WASHINGTON—Earlier this week, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the U.S., along with 22 civil rights and education groups, sent a letter to 34 state education chiefs, urging them to submit education plans to the U.S. Department of Education that advance educational equity and serve the interests of all children, especially those facing the greatest barriers to success. The plans are required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and these states were chosen because they will be submitting their state plans for holding schools accountable for educating all children to the Department on or before September 18.
The letters to state education chiefs state:
“Your ESSA plan is a declaration of your commitment to the education of all children. This plan should set meaningful, aggressive, consistent, 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. The ESSA state plan is one way your state can demonstrate a serious commitment to the future success of all children, by creating a plan that explains how you will identify schools and districts that are not doing well and what you will do to help them improve.”
The letters outline state plan elements that are critical to advancing educational equity, and that prevent schools from shirking their responsibility to all children, especially groups of children who have been shortchanged for too long. The letters urge state chiefs to include certain elements in their ESSA plans as they proceed.
The letters to state education chiefs are available below:
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 and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.