participation
rate is not going to be used to identify our lowest-performing schools,
Pennsylvania and all states are still required to address schools that don’t have 95% or more of their students participating
in the state-wide assessments. So we just want to capture that on this slide. There’s a little bit more detail in the
plan about how we as a state will address and communicate schools with
less than 95% participation, but just be aware that that is a requirement. And that’s also another one of those
carry-overs from No Child Left Behind. We’ve talked a lot about keeping the federal
accountability aligned to state reporting. And here you can see our indicators
as part of our Future Ready PA index across the three categories that’s going to be our public-facing report
card beginning in the fall of 2018. The highlighted indicators that you
have in front of you are the indicators that we just discussed as part of our comprehensive support
and improvement designation. So what we’re demonstrating here
is that our state-wide report card and our federal accountability
are not two separate systems, but are essentially the federal accountability
is a subset of the indicators we’re going to report at a state level
and speaks to the alignment of federal accountability and reporting. As mentioned previously, ESSA requires that all
states must include four types of indicators within their state-wide accountability systems to meaningfully differentiate school
performance on an annual basis. So if you look up here, every state
has to have these four bold indicators in some fashion or address them in their plans. So every state has to address the
percent of proficient or advanced in English language arts and
math on state assessments. And for us that’s the PSSA — those
are the PSSA and Keystone exams. Every state also has to have an
additional academic progress indicator. And for us, those are our growth calculations
derived from PVAAS, which is measuring now — this is the growth indicator — whether
there’s a gain maintenance or decline in academic performance from year
to year with a group of students. The third bullet, graduation rate,
is established at a federal level, and that’s the percentage of students
who earn a high school diploma in four or as we mentioned before,
we’re hoping to be able to use a five-year indicator or fewer years. And then — and by the way, that
67%, as we mentioned before, is the threshold that’s established in statute. And the last one, as we mentioned
before, English language proficiency, and that’s the growth in
scaled score attainment. And we’re going to be using the
ACCESS for ELLs as our assessment. And that’s not a new assessment in Pennsylvania. So these are the four required
indicators within statute. Moving forward, we now get
to the other two indicators. And many of you may know these. Sometimes states are calling them their fifth
indicator or their school success measure. But ESSA requires that states identify at
least one accountability indicator focused on school quality and student success. ESSA also requires that this indicator
not be weighted more than 50% in terms of the identification or use in the methodology. And as you’ll see in ours, we
certainly don’t have a weighting of — that sort of weighting in our methodology. States have taken different
approaches to how many and what types of additional student success
indicators they’re going to choose. We’ve taken a very lean approach in
Pennsylvania to the student success indicators. And, you know, other states come in, some are
taking the same sort of approach with just one or two; other states have chosen many. But we think that there’s leverage
and power in addressing fewer so that when we eventually are intervening
in our lowest-perform schools, we can focus our energies on
very high-leverage strategies. So one of those two indicators is
our career readiness benchmark. And this is one that in particular business
and industry leaders have provided a lot of positive feedback and actually have driven
a lot of the thinking around this indicator. And so we’re looking for the first time in
a very public way at having schools report out students that are engaging in
career exploration and preparation, individualized career planning, and similar
activities in grades five, eight, and eleven. So this will allow schools to focus not only
on English language arts, math, and science but also on career readiness skills, including
some of the soft skills like persistence, grit, collaboration, critical thinking, communication;
and then skills such as resume writing, how to do business letters,
and those sorts of things. And so that is the career readiness benchmark. The second student success indicator
we’re using is chronic absenteeism. And chronic absenteeism in Pennsylvania is
a root cause of a lack of success in many of our lowest-performing schools. And we’re defining chronic absenteeism as the
percentage of students who have missed more than 10% of school days in an
academic year or for whatever time that they belong in an academic year. And over 180-day year, that would
be about 18 days of absence. So now we’ll take a moment
to discuss methodology. PDE’s approach to how we’re going
to measure those indicators, it’s important that it be
transparent, technically defensible, and appropriate for federal
accountability designations. And so we’re proposing a matrix-based
methodology that uses a comprehensive set of indicators tied to what we know students
need to succeed in a global connected economy, and that’s just the first step in
our proposed accountability system. These indicators will be used to
identify low-performing schools in need of comprehensive support and improvement, and
we’re not proposing to identify schools based on a single number but rather
through a multi-step process. We’re going to walk you through that
