Gov. Tom Wolf signed off on Pennsylvania’s roadmap for complying with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act on Monday and submitted it to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for her approval.
The plan, which was made public at 4:59 p.m. Monday, establishes what the department describes as “ambitious yet attainable” goals of raising student performance, increasing graduation rates and having English learners move toward achieving English language proficiency.
It responds to the oft-heard complaints about too much class time spent on testing by shortening the state exams that third through eighth graders take in English language arts and math.
It also establishes a new school report card that expands the indicators used to measure performance, placing less emphasis on state test scores which educators had sought. The indicators chosen include academic progress, graduation rates, English language proficiency, chronic absenteeism, and career exploration and preparation rates of fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders.
“Pennsylvania’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan presented the department with an opportunity to shape education in the commonwealth for years to come, a charge we did not take lightly,” said state Education Secretary Pedro Rivera in a news release.