The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What It Means for Educators of Students at Risk - Digital Commons@Georgia ...

National Youth-At-Risk Journal
Volume 2
                                                                                                                                              Article 1
Issue 1 Fall 2016

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What It
Means for Educators of Students at Risk
Cordelia D. Zinskie
Georgia Southern University

Dan W. Rea
Georgia Southern University

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Recommended Citation
Zinskie, C. D., & Rea, D. W. (2016). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What It Means for Educators of Students at Risk.
National Youth-At-Risk Journal, 2(1).

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The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): What It Means for Educators of
Students at Risk
This editorial perspective examines some ways that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which becomes
operational in the 2017–2018 school year, may enhance the capacity of educators to help students and schools
at risk of underperforming. It also addresses some of the challenges that educators will face under ESSA in
ensuring success for all students. We highlight aspects of ESSA that may be of most interest to our readers
including the broadened definition of academic success, expansion of subgroups for data reporting, emphasis
on evidence-based research and practice, focus on continuous improvement, and need for increased educator
understanding of research and evaluation. Resources are included that provide information for educators on
how to use evidence, locate research findings on existing interventions, and access funding opportunities.

ESSA, academic success, evidence-based practice, continuous improvement

   This editorial perspective is available in National Youth-At-Risk Journal:
Zinskie and Rea: The Every Student Succeeds Act

                                     The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):
                                  What It Means for Educators of Students at Risk

                                                 Cordelia D. Zinskie and Dan W. Rea
                                                    Georgia Southern University

                                                                                the term “at risk” to describe the inequitable
                  Despite the American promise of equal
                  educational opportunity for all students,
                                                                                conditions, challenging circumstances, or
                  persistent achievement gaps among more                        stressful situations that make it more likely for
                  and less advantaged groups of students                        students, individually or collectively, to have
                  remain, along with the opportunity gaps                       poor or harmful school outcomes. We avoid
                  that create disparate outcomes. (Cook-                        labeling students as “at-risk students” by using
                  Harvey, Darling-Hammond, Lam, Mercer,                         the “person-first” language of “students at
                  & Roc, 2016, p. v)                                            risk” to describe realistically the problematic
                                                                                conditions that may threaten their safety,

             T    he mission of the National Youth-At-Risk
                  Journal is to help practitioners—especially
             educators who serve students placed at risk by
                                                                                health, social-emotional needs, or academic
                                                                                achievement (for more information, see Rea
                                                                                & Zinskie, 2015, pp. 3–6). According to ESSA
             poverty and other challenging conditions—to                        (2015), students placed at risk for academic
             close opportunity gaps that prevent students                       failure need special assistance and support to
             from attaining a quality education (Rea &                          help them succeed in school, and ESSA provides
             Zinskie, 2015). With the journal’s mission in                      new opportunities for educators to address
             mind, this editorial perspective examines some                     this student need. We consider some of these
             ways that the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)                    new opportunities in this editorial perspective;
             (2015), which becomes operational in the 2017–                     we also address some of the challenges that
             2018 school year, may enhance the capacity of                      educators will face under ESSA in ensuring
             educators to help students and schools at risk                     success for all students.
             of underperforming.
                 Signed into law on December 10, 2015, ESSA                     INCREASES STATES’ FLEXIBILITY AND
             is the latest reauthorization of the historical                    CONTROL
             Elementary and Secondary Education Act                             Under ESSA, states have much greater
             (ESEA) passed in 1965 as part of United States                     responsibility for developing and implementing
             President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”                       accountability systems designed to support
             Consistent with the original purpose of the                        student learning; however, with this increased
             act, ESSA provides resources and support for                       responsibility also comes more discretion
             students and schools at risk of academic failure                   with regard to establishing context-specific
             because of the inequitable conditions of poverty.                  academic standards, identifying accountability
             Furthermore, ESSA replaces it predecessor, the                     indicators, designing annual state assessments,
             unpopular federally controlled No Child Left                       and planning interventions for students and
             Behind (NCLB) Act, with a more flexible state                      schools at risk of low academic performance
             controlled educational program.                                    (Association for Supervision and Curriculum
                 A basic tenet of ESSA is that educators must                   Development [ASCD], 2015; Chenoweth, 2016;
             believe that all students can succeed (Chenoweth,                  Darling-Hammond et al., 2016; McGuinn, 2016;
             2016). In this editorial perspective, we use                       Patrick, Worthen, Frost, & Gentz, 2016; Weiss

