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Press Release

Thursday, August 31, 2017

CCSSO Releases Statement on California's ESSA Plan

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (August 31, 2017) - The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) released the following statement about the draft of California's plan aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). 

Chris Minnich, executive director at CCSSO, said the following: 

"State plans aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act are one slice of the comprehensive education system states have to prepare all students for success in life. These submissions explain how a state plans to spend certain federal dollars it receives, and are not intended to capture the entirety of a system. Therefore, these plans must be taken into consideration with all efforts underway across a state.  

"One of the most exciting parts of this new law is that states have more flexibility and authority over certain areas of education - from how schools are evaluated to how states support local educators in improving schools that are struggling. Many states are taking advantage of this additional flexibility to work closely with stakeholders at the local and state level to create programs and services that best meet the needs of the children in their state. 

"California is among the states that have used their ESSA plan to demonstrate their strong and deep commitment to creating an equitable education system for all children. Here are few ways California is working to accomplish this through its ESSA plan: 

  • California has been a leader in creating more equitable accountability, assessment and funding systems - well before ESSA passed. Its accountability system is based on multiple measures of student success including student academic growth, college and career readiness and school climate. The state also has designed a comprehensive dashboard to provide educators, parents and the public with clear, understandable information on how a school is performing across a series of measures. 
  • California's funding formula is a model for the country as it works to provide high-poverty schools with additional resources. 
  • California also is creating an innovative approach to support struggling schools that will help target resources to areas that need it the most. Not all of its school improvement system is evident in the ESSA plan, as most of it is outside the scope of the federal requirements for ESSA plan submission. 

"California's ESSA plan is just the beginning of a process it has already begun to improve education for all kids. At the end of the day, it is clear California values equity and the feedback they received from the educators, parents, students and advocates in their state." 


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.