NSBA, AASA Joint Statement On The ESSA Implementation Process

Charlotte Blane

James Minichello 

Alexandria, Va. – March 14, 2017 – NSBA Executive Director & CEO Thomas J. Gentzel and AASA Executive Director Daniel A. Domenech released the following joint statement in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s new guide for states to use in the development of their education plans as required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

“The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was decisive in its goal to return flexibility and decision making to the state and local level. The success of a bill like ESSA-one premised on state and local control—depends on stakeholder buy-in, and people (including education stakeholders) buy-in to that which they have a hand in crafting. To that end, ESSA was clear to require meaningful stakeholder engagement. Our organizations—which collectively represent the voice of our nation’s school system leaders—are deeply discouraged by and concerned with the Department’s decision to virtually eliminate stakeholder engagement, an abrogation of the law’s intent. 

“School superintendents and school board members have worked deliberately to infuse the voice of myriad stakeholders—including state education leaders, teachers, educators, parents and community members—in our ESSA work to date. The Department’s decision to no longer prioritize stakeholder engagement dismisses the intent of the underlying statute, disrupts the process, and discounts voices that are committed to ensuring all student receive a quality education.

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