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              & McGuinn, 2016). For example, ESSA gives                                These non-cognitive indicators have important
              school districts—in partnership with school                              implications for improving the school success of
              staff and parents—the opportunity to replace                             all students, especially students placed at risk by
              the one-size-fits-all remedies of NCLB with                              a lack of social-emotional school support, the
              locally selected and designed evidence-based                             threat of bullying, or chronic truancy. According
              interventions that are creatively adapted to the                         to Cook-Harvey et al. (2016), “Carefully chosen
              particular needs of their struggling students and                        measures can help shine a light on poor learning
              schools. With an increase in decision-making                             conditions and other inequities” (p. v). Use of
              authority at the local level, schools will also                          multiple measures provides a more holistic view
              have a greater responsibility to meet the needs                          of schools and their students (Elgart, 2016).
              of all students.                                                              There has been disagreement regarding
                                                                                       which non-cognitive indicators are most
              BROADENS THE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS                                       appropriate for the state accountability plans.
              ESSA does include annual testing in reading                              The non-cognitive (or fifth) indicator must
              and math in third through eighth grades and                              be measured systematically, be related to
              once during high school as one of the four                               academic indicators, and provide meaningful
              required academic indicators in the state’s                              differentiation among schools (Schanzenbach,
              accountability system because these data are                             Bauer, & Mumford, 2016). Schanzenbach et
              essential for comparing student performance                              al. expressed concern regarding use of a social-
              across schools and districts. ESSA also provides                         emotional indicator like school climate in the
              an option for high schools to use the SAT or ACT                         accountability system because it is typically
              rather than a state-level assessment. However,                           assessed via a self-report survey instrument.
              ESSA broadens the definition of success beyond                           They noted that an indicator such as attendance
              only performance on standardized assessments                             is a more valid, reliable, and comparable
              (Kendziora & Yoder, 2016); ESSA also requires                            measure for use in high stakes accountability.
              an additional statewide academic indicator                               They do recommend use of measures of school
              such as student growth at the elementary and                             climate as part of formative assessment.
              middle school levels; a measure of progress                                   In contrast, García and Weiss (2016) and
              in English language proficiency for English                              West (2016) reported that results of previous
              language learners (grades 3–8 and once during                            empirical research do confirm a link between
              high school); and high school graduation rate                            non-cognitive indicators (e.g., social-emotional
              (Chenoweth, 2016; Darling-Hammond et al.,                                skills) and academic and life outcomes. García
              2016). Patrick et al. (2016) also recommended                            and Weiss stated that “accountability practices
              the use of entry and formative assessments to                            and policies must be broadened to make explicit
              evaluate student progress.                                               the expectation that schools and teachers
                                                                                       contribute to the development of non-cognitive
              INCLUDES NON-COGNITIVE INDICATOR                                         skills and to make the development of the
              In addition, ESSA requires states to choose                              whole child central to the mission of education
              at least one non-cognitive indicator such as                             policy” (p. 3). It should be noted that while
              student engagement, school climate and safety,                           states are allowed to decide the weights for
              attendance, postsecondary readiness, or any                              indicators included in their accountability
              other that can be categorized as a measure                               system, academic indicators must be assigned a
              of school quality or student success (Darling-                           greater weight than the selected non-cognitive
              Hammond et al., 2016; McGuinn, 2016).                                    indicator (McGuinn, 2016).                                                                                   2
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Zinskie and Rea: The Every Student Succeeds Act

