New Report – Assessing ESSA: Missed Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

Written by NCLD Policy Team | 2 months ago

NCLD is proud to announce the release of Assessing ESSA: Missed Opportunities for Students with Disabilities. This new report provides the first national analysis of how state plans include and serve students with disabilities under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation’s new K-12 education law.

NCLD is committed to improving outcomes for students with disabilities, and we believe that through ESSA, states have an obligation and critical opportunity to make sure that our students are front and center in discussions about achievement, equity, school quality, accountability and improvement. States can do more to take advantage of this opportunity, and therefore must reflect on their progress and strive to make improvements in how they serve all learners.

The report rates each state’s, the District of Columbia’s and Puerto Rico’s ESSA plan on three key areas:

  1. Holding Districts and Schools Accountable
  2. Helping Struggling Schools
  3. Collaborating to Support All Schools

The results of the ESSA analysis are troubling. Groups of students, including students with disabilities, low-income students and students learning English, are frequently neglected. For example:

  • 33 states do not include the academic performance of specific groups of students, like those with disabilities, in their school rating systems.
  • Only 18 states set the same long-term goals for students with disabilities as students without disabilities.
  • Roughly half of states don’t provide a detailed description of how they will work with their existing special education plans to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.  

The bottom line: Most states need to do more.

Check out how your state scored in each rating area and read the full report at NCLD.org/AssessingESSA.

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