Comment period extended on ESSA in Washington

Educator with sign - I am the voice for my students

WEA is pleased that OSPI has agreed to delay submission of our state’s ESSA plan. This is our opportunity to make sure we use federal resources to ensure equitable access to quality education for all students, regardless of ZIP code. WEA, as well as other critical stakeholders, sought a delay so that OSPI can more effectively include educator, parent and community input into the plan. 

Many of us want more time to address important topics such as how we meet the educational needs of the students who need the most help, how we approach the use of standardized tests and determine accountability. We look forward to making use of this time to improve our opportunities to put student needs first as we design and implement our federal education plan.

The comment period has been extended at least 60 days. Click here to read the plan and provide comment to OSPI. 

You can also read and share WEA's explainer series on the work groups:

How Washington is implementing ESSA

OSPI has convened work groups made up of statewide stakeholders, including WEA members, to develop a state plan for accountability and school improvement that must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval in time for implementation in the 2017-18 school year.

Some of the areas the OSPI workgroups will address include:

  • Determining interim and long-term targets for students and sub-groups of students
  • Creating a system of “Annual Meaningful Differentiation” to identify schools for intervention and support
  • Exploring student assessment options under ESSA
  • Defining what “Effective Educator” means
  • Addressing the needs of English learners and students with disabilities.

View the complete list of workgroups.

FAQ for 2016-17 school year

Since the new state plan will not be ready for implementation in time for the 2016-17 school year, schools will continue to provide any student supports and interventions they provided during the 2015-16 school year, but several requirements under NCLB will be eliminated. Learn more in this ESSA implementation FAQ.


Carry over from NCLB - Standards, testing and report cards continue

  • Books and blackboardStates continue to be required to adopt college and career ready standards. In Washington these standards are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and Math, and the Next Generation Science Standards for Science (NGSS).
  • Federally mandated testing in ELA, Math and Science continue with no reduction in the number of tests. 
    • ELA and math is tested in grades 3-8 and once in high school
    • Science is tested once per grade band in 3-5, 6-8, and once in high school
  • States must continue to disaggregate students into subgroups (ELL, Special Education, low-income, gender and students of color).
  • States must identify and intervene for low-performing schools.
  • States must ensure low-income students aren’t disproportionately taught by ineffective, inexperienced, unqualified or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than other students.
  • States will continue to issue annual report cards for schools and districts.
  • For now, the Title I funding formula will remain unchanged.