Oregon’s plan for implementing the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday, May 3. Given the flexibility that ESSA allows for state-specific success indicators, the Oregon Department of Education (ODE)has created a plan that is centered on delivering a well-rounded and equitable education to every student in the state.
The number one commitment the plan makes is to prioritize and advance equity in our schools. ODE engaged tribal councils, leaders of communities of color, as well as organizations representing students with disabilities from around the state to develop innovative approaches to achieve the goal of equitable education for all.
Strengthening partnerships with community organizations and providing more resources to educators to help them combat barriers to student success are two of the methods the plan will use to follow through on this commitment.
Improving graduation rates as well as ensuring that students are able to make the transition into higher education or the workforce are also an integral part of Oregon’s ESSA plan.
The plan has been well-received by state agencies and community organizations alike; they applaud the collaborative techniques used to gather information and develop the processes that will be implemented starting in the 2017-18 school year. The practice of listening to those who are closest to the work is quickly becoming a national model for ESSA compliance, giving a voice to many who have been disenfranchised in the past.