State Supt. Evers Schedules ESSA Listening Sessions, Appoints Equity Council

State Superintendent Tony Evers has scheduled listening sessions to gather input on implementation of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and is inviting stakeholders from across the public and private education spectrum to participate.

Information from the listening sessions and a feedback website will inform the work of the State Superintendent’s Equity in ESSA Stakeholder Council. WASB Executive Director John Ashley will be a member of this council.

Listening sessions on school improvement and school accountability will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

June 28 — Crowne Plaza Hotel, Madison (map) (Participation in this session is limited to  representatives of education organizations, such as the WASB.  School board members may participate in this session.)

June 30 — Country Springs Hotel, Pewaukee (map) (Participation in this session is limited to practitioners–i.e., administrators  and teachers of Title I schools).

July 27 — Metropolis Hotel, Eau Claire (map)   (Participation in this session is open to anyone, educators and non-educators alike.  School board members may participate in this session.) )

Please Note:  These three in-person listening sessions are open public meetings so anyone can come and watch. However, they are by invitation only in terms of participation.  You must have an invitation in order to participate. If you would like to participate as an invited participant, please contact Dan Rossmiller or Chris Kulow.  (If you participate you will not be expected to give testimony or make any kind of presentation.  You will be seated at small tables with other participants for discussions.  You will listen to a series of short  presentations.  Each presentation will be  followed by a facilitated discussions based on a set of questions.  There will be note takers at every table. Invited participants will receive background materials in advance of the meetings.)

Two virtual listening sessions will be held in August: on August 8 and August 18. Anyone may participate in the virtual session on the 8th.  The virtual session on the 18th is intended for teachers-only and will be fed live to each of the 12 CESAs.  Additionally, a web-based feedback site will be launched May 20.  You will be able to access it here.

The State Superintendent’s Equity in ESSA Stakeholder Council — made up of education leaders from public, charter, and private voucher schools; civil rights advocates; policymakers; and leaders in higher education — will guide the development of Wisconsin’s new plan for implementing ESSA, which must be in place for the 2017-18 school year.

The group’s first meeting will be Aug. 31 at the Department of Public Instruction headquarters in Madison. Subsequent meetings will be held in September, October, January, February, and March.

Evers says he will ask the Equity in ESSA Stakeholder Council to take a fresh look at Wisconsin’s educational accountability system with an eye on the value of Wisconsin’s state report cards and what improvements can be made. Stakeholders will also be asked to consider:  how accountability measures relate to school improvement; what school improvement strategies should look like; and when the state should intervene in a school or district.

“With the largest racial achievement gap in the country,” said Evers, “we need to have tough conversations about how Wisconsin will improve education for all students.”

Read More: DPI News Release