ESSA plan allows teachers to teach

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ESSA plan allows teachers to teach

The Wolf administration is moving forward with major efforts to better serve public education now that the federal government has approved Pennsylvania’s plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The ESSA plan, approved in January, is based heavily on input from statewide workgroups that included 15 PSEA members and staff.

“The administration did a commendable job in taking input from educators who are front and center every day in Pennsylvania’s classrooms,’’ said PSEA Vice President Rich Askey. “ESSA provided a great opportunity to make important steps for students, and the administration seized that opportunity. The plan includes many things that PSEA has been advocating for years.’’

Pennsylvania’s ESSA plan includes multiple measures to assess school quality that shifts the focus to students and uses standardized tests in a more balanced way. It also features programs to address teacher recruitment and preparation as well as school and student programs emphasizing STEM, career planning, safe school environments, and access to advanced coursework.

Gov. Tom Wolf called federal approval of the state’s ESSA plans “a historic moment in public education in the commonwealth.’’

“Pennsylvania is committed to ensuring that all students have access to an equitable, high-quality, well-rounded education, and our ESSA plan greatly enhances that mission,’’ Wolf said. “The plan provides critical resources to schools and a flexible framework through which teachers can teach and students can learn.’’