First draft released for Iowa's version of the Every Student Succeeds Act

By  | 

CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Starting next school year, districts will have to begin implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind.

Representatives from the Iowa Department of Education are going around the state sharing a plan for meeting the requirements of the new law.

Monday night, teachers and administrators in the Coralville area got to look, and ask questions of the first draft of Iowa's adaptation of ESSA.

The Iowa Department of Education stressed the new law gives states more control than ever.

"Under No Child Left Behind, the federal government was the one that was dictating the game. And now the federal government has given us control of what accountability do you want schools to have what should schools to look like," Deputy Director Davily Tilly said.

So Iowa plans to change how it determines which schools are falling behind. Tilly says under No Child Left Behind, schools were left punished, not helped.

"We had to implement consequences with the schools that were pretty intrusive but now we can look at how we can support schools to improve instead of pushing the schools that aren't doing well," Tilly said.

Tilly says the new plan is to assess schools every three years. The most struggling schools would get additional resources and funding.

An idea that's comforting to Clear Creek Amana district employees Jennifer Osen-Foss.

"We have one in five students that are impacted by learning differences and disabilities and I want to make sure that teacher training are continued professional development are within ESSA," she said.

Osen-Foss says it's challenging working in a growing district with often limited resources.

"We're constantly learning a new ball game every year. We have new ways of working with children with disables," she said.

Osen-Foss looks at Every Student Succeeds Act as a way to give more control to the district leaders. Which in turn will help her students.

"We want to make sure we are using what's called "best practice" so these children grow up to be successful adults," she said.

This is a first draft of how the state plans to implement Every Student Succeeds Act. The state is asking for input for the next six weeks.

The final draft will be made in May.