             EXPANDS SUBGROUPS FOR DATA REPORTING                               student or other relevant outcomes and that
             As with NCLB, ESSA requires that progress                          includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects
             toward meeting or exceeding standards must                         of such activity, strategy, or intervention” (pp.
             be assessed for all students including identified                  290–291). Although considered empirical
             subgroups of students who have disabilities,                       research, other types of studies (e.g., case
             are economically disadvantaged, have limited                       studies, descriptive studies, survey research)
             English language proficiency, and belong to                        do not count as sufficient evidence per the
             a major racial/ethnic group (ASCD, 2015;                           ESSA definition; also questions remain whether
             Darling-Hammond et al., 2016). These four                          meta-analyses meet the evidence-based criteria
             subgroups are students that have historically                      (Epstein et al., 2016).
             been underserved by schools and are most likely                        How do schools determine which
             to need special assistance and support; the                        interventions or strategies are the most
             data for these student subgroups will continue                     promising? One option is to review previous
             to be disaggregated for data reporting and                         research literature to determine which have
             accountability purposes. Data from three new                       been most effective based on the ESSA definition.
             subgroups, students who are homeless, are                          [Note: A decision about effectiveness cannot be
             in foster care, or have parents in the military,                   based on one empirical study; multiple studies
             will also be examined but not reported for                         showing positive outcomes are needed to make
             statewide accountability (ASCD, 2015). Students                    a definitive statement about effectiveness.]
             in these three challenging conditions may also                     Examples of evidence-based interventions that
             have academic and social-emotional needs                           have produced successful outcomes in general
             that require special attention; however, data                      include high-quality professional development,
             have not previously been available on these                        class-size reduction, and high school redesign
             subgroups to confirm this.                                         (Lam et al., 2016).
                                                                                    Although ESSA contains numerous
             STRESSES EVIDENCE-BASED RESEARCH AND                               references to an “activity, strategy, or
             PRACTICE                                                           intervention”, no definition is provided regarding
             ESSA requires that interventions be                                these actions or materials designed to improve
             evidenced-based and defines different types                        outcomes. Epstein et al. (2016) noted that
             of research evidence allowed when choosing                         while interventions that are professionally
             an activity, strategy, or intervention designed                    developed and marketed (e.g., Accelerated
             for improvement (Lam, Mercer, Podolsky, &                          Reader, enVisionMATH) are more likely to have
             Darling-Hammond, 2016). Under ESSA, an                             a strong research base, ESSA does not limit
             activity, strategy, or intervention is defined as                  schools to use of these types of interventions.
             evidence-based if it “demonstrates a statistically                 However, Epstein et al. recommended that
             significant effect on improving student outcomes                   when sufficient evidence is available regarding
             or other relevant outcomes based on strong                         the effectiveness of an intervention, it may be
             evidence from an experimental study, moderate                      more efficient in terms of time and resources to
             evidence from a quasi-experimental study, or                       select an existing, proven option for improving
             promising evidence from a correlational study                      outcomes.
             with statistical controls for selection bias.” Also                    It should be noted that the context of
             considered as evidence-based is an activity,                       evidence is very important; schools need to focus
             strategy, or intervention that has a “rationale                    on evidence from studies in similar settings with
             based on high-quality research findings or                         similar students (Dynarski, 2015; Sparks, 2016).
             positive evaluation…that is likely to improve                      For example, low-performing schools with a

