Update on Arizona’s State Plan for ESSA

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to submit their comments and feedback on the second draft of Arizona’s State Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). I am truly impressed by the number of responses shared and I look forward to incorporating your feedback for consideration in the final draft. Your voices are critical to making this State Plan a success and bringing to Arizona schools and students the flexibility promised under ESSA.
I also would like to remind you to share your thoughts on the Implementation Plan, which we created to give districts and schools a more detailed explanation of how the provisions outlined in the State Plan will be executed. That document can be viewed at www.azed.gov/essa and we will continue to take feedback on it until January. As a reminder, there are a number of ways to provide us with your comments, including via our website, email and social media channels.
I want you to know that the State Plan’s high level approach was intentional, and was designed to preserve as much flexibility as possible for our state when we submit it for federal approval. In late November, I released AZ Kids Can’t Wait! 2017, a state-level plan that includes many of the comments and issues you raised on topics such as funding, testing, standards and student support. I encourage you to read this plan, which can be viewed at www.azed.gov/weheardyou.
There is still much work to be done before the final State Plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in 2017. We are currently in the process of including your comments and suggestions in the final draft and plan to present that document to the State Board of Education and the Governor’s Office in early 2017.
Arizona has a unique opportunity under ESSA to work together to improve education in our state, so I hope you will continue to join me in this critical discussion. Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

Diane M. Douglas

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction