The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states an opportunity to rethink their systems for identifying which schools need to improve and how. States are required to submit their plans for a federal peer review process and then have approved plans in place for the 2017-18 school year.
In order to hold all states to a common, high bar and evaluate state efforts, Bellwether Education Partners and the Collaborative for Student Success will convene an objective, independent panel to peer review state accountability plans. After states submit their official plans, this panel of experts on state and federal accountability from a range of political viewpoints will give honest feedback.
This project is designed to serve as an external check on the federal process, capture the strengths and weaknesses of each state’s plan, and provide feedback to state policymakers and advocates interested in enhancing school quality in their communities.
Our review is aligned to the federal peer review process, as well as tools developed by other external groups, but it differs in important ways:
- Our review is focused on a select number of questions and will not cover everything in state plans.
- We believe compliance with federal law is necessary but insufficient for state plans. Beyond mere compliance, we’ll also ask reviewers to assess state plans for their likelihood of success in accomplishing the state’s vision on education.
- The independent nature of our process will allow the team of highly experienced reviewers to candidly assess each state plan.
The panel consists of a diverse group of experts from across the political spectrum, with varying backgrounds and expertise in the education field. View peer reviewer bios, or click through to read more.