process here on the upcoming slides. So the first step — and we’ll try
and keep this as simple as we can — the first step in identifying our
lowest-performing and most struggling schools is to find those schools that are not only
low-achieving but are also low-growth. So this is a sample illustration to
illustrate how this is going to be done. What you see here on your
y-axis is the percentage — a distribution of the percentage of advanced
proficient schools across the Commonwealth. And so each one of the points that
you see on this matrix is a school. Across the x-axis is the growth
scores as measured by the AGI number. So if you look at that .00 number — and
schools are relatively clustered there as you’d expect they would be —
a school at the .00 level means that students essentially
made one year of growth. As you move backwards on the x-axis to
negative 10, negative 20, now you’re talking about students that are making
less than a year’s worth of growth. And the farther to the left that you
move on that axis, the lower the growth. On the y-axis, you’re looking
at the percentage of students at a given school who are
proficient or advanced. So the midline is at the 50th percentile. As you slide up, your achievement is going
higher towards 100%, and as you slide down, achievement is getting lower
toward zero percent. We’re looking as the first identification
for our lowest-performing schools to find who are those schools in the lower
part of that bottom left-hand quadrant who are not only low-achieving
schools but also low-growth schools? And the first step of identifying the bottom
5% — and these are only our Title I schools, by the way — is identifying the
low-growth, low-achieving schools. And where you see that blue circle gives an
idea of what schools that we’re talking about. Once we have that set of schools,
that takes us to step two. And I’m going to distinguish, step three
is really almost a little bit separate from steps one and two, and it
will make sense in a moment. So step two is now we’ve got this large
subset of low-achieving, low-growth schools, which may be in excess or will be in excess
of 5%, to narrow that list down to the schools that are most in need of intervention
and greater levels of accountability. The final identification’s going to be based
on taking a look at chronic absenteeism, English learner progress, and career
readiness benchmark indicators. Hold on the graduation rate — that’s
actually going to take us to step three. So we’re going to focus on
those other three indicators. So we’re now going to look at of the
low-achieving, low-growth schools, which of those schools is also among the
lowest percentage in chronic absenteeism, English learner progress, and
the career readiness benchmark? And that’s going to get us to that subset of
schools that are the right schools for the state to leverage its interventions,
supports, and accountability systems. Step three then happens after that process. So that process is going to get us,
you know, a 5% subset of schools. We then look at all high schools
in the Commonwealth or any school that graduates students at the 12th grade,
and any school, including non-Title I schools, that has a graduation rate less
than 67% is added to the list of CSI schools in need of interventions. So in many cases those schools may
already be captured in steps one and two, but we may also pick up schools that are not
captured in that very bottom 5% in step one and two but are below 67% graduation
and, therefore, would be captured. All of these metrics, by the way —
before we move off of this piece, the final important note here is that these
metrics are based on two years of data. So if a school happens to have for lack of a better term a very unusually poor
performing year that’s an anomaly based on historical trends, it’s likely
that that school wouldn’t be captured. So to give more stability in
all of these calculations, we’re looking at two years of data. And so if a school is low-growth,
low-achievement two years in a row, that’s going to get them into this first swipe. And if a school has low graduation rates two
years in a row, that’s going to capture as well. So we’ve tried to build in some controls
and some stability to the methodology. Our timeline for implementation,
2017-18 is data gathering. So this upcoming school year we’re going to be gathering the data that’s
going to be used for determinations. In the fall of 2018, we’re going
to make our initial identification of our comprehensive support
and improvement scores. Then in the second half of 2018-19, that
is when the identified schools are going to be responsible under PDE oversight
in conducting needs assessments and engaging in school improvement planning. In 2021-22, this is where we now are
considering the progress at CSI schools for exit or more rigorous intervention,
which we’re about to discuss. And in 2022-23, we’re going to look
at more rigorous interventions. So CSI schools that are identify in
fall of ’18 will not be eligible to exit that status until the 2021-22 school year. So in looking at the exit criteria, there’s
a few things that have to be demonstrated in order to be considered for exiting. One is showing measurable progress on
at least one accountability indicator that resulted in initial determination. There’s also a requirement
that schools being considered for exiting are submitting updated
improvement plans that detail the school-level and potentially LEA-level activities in
response to the school-level needs assessment and the extent to their participation in
PDE-sponsored technical assistance activities. The exiting out of CSI is not going to be solely
about progress, but in reality school have to demonstrate absolute performance
improvements. So in other words, a school is not going
