TEA releases public response to ESSA survey
SUGHEAD: TEA releases public’s answers to ESSA survey
BY DANYA PEREZ-HERNANDEZ | STAFF WRITER
McALLEN— The Texas Education Agency released the results of a public survey intended to help shape what states’ education policy will look like under Every Student Succeeds Act.
President Barack Obama signed the ESSA in 2015, replacing No Child Left Behind and giving back decision making power over K-12 public education to the states. Each state is required to come up with a strategic vision and plan of action and the survey was the first step to develop this vision.
In Texas about 29,000 people participated, out of which more than 22,000 actually completed the survey and nearly 16 percent said they live in South Texas. The survey was available from Oct. 20 to Nov. 18.
Nearly 12,500 participants were pre-K to 12 teachers and about 10,200 were parents of a child enrolled in school. The rest were school administrators, students and other community members or education stakeholders.
“All respondents were provided an opportunity to address topics such as measuring school quality, preparing students for future success, increasing access to effective educators and school improvement,” states a TEA news release.
The top three choices on what participants thought should be a good measure of school success were access to career and technical training, student engagement, and school climate and safety.
On student support, participants said that the best ways to ensure students have quality education were to focus resources on early grade levels, provide high-quality teacher training and highlight the best practices that have led to student success.
Participants’ top choices on what skills students should possess in order to be successful in college, careers and military included critical thinking skills, development of interpersonal skills such as public speaking, and access and completion to advanced-level coursework.
The last question focused on school improvement, and participants said the best ways to improve struggling schools were providing more funding for instructional materials, offering incentives to excellent teachers to teach in those schools and providing more resources for wrap-around services such as healthcare services, behavioral health services and parent education.
Using this data, TEA will develop preliminary policy considerations, which should be released in January. A draft plan will be released to the public in April for input and the final plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education for approval in July, which can take up to 120 days.