US Ed. Dept. approves Md. ESSA plan for 2018

The US Department of Education approved Maryland’s school improvement plan for 2018, submitted this month in partial fulfillment of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, the department announced in a press release Tuesday.

“Maryland’s plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it,” said US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which Maryland can improve education for its students.”

Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students.

The following are some of the unique elements from Maryland’s approved plan as highlighted by the state:

  • Awards credit for elementary school students completing a well-rounded curriculum as measured by the percentage of students passing social studies, fine arts, physical education and health.
  • Supports low-performing schools through innovative strategies based on collaboration between local school districts and the state, including providing access to leadership coaches for school leaders at low-performing schools in order to give guidance on the implementation of school improvement strategies.

“Maryland’s efforts, built on strong stakeholder input, are based on the belief that each child is important and deserves the highest quality education program,” said Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon. “We appreciate the support of the US Department of Education, and we will continue our school improvement work with a focus on preparing every student for college and career.”

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