to be able to get out of CSI status just because their performance
relative to others now is above 5%. Once the school’s identified, they have
to demonstrate in a quantifiable way that they’ve improved achievement on at
least one of the accountability indicators that resulted in their determination. And that’s a key component in
that decision-making in 2021-22. For schools that remain in CSI, for those beyond
2021-22 that do not meet their exit criteria, more rigorous interventions
are being contemplated. And this is not an exhaustive list. But looking at partnering with CSI
schools that fail to exit and their LEA’s to do additional comprehensive
performance audits, adding oversight to building-level expenditures at the associated ESSA accountability
indicators, and requiring more frequent
progress reports to the department and to the school’s community
on improvement activities. Again, this is not exhaustive,
and this is going to continue to be a work in progress in the months ahead. Pennsylvania’s approach here, at least
in terms of the consolidated plan, is very similar to other
states’ approaches as well. And it’s something that we’re going to continue
to work with stakeholders on as we head into this fall and into next spring. When looking at support for school
improvement, this section is really about how the dollars are going to be driven
out to schools that are identified for CSI. So in simple terms, the first
two years of CSI identification, schools are going to receive
a formula-based allocation. In years three and four schools
may be eligible to compete for additional school improvement resources. So years one and two, formula-based;
years three and four, competitive. And we think that this approach recognizes that
high-need districts may be challenged initially in a competitive process, but at the same
time eventually maximizes opportunities for core funding and targeted investments
in some especially promising models. Section five now takes us to
supporting excellent educators. And in Pennsylvania we recognize
that we have a teacher shortage and particularly a teacher shortage of diversity
as it relates to various content areas, K-12, and throughout the Commonwealth in
just about every region of the state. The activities that we’re proposing
in section five are subject to the availability of Title II funding. And there are ongoing federal conversations that
we will continue to monitor at the federal level that can potentially impact
or result in a decrease in Title II dollars that Pennsylvania would see. And we are relying on this funding both to
continue core programming at the local level and to also ensure a modest level of
investment in state-wide strategies. So the initiatives that we’re
briefly going to highlight on the slides ahead address our workforce
pipeline concerns; our need for support for existing teacher prep programs; the need
for rigorous and effective alternative routes to certification; and improving the data
quality and partnerships between LEA’s and teacher prep institutions and programs. So looking at how we recruit,
retain, and sustain a diverse and talented educator workforce, here
you have in front of you a list of some of the initiatives that you’ll see
laid out: Developing a clearinghouse in our teacher information system
to connect credentialed educators with open positions in schools and districts. We have a team that’s been working on
this, and we think there are more efficient and effective ways to get at, align those
credentialed educators with open positions. We’re also looking at providing support
for teacher preparation programs to partner with LEA’s to provide year-long residency
programs for pre-service teachers. So there’s been a lot of acknowledgement of the
value of year-long teacher residency programs in having students come out with the
almost day one ready skills needed to be highly effective teachers. Looking to support career pathways for
paraprofessionals to become certified teachers, there are strategies that we can employ at
the state level to help paraprofessionals who are already working with students in
almost all of our schools in the Commonwealth. And there are ways that we can create
policy to bridge upward mobility in the teaching ranks and
the administrative ranks. And we’re excited about those possibilities. And finally, we have — Pennsylvania
has received a Troops to Teachers grant that is helping us to support the transition
of veterans into the educator workforce. Pennsylvania’s going to continue
to invest in and support in our development of school leaders. We have the Pennsylvania
Inspired Leadership Program — that’s an induction program for new principals
focusing not only on instructional leadership, which has been the focus for the past several
years, but now and based on feedback of many of our partners who have been involved
in this work, we’re also going to focus on equity strategies, and what does that mean
to be an effective leader for all students, and what are some of those
specific strategies within context that administrators can be employing? And what does effective school
leadership look like even more broadly than just the pure instructional
leadership, but what strategies in this rapidly-changing
environment that we live in will help empower more effective
principals and superintendents? Speaking of superintendents,
we’ll briefly mention that we have a two-year program,
a superintendents’ academy. This year in year one we’ve had almost 100
system leaders, primarily superintendents, focused on networking with one another
and engaged in some rigorous activities to build their capacity with
an emphasis as well on equity as a common theme throughout those activities. We’re entering year two,
and the last we checked, we actually have more superintendents
registering for year two than we can accommodate.
And that’s a great problem to have. And we’re starting to approach a
significant footprint of our superintendents that have come through these opportunities. Finally, our SEED grant is
a partnership with NISL. And this has allowed us and will continue
to allow us to have model principals that are coaching and mentoring
others throughout the state. As we come to the last section of the plan,
the ESSA allows and requires states to lift up strategies for supporting all students. And to highlight the sorts of things that
we’re lifting up here, we’re going to lift up the key strategies for
ensuring all students have access to well-rounded educational opportunities,
describing models for school-based supports and community partnerships,
and focusing on supports for students during important
transitions in their school career. So very briefly, ensuring well-rounded and
rigorous education experience for all students, we are looking to continue to increase
our participation in advance coursework such as AP, IB, dual credit opportunities. There’s a big focus and a big section — we love
for those on the webinar to read this section of the plan for sure and look at how
we’re promoting equitable access to STEM for all students to engage in some of the
great work that’s now really beginning to create synergy throughout the Commonwealth. And we have a state-wide coalition
that’s been establishing vision, mission, and strategy that’s now pushed
out to every region of the state. And our schools are starting to grab
onto that, and it’s exciting work. And the third one there, supporting
college and career pathways. You know, we’ve got to get more
students taking advantage of our career and technical education opportunities, whether
it’s at CTC’s or within traditional skills and open more opportunities for
students to pursue industry certificates. We’re going to continue to emphasize holistic
school-based supports and partnerships, community schools models, programming
for migrant education of students. We’re continuing to receive federal funding for
our 21st century community learning centers. And now we’re targeting them even more
towards STEM and career readiness activities and programs and supports for
students experiencing homelessness. Transitions at every level are
critically important for student success. I would highlight here that the early childhood to elementary school transition is
particularly important, and we’re focusing on kindergarten readiness at the early
childhood level to have seamless transitions. And then a lot of emphasis on the middle to high
school transition, particularly as it relates to school climate and school-wide
positive behavior, supports, and activities that will address risk
factors before students get to high school. Finally, we’re also elevating school
climate and social emotional learning. We know that in order for
students to be successful, they have to be in schools
where they feel safe and valued. So we’re continuing our school climate surveys. We talked some about our
equity inclusion toolkits. These are toolkits that we’ve developed
over the past year that help administrators and teachers deal with incidences of
bias and discrimination in their schools, our Bullying Prevention Toolkit and supports
through our Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports, including Positive Behavior
Interventions Supports. So as we look ahead, public
comment is open until August 31st. Please, if you haven’t done so, take
some time to fill out our online survey. It’s on the department’s website. And those survey results are
disaggregated on a weekly basis. And we’re going to be reporting themes
that are in those surveys as part of our September ’18 submissions. So we take those very seriously and encourage
you to share those surveys with others as well. For any feedback or questions that
don’t fit the format of the survey, you can use our email address at
[email protected] to provide feedback. PDE is going to consider, again, as
we mentioned, these issues raised and we’ll be reporting in our final draft. We’re submitting that final
draft to USDE September 18th. And then that plan is submitted for peer review. And USDE has 120 days to
respond to Pennsylvania. And then we look forward to implementing
and doing great things for students. So with all that said, you know, all of us
are a part of a once in a decade opportunity to create the conditions for learning that
will positively impact the next generation of students in Pennsylvania and
position us as a national leader, as well as an international
leader in educational systems. Thank you so much for your leadership and
collaboration, for your commitment as evidenced by your participation in this webinar. And we look forward to continuing
this work together. Thank you.
Have a great day, great weekend. And we look forward to a fantastic
start to the new school year.

3 thoughts on “Pennsylvania’s Proposed ESSA Consolidated State Plan – Webinar”

  1. PA has your back???? !!!!! What is up with the ONLY "religious freedom" part of this video?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdUIzbeSV9A

  2. Looks like this superintendent is using the common core playbook on how to respond to a crisis, right from PA's official education.gov site. Have contacts in the media, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFE3BiEwANo

  3. ESSA, ESEA, and common core in general are incredibly intrusive. Mostly social engineering and indoctrination, with an LGBTQ agenda. Parents, your children are being indoctrinated into gender dysphoria, globalism, and obviously the state thinks they can take your place. RUN. TAKE YOUR CHILD OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL. At the very least, your child will escape the MANDATED electronic files that are developed for every child and that follow them FOR LIFE. Not kidding.

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