Key Coverage

On State Accountability Plans, Another Test for Betsy DeVos

Monday marks the final deadline by which nearly all states must have submitted a K-12 accountability plan to the U.S. Department of Education, marking a pivotal – if not yet final – step in how schools will operate under the new federal education law.

The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, gives states new flexibility to create accountability systems that suit their unique needs. Those plans must be vetted and cleared by the Department of Education before states begin implementing them in the near future.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia already submitted plans in line with an earlier deadline, and 14 have been approved. Those not yet approved are Colorado, Massachusetts and Michigan. The remaining 34 states – with the exception of Alabama and Texas, which were granted extensions due to recent storms – must submit their plans by Sept. 18.

The process has been somewhat tumultuous, triggering concern from across the education spectrum about how Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and department officials would review each submission.