U.S. Education Secretary DeVos Approves Alaska and Iowa’s ESSA State Plans

Washington, DC - - (May 16, 2018) - - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of the Alaska and Iowa consolidated state plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“I am pleased to approve these plans which comply with the requirements of the law,” said Secretary DeVos. "I encourage states to use their plans as a starting point, rather than a finish line, to improve outcomes for all students.”

Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students.


The following are some of the unique elements from Alaska’s approved plan as highlighted by the state:
  • Sets goals for each school and district to reduce the number of non-proficient students by half in ten years, for all student groups.
  • Provides flexibility for the state and districts to target strategies for improvement based on the unique needs of each school. Measures both academic performance and academic growth to ensure schools support all students in improving.
  • Prioritizes grade 3 English language arts proficiency to emphasize the importance of reading on grade level by third grade.

“Alaska’s plan builds off our ongoing commitment to ensuring an excellent education for every student every day,” said Alaska Education Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson. “The plan provides us the opportunity to enhance our partnerships with Alaska’s families, educators, local education agencies, tribal organizations and advocates as we work together to support all communities in their efforts to improve their local schools.”


The following are some of the unique elements from Iowa’s approved plan as highlighted by the state:
  • Includes a measure of student engagement, safety and learning environment and a measure of postsecondary readiness;
  • Implements school accountability system that steers support where and when Iowa schools need it most.
  • Provides a structure for professional learning that emphasizes teacher leadership and evidence-based practices.
  • Sets clear and rigorous standards that educators help students reach through high-quality instruction and evidence-based practices.

“Iowa’s plan reflects both broad stakeholder input and our state’s commitment to ensuring students graduate ready for success in college and the workplace,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise. “We have the right roadmap in place for education, and I’m proud of the collaborative spirit with which this plan was developed.”

Courtesy: U.S. Department of Education