ESSA Implementation in the Northwest

May 4, 2016

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state education agencies (SEAs) have been examining the new requirements and developing plans to implement the national education law within each state’s unique context. As part of this effort, the Northwest Comprehensive Center is providing on-the-ground technical assistance to each of the five SEAs we serve. We are also convening state leadership teams across the Northwest region via regular conference calls to provide a platform to share ideas and lessons learned. In addition, we are maintaining a list of references to external resources that we think will be most helpful to SEAs.

Graphic: Ensuring opportunity for all students

Here’s a Snapshot of What’s Happening in the Northwest


The Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) convened stakeholders from across the state to gather input on how to craft an ESSA state plan that is right for Alaska. As the state transitions to the new federal requirements, leaders are focused on policies and practices that can modernize and personalize the educational experience for Alaska’s students. Currently, DEED is organizing the work under three overarching areas: standards and assessment; accountability; and support for low-performing schools.


The State Department of Education (SDE) gathered stakeholder input and established workgroups to develop five components of the plan: consultation and coordination; standards and assessment; accountability, support, and improvement; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students. A draft plan was posted on the SDE website in November. SDE will make changes based on public comment and recommendations from the State Board of Education before submitting the final plan to the U.S. Department of Education.


Two work groups comprising educators, parents, stakeholders, and district trustees from across the state provided input and assistance to the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) in developing Montana’s Every Student Succeeds Act consolidated state plan, which was submitted to the governor and posted on the ESSA page on the OPI website in November 2016. Superintendent Juneau is asking for feedback before submitting the plan to the U.S. Department of Education in late December.


The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has reached out to communities across the state for input on the ESSA state plan and formed work groups to inform the development of four key areas of implementation. The ODE website highlights several principles guiding Oregon’s transition, including having a state plan founded on educational equity; striving to ensure every student has an effective teacher and every school has a strong and effective leader; and leveraging effective strategies for transforming underperforming schools.


The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) divided ESSA planning responsibilities among multiple teams and workgroups comprising representatives from across Washington state. The OSPI website contains a draft of Washington's plan and the public comment period is open.


Check our ESSA resource page news and information relevant to Northwest SEAs.

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