By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board
This week, state Board of Education President Michael Kirst and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson sent a 10-page letter to the U.S. Education Department taking issue with how the federal government is implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a far-reaching 2015 law that replaced the oft-criticized No Child Left Behind Act enacted in 2002.
ESSA sharply reduces federal mandates that states must follow. But it includes a provision to ensure states make a good-faith effort to improve public schools: a requirement that all students’ progress be regularly measured and that states must intervene when schools rank in the bottom 5 percent of statewide assessments, have more than one-third of students drop out and repeatedly have ethnic groups with poor test results.
Kirst and Torlakson object to ESSA regulations that require each school be given a single score to assess its quality.