Pruitt to testify before U.S. Senate committee on ESSA

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(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt will testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in Washington, D.C., 9:30 a.m. ET Thursday, July 14, on the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The hearing, “ESSA Implementation: Perspectives from Education Stakeholders on Proposed Regulations,” also will include testimony from Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO at the Learning Policy Institute; Charles E. Ducommun, professor of education emeritus at Stanford University; Superintendent Gail Pletnick, Dysart Unified School District in Arizona; and Alison Harris Welcher, director Of school leadership, Project L.I.F.T. in Charlotte, N.C. Copies of Pruitt’s testimony will be released once the hearing begins.

The hearing will be live streamed here.

Pruitt testified before the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce on the proposed regulations last month.

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) is accepting public comment on proposed ESSA regulations. Individuals may read the proposed regulations on accountability, state plans, and data reporting and submit comments here. The deadline to do so is Aug. 1. So far, about 4,000 comments have been offered.

Individuals may read proposed regulations on assessment and a new innovative assessment demonstration pilot and submit comments here. The deadline is Sept. 9.

Commissioner Pruitt hopes all Kentuckians will take advantage of the opportunity to review and provide input on USED’s proposed regulations.

“It is imperative, for the welfare of our students and schools, that our educators and shareholders are engaged in this process to ensure our system will reflect the values of Kentucky¸” Pruitt said. “It is not only our right to provide feedback, it is the right thing to do.”

Additional regulations will be forthcoming with final regulations expected by year’s end.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), passed by Congress in a bi-partisan effort and signed into law in December of last year, reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – the main federal law governing public education – and replaces No Child Left Behind.

Kentucky already has started work on creating a new accountability system under ESSA. Some of the work groups will meet for the first time on Thursday in Elizabethtown. They will make recommendations to an Accountability Steering Committee, which will, in turn, make recommendations to Pruitt.

The Kentucky Board of Education must approve any changes in the accountability system. The current timeline calls for a new system to be in place for the 2017-18 school year.

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