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              large population of economically disadvantaged                           associated with student learning (Chenoweth,
              students should seek evidence from research                              2016). For example: How do students learn?
              on high-poverty, high-performing schools. In                             What is the role of the principal with regard to
              addition to seeing what has worked for others,                           teaching and learning? What teacher practices
              it is important for schools to test strategies and                       are most effective? What worked well? What
              interventions in their own settings (Chenoweth,                          needs to be improved? It is also important to
              2016). These strategies and interventions must                           recognize that change takes time and that failure
              also be evaluated with students in the local                             to improve student outcomes is a “learning
              setting who are members of one or more of the                            opportunity” in the continuous improvement
              ESSA designated subgroups.                                               model (Darling-Hammond et al., 2016). Finally,
                    Practitioner research is a good first step for                     making feedback available to all stakeholders at
              testing a new activity, strategy, or intervention in                     all levels is an important part of the continuous
              the local context. [See Zinskie & Rea, 2016, for                         improvement process (Patrick et al., 2016). It is
              guidance on conducting practitioner research.]                           especially important that educators be vigilant
              As Chenoweth (2016) found in her research of                             regarding continuous improvement for students
              high-performing, high-poverty schools, “…the                             in the designated subgroups who are at risk of
              most powerful lever of improvement rests on                              academic failure.
              the ability of one teacher to say to another: ‘My
              kids aren’t doing as well as yours. What are you                         CALLS FOR APPROPRIATE USE AND
              doing?’”(p. 41). The teachers in schools who                             COMMUNICATION OF DATA
              are consistently reaching and teaching low-                              ESSA calls for appropriate use of data obtained
              performing students are an exemplary source                              as part of the accountability and continuous
              of promising teaching methods that should                                improvement process; it also requires that
              not be overlooked in the search for evidence-                            individual student privacy be maintained in data
              based approaches to school improvement.                                  reporting. An effective data system must be
              Principals and teachers in professional learning                         established that allows data to be reported in
              communities need to find ways to showcase and                            an aggregate manner as well as disaggregated
              determine the effects of what is working in their                        by designated subgroups (Patrick et al.,
              own schools and school districts (ESSA, 2015).                           2016). However, this same system must have
                                                                                       the capacity for access to individual student
              CREATES CULTURE OF CONTINUOUS                                            data at the school level in order to determine
              IMPROVEMENT                                                              which students require more support. Further,
              In the past, data were not being used effectively,                       sufficient data points must be stored in a system
              and emphasis was placed on compliance and                                to monitor student growth over time. States
              sanctions; however, ESSA is designed to put                              must determine which data are needed and
              more focus on improvement, not punishment                                reported at each level and for what purpose
              (Elgart, 2016). With ESSA, schools should not                            (Patrick et al., 2016). For example: What data
              be conducting research or reviewing outcome                              are needed at state level versus school/district
              data just to meet the requirements of a year-                            level? What information is of most importance
              end report. Instead, there needs to be a focus                           to students and their families?
              on continuous improvement. This requires                                     All stakeholders need to understand the
              ongoing examination of evidence at both                                  role and goals of the accountability system
              school and district levels (O’Day & Smith, 2016).                        including implementation method and timeline
              Evidence needs to extend beyond intervention                             for students and schools and system plan for
              outcomes; it is important to look at the process                         recognizing and honoring success (Patrick et                                                                                 4
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Zinskie and Rea: The Every Student Succeeds Act

             al., 2016). It is also important that the public be                schools identified as low-performing or schools
             kept informed regarding accountability efforts in                  where subgroups are struggling; this requires
             a transparent manner (Darling-Hammond et al.,                      understanding data in order to create an
             2016; Elgart, 2016). Weiss and McGuinn (2016)                      evidence-based plan for improvement (Darling-
             recommended that state educational agencies                        Hammond et al., 2016). To realize the promise
             (SEAs) make an investment in communication,                        of ESSA and help students and schools at risk
             so that two-way dialogue can occur between                         of underperforming, educators will need to
             stakeholders and the public; methods of                            become proficient in finding, evaluating, and
             communication should embrace both the                              applying evidence-based research for school
             traditional (public forums) and the innovative                     improvement.
             (social media).                                                         This process will require that educators
                  Data dashboards are a common method of                        have sufficient knowledge and skills to evaluate
             providing access to accountability information                     the quality of research studies as well as
             (Cook-Harvey et al., 2016; Darling-Hammond                         appropriateness for implementation of these
             et al., 2016; O’Day & Smith, 2016). Darling-                       research findings within their own setting.
             Hammond et al. noted that “Data dashboards                         Educators will need a basic understanding of
             using multiple measures can track information                      how to locate quality, peer-reviewed sources,
             about inputs, processes, and outcomes to                           identify flaws in experimental design, assess
             inform a diagnosis of what is and what is not                      validity and reliability of measuring instruments,
             working in schools and for which students” (p.                     and interpret basic statistical data including
             4). Cook-Harvey et al. indicated that access                       effect sizes. Schools and/or districts who
             to these data can assist schools, districts, and                   develop their own activities, strategies, and
             states in identifying and addressing opportunity                   interventions must know how to design
             gaps.                                                              and conduct an evaluation study in order to
                  There are issues regarding access to data                     determine effectiveness.
             that might impact subgroups of students                                 Once evidence is obtained, educators also
             and their families, which schools are trying                       need guidance on how to use this evidence
             to support. For example: Students and                              for decision-making, especially with regard to
             parents who are homeless or economically                           adapting to their local context (Epstein et al.,
             disadvantaged might not have access to a                           2016; Sparks, 2016). Dynarski (2015) noted
             computer, or parents of students with limited                      that translating research findings into practice is
             English language proficiency may have difficulty                   difficult, particularly if research was conducted
             with narrative reporting of data results. Also,                    on a small-scale. In addition, insufficient
             some rural schools and households may not                          information may be provided in a research
             have the internet capacity to handle the data-                     report regarding an effective intervention
             rich environment created by the accountability                     making it difficult to replicate in a different
             system.                                                            setting.
                                                                                     Most schools or school districts do not have
             NECESSITATES EDUCATOR UNDERSTANDING                                designated employees to handle research and
             OF RESEARCH AND EVALUATION                                         evaluation; this is something that has been
             Educators are expected to use evidence from                        traditionally been exclusive to larger, well-funded
             high-quality research to inform implementation                     school districts (Dynarski, 2015). Epstein et al.
             of activities, strategies, and interventions at                    (2016) noted that policymakers should provide
             the classroom, school, and/or district levels.                     technical assistance to states to determine the
             Evidence also plays a role in instances for                        evidence on activities under consideration.

