The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Advisory Committee met for the third time on Feb.7 for an update on the writing of Mississippi’s plan to comply with the federal law. ESSA is the latest version of the nation’s main K-12 law that has a longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
The Mississippi Department of Education presented the Advisory Committee with proposed long-range goals that would guide the state plan. ESSA emphasizes improved performance by subgroups, which include race, socioeconomic status, English learners and students with disabilities. The proposed long-range goal is for 70 percent of students to reach proficiency by 2025. In other words, 70 percent of all students, by subgroup, would show solid academic performance and mastery of the knowledge and skills required for success in the grade or course.
The MDE and school districts would monitor interim benchmarks set to reach the 10-year proficiency goal. In addition, the Advisory Committee discussed setting a goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2025 for all students, with all subgroups showing improvement. For instance, the graduation rate for students with disabilities was proposed at 70 percent by 2025, considering that the 2015-16 graduation rate for students with disabilities is 34.7 percent.
Additional information will be shared with school districts on how they can take their current data and forecast their annual growth rates to help the state reach ambitious targets over the next 10 years.
ESSA requires long-term goals that are ambitious, interim benchmarks to track progress over time and significant efforts to close achievement gaps among students. Also, the goals would be used to identify schools in need of improvement.
The next Advisory Committee meeting has been set for April 11 at 10 a.m. in the MDE Central High School Building, 4th floor.