State Teams Converge to Maintain Momentum on ESSA

May 23, 2017

HOUSTON, TX – Policymakers and leaders from nine states  ̶  including state board members, legislative leaders, governors’ education advisors, state agency staff, and community leaders – gathered on May 22-23, 2017, with practitioners and policy experts to discuss the Advanced Planning & Implementation of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA). The meeting, held in Houston, Texas, was co-hosted by The Council of Chief State School Officers, the Education Commission of the States, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and The Hunt Institute. This is the third co-convening related to successful statewide implementation of ESSA.

“As states begin to submit and then implement their ESSA plans, it’s critical that the collaboration and stakeholder engagement that occurred during the planning process continue into implementation,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, Hunt Institute executive director and CEO. “The real work is just beginning and this meeting was designed to foster continued conversations and maintain the momentum that states have built over the past year.”

Teams of high-level state policymakers and education leaders from Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington explored the opportunities and challenges presented by ESSA. The meeting included an opportunity for critical state team collaboration on the next generation of accountability, as well as conversations about flexibility in the design of statewide assessment systems, evidence-based interventions for low-performing schools, and the importance of effective stakeholder engagement and collaboration among state policymakers to ensure long-term equity and success.

The two-day meeting featured panel discussions and remarks from a variety of experts, including:  Dr. Monique Chism, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education; Dr. Terry Holliday, Former Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education; Dr. Susan Bowels Therriault, Managing Researcher and Practice Area Director, American Institutes for Research; Kristen Amundson, Executive Director, National Association of State Boards of Education; Stephen Bowen, Strategic Initiative Director for Innovation, Council of Chief State School Officers; and Michelle Exstrom, Education Program Director, National Council of State Legislatures.

In addition, state team members had the opportunity to dive deeply into a number of topics in small group breakout discussions with noted experts, including: Dr. Andy Latham, Director, Standards, Assessments, and Accountability Services, WestED; Dr. Gary Cook, Director of Research, WIDA; Anne Hyslop, Senior Associate, Policy and Advocacy, Chiefs for Change; Michael Moriarty, Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education; Danielle Ewen, Senior Policy Advisor, EducationCounsel; Dr. Andrew Rice, Vice President, Research & Operations, Education Analytics; Dr. Stephanie Hirsch, Executive Director, Learning Forward; Daniel Thatcher, Program Principal, National Conference of State Legislatures; and Guy Johnson, Senior Program Director, Strategy, Partners for Each and Every Child.

As states move from the development phase to implementing their ESSA plans, The Hunt Institute stands ready to support their efforts and will continue to identify opportunities for collaboration and engagement.

For more information on ESSA, visit The Hunt Institute’s website to learn more about the key topics addressed within the law, along with some of the latest research on best practices in education that can be used to inform policy design.



Media Contact: 
April White Henderson


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