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              Other options include bringing individuals from                          the use of technology and other media, the goal
              the outside (e.g., higher education faculty,                             of the program was to enhance and develop
              professional consultants) to assist with research                        students’ skills in critical thinking, metacognitive
              and/or to conduct professional development                               planning and monitoring, problem solving, and
              for educators, or selecting individuals from the                         reasoning.
              school and/or district to pursue graduate-level                               Dawn Tysinger, Jeffrey Tysinger, and Terry
              training in applied research, evaluation, and                            Diamanduros explore K-12 online educators’
              assessment.                                                              perceptions of and preparedness for crises
                   All of these initiatives will require funding.                      (e.g., suspected child/adolescent neglect or
              With ESSA’s focus on new research and                                    abuse, suspected student suicidal ideation) that
              evidence-based programs, the U.S. government                             may impact individual students or the online
              is investing in this effort. Milner and Holston                          school environment. Results show that many
              (2015) reported that “the law authorizes $300                            participants have no training for recognizing
              million in funding for the Education Innovation                          the warning signs of the various crisis events
              and Research (EIR) grants program by the end of                          in student online content.
              fiscal year 2020” (para. 6). Milner and Holston                               Natoya Hill Haskins and colleagues discuss
              also noted that new funds have been directed to                          how school counselors can use narrative therapy
              ESSA to support program evaluation. Educators                            to support students of color transitioning from an
              with requisite knowledge and skills in research,                         alternative school setting back into a traditional
              evaluation, and proposal writing will be needed                          school environment. With narrative therapy,
              for schools and/or districts to take advantage                           students share their stories and are empowered
              of this funding.                                                         to create a new narrative that represents
                   Editors’ Note: To assist our readers, we                            who they want to be. The authors include an
              have listed resources in the Appendix that                               illustration demonstrating the application of the
              provide information for educators on how to use                          collaborative narrative therapy process.
              evidence, locate research findings on existing                                Michael Mucedola’s literature review
              interventions, and access funding opportunities.                         highlights disparities for students living in
                                                                                       poverty and the impact that poverty has on
              PREVIEW OF ISSUE CONTENT                                                 students’ academic performance. Students
              Meca Williams-Johnson’s interview with Bettina                           living in poverty have specific needs that
              Love focuses on creating spaces that matter for                          must be accounted for in order to increase
              children. Love is well known for her publications                        performance, retention, and graduation rates
              and presentations on a range of topics including                         at all levels. The author describes community
              hip hop education, Black girlhood, queer youth,                          outreach strategies that have the potential to
              hip hop feminism, and issues of diversity. In                            empower impoverished students to improve
              this interview, Love educates readers on how                             their learning and academic achievement.
              hip hop can influence, engage and motivate                                    Desiree Vega, Erik Hines, Renae Mayes, and
              kids and how loving each child is foundational                           Paul Harris describe the barriers Latino students
              to reaching students.                                                    face in pursuit of educational opportunity and
                  Antonio P. Gutierrez de Blume, Mete                                  the important role school counselors and school
              Akcaoglu, and Wendy Chambers present their                               psychologists can play in preparing them for life
              findings from a Photography and Media Literacy                           after high school, whether it be participation in
              Project implemented as an after-school program                           the workforce or attendance at a postsecondary
              for fourth and fifth grade students in a rural                           institution. The authors provide policy and
              Title I school in southeast Georgia. Through                             practice recommendations for educators.                                                                                    6
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Zinskie and Rea: The Every Student Succeeds Act

