Florida’s ExcelinEd backs ESSA education reform


From its Tallahassee base, the national nonprofit Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) illuminated the details of 2015’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for stakeholders at a recent Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce event.

At the Sept. 9 Chamber event at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, ExcelinEd’s advocacy director Debbie Mortham and policy director Shan Goff discussed particulars of the new law with participants, explaining how federal oversight will diminish and subsequently transfer more clout to state and local school jurisdictions.

Launched by former Gov. Jeb Bush in 2008, ExcelinEd strongly supports the increased role which states will be empowered to take in education as a result of the ESSA legislation. The organization plans to call on the U.S. Department of Education’s authority to ensure consistent application as it abides by ESSA’s tenets.

When ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) starting in the 2017-18 school year, states will be confront multifaceted changes, ranging from assessments and waivers to new requirements. ExcelinEd pledged its availability to assist Florida school systems in several areas.

Specifically, the organization will readily offer summaries and answer questions relation to transition; pinpoint ways that federal funding can sustain state reforms; support the role of states in implementation of ESSA, and bolster individual states’ efforts to maintain high standards as they transition to the new regulation.

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