What Happened in Your State This January? - National Council of Teachers of English
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What Happened in Your State This January?

During January, twenty policy analysts published reports about what occurred in California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act)

Georgia: James Hill provides an update on ESSA, noting that Governor Nathan Deal refused to sign Georgia’s plan, deeming it too restrictive and not setting high enough expectations.

Kentucky: Emily Zuccaro outlines the US Department of Education recommendations to address accountability in Kentucky’s plan.

New Hampshire: Kathy Collins shares New Hampshire’s ESSA consolidated state plan’s journey through the state and federal departments of education.

New York: Derek Kulnis reports that the US Department of Education approved New York State’s ESSA plan.

Ohio: Robin Holland writes that Ohio’s ESSA approved plan incorporated a number of unique elements including a “focus on the state’s most vulnerable students and assistance to struggling schools.”

Pennsylvania: In her ESSA update, Aileen Hower notes that due to his experience, Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera addressed the US Department of Education’s concerns leading to approval of its plan.


California: Laurie Stowell writes about the lawsuit filed by parents, teachers, and students against the California Department of Education for its failure to address the “literacy crisis.”

Idaho: Darlene Dyer describes the discrepancy between low funding of its public schools with the success of teacher pay through the Idaho Career Ladder.

Indiana: Janet Alsup reveals that educators and the state Department of Education were not included in the creation of the plan proposing changes to an A-F school grading formula.

Minnesota: Ezra Hyland lists the five outstanding accomplishments in Minnesota education in 2017.

Nevada: Kimberly Cuevas writes that Nevada passed SB107, which establishes standards of content and performance for ethnic and diversity studies in high school.

New Hampshire: Kathy Collins notes that the New Hampshire legislature passed SB193, the school choice voucher bill, and it is expected to become law. Kathy also describes HB1499, which would mandate play-based kindergartens throughout the state.

New York: Derek Kulnis reports that New York will require mental health education for all students.

North Carolina: Bryan Christopher explains that the bill to reduce class sizes was controversial because additional monies were not allocated.

Oklahoma: Claudia Swisher shares that although school funding continues to be cut, virtual charters received an increase in funding. Claudia also notes that Oklahoma’s 2018 legislative session will begin February 5.

Oregon: Andie Cunningham describes new teacher evaluation practices in Bend-LaPine School District.

Virginia: Leila Christenbury provides excerpts from the 2017 Annual Report on the Conditions and Needs of Public Schools in Virginia. Leila also questions whether House Joint Resolution 117 is a “proposal for an ethics code or a proposal to restrict classroom discussion.”

P12/Higher Education

Montana: Precious McKenzie describes informational sessions hosted by Montana State University, Bozeman, bringing together college students and rural teachers to address the shortage of teachers in rural Montana.

Higher Education

California: Carol Booth Olson notes that funding for California’s higher education system prioritizes two-year community colleges.

Iowa: Emily Howell reports on The Defunding of Higher Education in Iowa.

Maine: Ryan Dippre describes a controversial policy proposed by the Board of Trustees for the University of Maine system that statewide legislative advocacy among faculty must run through the office of the Chancellor.

Minnesota: Having served as a participant on the Communication Arts and Literature transfer pathway, Jacqueline Arnold describes both that pathway and the English pathway.