                 Rajni Shankar-Brown, an internationally                           ESSA: Leveraging educational opportunity
             recognized scholar in the areas of poverty and                        through the Every Student Succeeds Act. Palo
             homelessness, diversity and inclusion, and                            Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. Retrieved
             social justice education, is featured in our Art                      from
             Corner. She shares her spoken word poem                               sites/default/files/product-files/Equity_
             that depicts her concern and anguish regarding                        ESSA_REPORT.pdf
             schooling today as well as the small “morsels                      Darling-Hammond, L., Bae, S., Cook-Harvey,
             of light” that inspire hope for her children’s                        C. M., Lam, L., Mercer, C., Podolsky, A.,
             educational future.                                                   & Stosich, E. L. (2016). Pathways to new
                                                                                   accountability through the Every Student
             CONCLUSION                                                            Succeeds Act. Palo Alto, CA: Learning
             This is our third issue of the journal, and the                       Policy Institute. Retrieved from https://
             journal editors continue to be impressed by the             
             range of topics addressed by our contributors,                        f i l e s / p ro d u c t-f i l e s / Pat hways _ N ew-
             topics that are at the forefront of education                         Accountability_Through_Every_Student_
             today. All articles in this issue focus on social-                    Succeeds_Act_04202016.pdf
             emotional and/or academic barriers that impact                     Dynarski, M. (2015). Using research to improve
             the education of vulnerable youth, and the                            education under the Every Student Succeeds
             authors provide strategies based on evidence                          Act. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.
             for improving students’ academic success.                             edu/research/using-research-to-improve-
             Consistent with ESSA, the National Youth-At-                          education-under-the-every-student-
             Risk Journal seeks to view students and schools                       succeeds-act/
             in a holistic manner. As states move forward                       Elgart, M. A. (2016). Creating state
             with the development and implementation of                            accountability systems that help schools
             their new accountability plans required by ESSA,                      improve. Phi Delta Kappan, 98(1), 26–30.
             we encourage educators to use the journal as                          doi:10.1177/0031721716666050
             both a resource and an outlet for evidence-                        Epstein, R. H., Gates, S. M., Arifkhanova, A.,
             based information that improves practice and                          Bega, A., Chavez-Herrerias, E. R., Han, E.,
             supports a quality learning experience for all                        . . . Wrabel, S. (2016). School leadership
             students.                                                             interventions under the Every Student
                                                                                   Succeeds Act: Evidence review updated
                                                                                   and expanded. Santa Monica, CA: RAND
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                 and the education legacy of the Obama                                    edweek/inside-school-research/2016/09/
                 Administration. Publius, 46, 392–415.                                    ESSA_education_research_evidence_
                 doi:10.1093/publius/pjw014                                               guidance_released.html
              Milner, J., & Holston, B. (2015). Building the                           Weiss, J., & McGuinn, P. (2016). States as change
                 supply and demand for evidence in the Every                              agents under ESSA. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(8),
                 Student Succeeds Act. Washington, DC:                                    28–33. doi:10.1177/0031721716647015
                 Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.                           West, M. R. (2016). Should non-cognitive
                                       skills be included in school accountability
                 demand-evidence-every-student-succeeds-                                  systems? Preliminary evidence from
                 act                                                                      California’s CORE districts. Retrieved
              O’Day, J. A., & Smith, M. S. (2016). Systemic                               from https://w w
                 problems, systemic solutions: Equality and                               wp-content/uploads/2016/07/
                 quality in U.S. education. Washington, DC:                               EvidenceSpeaksWest031716.pdf
                 American Institutes for Research. Retrieved                           Zinskie, C. D., & Rea, D. W. (2016). By
                 from                                   practitioners, for practitioners: Informing
                 files/downloads/report/Equality-Quality-                                 and empowering practice through
                 Education-EPC-September-2016.pdf                                         practitioner research. National Youth-At-
              Patrick, S., Worthen, M., Frost, D., & Gentz,                               Risk Journal, 1(2). Retrieved from http://
                 S. (2016). Meeting the Every Student                           
                 Succeeds Act’s promise: State policy to                                  vol1/iss2/1/
                 support personalized learning. Vienna,
                 VA: International Association for K–12                                **************************************
                 Online Learning (iNACOL). Retrieved                                   Cordelia D. Zinskie, Editor, serves as a professor
                 f r o m h t t p : / / w w w. i n a c o l . o r g / w p -              of Educational Research at Georgia Southern
                 content/uploads/2016/10/iNACOL_                                       University. She served as chair of the Department
                 MeetingESSAsPromise.pdf                                               of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading                                                                                  8
DOI: 10.20429/nyarj.2016.020101
Zinskie and Rea: The Every Student Succeeds Act

