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District of Columbia ESSA State Plan Approved by the US Department of Education

Friday, July 7, 2023

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced today that the US Department of Education (USED) has approved DC’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, which details how OSSE measures school performance and supports the schools identified for improvement.

The updated plan replaces the plan approved by USED in 2017 and meets all federal requirements while also incorporating the thoughtful and incisive feedback OSSE received during years of public engagement from parents, educators, advocates and the State Board of Education (SBOE).

DC’s new system for measuring the performance of public schools:

  • Increases the focus on student growth
  • Increases the focus on students who are economically disadvantaged
  • Increases the focus on the racial/ethnic groups of the students in each school
  • Adds a measure of high school growth
  • Adds a measure of dual enrollment
  • Adds a five-year graduation rate metric to better reward schools that help students persist
  • Adds a measure of students who are approaching grade-level expectations on statewide summative assessments

“As DC’s state education agency, it is our privilege and responsibility to develop a system of school accountability that reflects our District values,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “This new plan reflects that many factors contribute to holistic school quality, and we know that these changes will make our system stronger, more equitable and easier for the public to understand.”

In its 2023–25 Strategic Plan, OSSE committed to building a stronger school accountability system by solidifying expectations of school excellence and clearly communicating to the public to what extent schools are on track to meet them. As part of that effort, OSSE looks forward to public engagement to help redesign the DC School Report Card beginning in the fall with the goal of providing District residents with an even more user-friendly and inviting website to learn about school performance data.

DC’s ESSA State Plan is available on OSSE’s website at