25 Civil Rights and Education Groups to DeVos: Do Not Rubber Stamp ESSA State Plans

Education News 04.26,17

WASHINGTON – Today, 25 civil rights and education groups sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos calling for a thorough and robust review of state accountability plans submitted to the department, as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Department of Education plays a critical role in safeguarding educational equity for all children and must evaluate state plans to ensure that they hold schools and districts responsible for how well they are educating and preparing all children for success.

As the letter to DeVos states: “A state’s ESSA plan is a declaration of its commitment to the education of all children. This plan should set meaningful, aggressive, and achievable goals for ensuring children are prepared for future success and explain how the state will hold schools and districts responsible for educating all students. Parents and communities send children to school every day with the expectation that that school is doing its job and preparing their children for future success. They have the right to know that their state is committed to their children’s education and has a plan for what to do when a school is not educating well and needs help. It’s time for every state to get serious about their children’s future success.”

The letter also outlines areas of concern in current state plans and underscores the federal government’s responsibility to be the backstop when states fail in their duty to build and support schools that enable all children to reach their fullest potential. The groups call on the department to reject any plan that allows schools to shirk their duty to all children, especially groups of children who’ve been shortchanged for too long.

The letter to Secretary DeVos is available here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference, visit www.civilrights.org.