             from 2006 until 2013. She teaches graduate                         National Center for Research in Policy and
             courses in research methods (quantitative and                      Practice
             qualitative), statistics, and proposal writing, and                This U.S. Department of Education funded
             her most recent research efforts have focused on                   center studies how educational leaders use
             online teaching and learning (e-learning). She                     research when making decisions and what can
             has significant experience mentoring graduate                      be done to make research findings more useful
             student research at the Ed.S. and Ed.D. levels                     and relevant for those leaders.
             and has served as an evaluator on a number of
             funded grants.                                                     Office of Innovation and Improvement
                                                                                This website highlights available grant
             Dan W. Rea, Founding Editor, is currently a                        opportunities, including the Education
             professor of Educational Psychology at Georgia                     Innovation and Research (EIR) Program. The
             Southern University in the Department of                           EIR Program provides funding for evidence-
             Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading. He has                       based, field-initiated innovations designed to
             worked as a secondary mathematics teacher                          improve student achievement and attainment
             in inner-city and alternative Title I schools                      for high-need students.
             and as an assistant and associate professor
             of educational psychology respectively at                          What Works Clearinghouse
             Doane College, Nebraska and University of                          The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviews
             Wisconsin at Whitewater. Since 1994, he has                        evidence of effectiveness of programs, policies,
             served as a co-chair of the National Youth-                        or practices with the goal of helping schools
             At-Risk Conference Savannah and published                          make evidence-based decisions. Resources
             numerous articles and edited books on fostering                    available on this website include intervention
             the well-being of youth placed at risk, motivating                 reports, single study reviews, and practice
             student underachievers, and building learning                      guides.
             communities in schools.
             **************************************                             U.S. Department of Education. (2016). Non-
                                 Appendix                                       regulatory guidance: Using evidence to strengthen
                   Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)                            education investments. Washington, DC: Author.
                         Resources for Educators                                Retrieved from
             Every Student Succeeds Act
             The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) website                      This guidance document is designed to help SEAs,
             includes an overview of ESSA, FAQs about ESSA,                     LEAs, schools, educators, partner organizations,
             and links to ESSA resources, including the full                    and other stakeholders successfully choose
             text of ESSA.                                                      and implement interventions that improve
                                                                                outcomes for students.
             Institute of Education Sciences
             The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the                   Social Media: Educators can find and/or share
             statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the                    information and dialogue with others using
             U.S. Department of Education. This site provides                   social media platforms such as Twitter and
             scientific evidence, in a useful and accessible                    Facebook. Use the hashtag #ESSA to contribute
             format, that can help educators, policymakers                      to and follow these discussions.
             and stakeholders improve outcomes for all

Published by Digital Commons@Georgia Southern, 2016                                                                                 9
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