Federal School Accountability

The Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to create a long-term, stable federal policy that gives states additional flexibility and encourages innovation, while at the same time holding us accountable for results.

  • Limits power of federal government to set education policy for states
  • Increases state flexibility to design accountability systems, interventions and student supports
  • Increases state and local flexibility in the use of federal funds
  • Gives states flexibility to work with local stakeholders to develop educator evaluation and support systems
  • Maintains annual assessments for grades 3-8 and high school
Wyoming Accountability FAQ
U.S. Department of Education FAQ

Public Comment

Volunteer for ESSA Work Group

An ESSA Work Group has been convened to review rough drafts of the state plan for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Participants are sent rough drafts as completed by the Internal Design Team. Feedback is given through online surveys, webinars, and participation in select meetings of the Internal Design Team.

Sign Up Here

Public comment on the ESSA implementation in Wyoming was accepted through an online form through September 1, 2016. Additionally, a series of virtual town hall meetings was held to provide information and gather input on five topics related to ESSA implementation.

WDE staff traveled across the state to conduct listening sessions this fall

  • Nov. 3: Central Wyoming College, Student Center 103, Riverton
  • Nov. 9: Gillette College, GCMN 120 Presentation Hall, Gillette
  • Dec. 1: Western Wyoming Community College, RSC 3650 A and B Meeting Rooms, Rock Springs
  • CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER – Dec. 7: Northwest College, Fagerberg Bldg. Room 70, Powell
  • Dec. 8: Laramie County Community College, Center for Conferences and Institutes Room 121, Cheyenne

Transition Details

ESSA allows for an 18-month transition period for states to align their accountability systems to the new requirements. The law will be fully implemented for the 2017-18 school year, but some changes are already being implemented.

  • June – Aug 2016: First round of public input
  • July 2016: Internal Design Team convenes
  • Sept 2016: Internal Design Team begins writing state plan
  • Oct – Dec 2016: Second round of public input
  • Nov 2016: Advisory Committee makes recommendations to Select Committee on Statewide Education Accountability
  • Dec 2016: Work Groups convene to review rough draft of state plan
  • Jan – March 2017: Wyoming Legislature Convenes
  • April 2017: Release draft state plan with 45-day public comment period
  • July 2017: 30-Day Governor’s Office review of draft state plan
  • August 2017: Submit state plan

2016-17 Requirements of Title I Improvement

As part of Wyoming’s transition to the ESSA, the Wyoming Department of Education will not be calculating AYP during the 2016-17 transition year. Schools and districts identified as being in improvement under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will remain in their current improvement status next year.

The existing NCLB improvement interventions will continue to be implemented for one more year with two exceptions:

  1. Schools and districts are not required to provide public school choice, Supplemental Educational Services (SES), or the related notice to parents beginning with the 2016- 2017 school year. To ensure an orderly transition to the ESSA, Wyoming is developing and implementing a oneyear transition plan to ensure districts provide alternative supports for students eligible for SES and schools with the greatest need.
  2. Schools identified as being in Year 4 Planning for Restructuring will not progress to Year 5 Implementation of Restructuring. The Year 4 restructuring plans are no longer required to be approved this year at the state level by the WDE and then the Wyoming State Board of Education. Instead, the restructuring interventions selected and planned for will be included in the relevant sections of the Wyoming School Comprehensive Plan next year for review and feedback by WDE staff.

The U.S. Department of Education has clarified the transition from NCLB to ESSA regarding removal of the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements. The Wyoming Department of Education has determined that in order to ensure a smooth transition, the requirement will remain in place through the end of the 2016-17 school year.

The current highly qualified requirements are:

  • All teachers of core academic subjects are required to be highly qualified;
  • All special education teachers of core academic subjects are required to be highly qualified;
  • All paraprofessionals assisting with the instruction of core academic subjects are required to be highly qualified;
  • All districts that are not 100% highly qualified must submit highly qualified teacher plans to the WDE, as wells as keep individual teacher plans on file at the district. All districts that are required to submit plans will continue to receive communications from the WDE;
  • Reporting on the 602/652 will remain the same;
  • PTSB licensure requirements connected to highly qualified will remain the same;
  • Districts may still apply for exception authorizations through PTSB.

Districts will no longer need to comply with NCLB section 1111(h)(6)(B)(ii), which requires a school to notify parents when their child has been assigned to, or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who is not highly qualified.

As the transition to ESSA continues, the WDE will convene stakeholders to assist in defining requirements for teachers and districts in order to begin implementation during the 2017-18 school year.

Owing to changes in statute, the Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIP) for the 2016-17 school year are being modified.

Portions relating to Signature Pages, Corrective Action, School Improvement Grants, and Restructuring may be deleted from plans this school year. These requirements were part of No Child Left Behind, which is being replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Additionally, principals who oversee multiple schools can submit one combined plan for all of their schools. When doing so, ensure that the cover page includes all applicable schools that will operate under that particular plan. An updated template will be available on the WDE accreditation web page for schools that wish to start a new plan. No changes were made to the indicators or assurances.

Plans are due December 1, allowing adequate time for school boards to approve all school plans. An email with the submission form will be sent to all principals and superintendents at the beginning of October with further instructions on submitting school plans. Plans must meet the requirements of W.S. §21-2-204(f) in order to be approved. Goals must reflect the current WAEA school performance ratings. Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is not a component of WAEA, and any plan goals that reflect NWEA will be returned for modification.

Google Docs is the preferred platform for plan creation and modification. All plans must be made publicly available. Plans can be displayed on district websites, or each individual school’s website.

The Every Student Succeeds Act will necessitate significant changes to the CSIPs next year.

Overview of No Child Left Behind

Under NCLB, all states were required to make AYP determinations each year for every public school district and school in the state. Schools and districts were required to continually improve their students’ achievement in reading or language arts and mathematics from year-to-year to match a federal mandate that all students achieve at or above grade level by 2014.

AYP Proficiency Targets

Elementary School

Middle School

High School


AYP Resources for Schools