Posts Tagged ‘ESSA’



March 27, 2017

Opportunity to provide feedback

During the next few days you have the opportunity to provide feedback on Maine’s Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated Plan that the Maine Department of Education has submitted to the US Department of Education. The deadline for public comment is March 30, your feedback should be submitted to

You may be wondering why this is different than No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the legislation that ESSA is replacing. ESSA requires that states choose at least one measure of school quality or success besides math and English Language proficiency, graduation rates, and English language learning.  Measures or indicators of school quality are extremely important as they are the basis for school accountability systems, which drive district priorities around funding, program choices and course offerings.

If you’d like more information on the topic and/or to learn what other state proposals are including on the arts, read THIS ARTICLE from Education Week written by Jackie Zubrzycki on March 7 called States Introduce New Measure of Accountability: Arts Education. Additional information on ESSA is at the federal site

Educators, parents, students, teaching artists, arts organizations, and members of the community who believe in arts education are welcome to provide feedback. Public comment is welcome by all. This is an opportunity for you to provide your opinion. The deadline for submitting feedback is Thursday, March 30 to



October 26, 2016

Mapping opportunities for the arts

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-10-30-49-pmArts Ed Partnership has created a resource on the Every Student Succeeds Act. This information was published on October 4, 2016 and a link to the resource is below.

By now, the education community is familiar with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). From the moment that ESSA was signed into law, folks across the education community – from classroom teachers to policymakers – have been clamoring with questions. Perhaps the most frequent inquiry is: “What are the opportunities for my child, classroom, district or state?”
Questions such as this come from every organization or individual impacted by the new law – including those focused on the arts in education. For this reason, Arts Education Partnership (AEP), together with a group of AEP partner organizations and other stakeholders, established the ESSA / Well-Rounded Education Working Group to identify the needs of the arts in education community and to develop resources that respond to that need. AEP recently released a new resource exploring opportunities for the arts within some of ESSA’s most pressing education priorities: Title I, accountability, assessments and state plans.

You can download the resource by CLICKING HERE.


Every Student Succeeds Act

January 4, 2016

The State of Things

Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, Beth Lambert will 4747f3_e307e6fa3fd747b697c839e1e95fd0f9periodically be writing blog posts under the title of “The State of Things”. Today is her first offering on the topic of Every Student Succeeds Act, the new legislation from the federal government. I know you join me in appreciating what Beth has to offer in this post and in future posts. If you have questions or feedback for Beth please contact her at

On Thursday, December 10th, 2015, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became the new federal education law of the land. In an effort to contrast the heavy-handed federal accountability requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), ESSA has shifted much more responsibility for educational policy to the state level.

So, what does this mean for Arts Education?

No Child Left Behind included the arts in the core subject areas, listed on equal footing with math, science, English, social studies, and foreign language. This was a huge win for arts education and has allowed for the arts to have a place at the table in conversations regarding graduation requirements and use of Federal funds, including Title 1.

ESSA has changed things a bit.

There are no longer core subject areas, but rather a requirement to offer student a “well-rounded education.” A “well-rounded education” is defined as: courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local education agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience, (Section 8002, Definitions).

In an intentional contrast to NCLB, ESSA give states much more choice in what they choose as accountability measures. The Every Students Succeeds Act requires that states develop and implement both programs and activities that support access to a well-rounded education, but what programs and activities those are, are largely state and local school boards’ discretion.

SO, that means your voice is more important than ever! Your administrators and local school boards need to understand that visual and performing arts education is essential to a well-rounded education. Keep your place at the table and educate your community on the impact the arts can have on low-performing schools, how integrating the arts can improve understanding in all subject areas and inspire innovation that is desperately needed in this country.

Beth Lambert ( is the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education

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