West Valley Educator Testifies To US Senate Subcommittee

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Friday, July 22, 2016 - 6:54pm
(Photo courtesy Dysart Unified School District)
Dysart Superintendent Gail Pletnick testifies in front of a Senate subcommittee.

President Barack Obama signed the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) last year, a replacement of the No Child Left Behind Act. The bill gives more power to the states in education accountability.

Dysart Unified School District Superintendent Gail Pletnick this month spoke before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about the new education bill, discussing how to implement the law.

“The concern is some of the regulations that are being proposed really don’t support what the intent of that law was,” Pletnick said.

She said the intent was to give local areas and states more flexibility to assess how students are learning. The proposed language could track those assessments from a single score, but Pletnick wants to try more innovative ways of student assessment.

“What research is telling us is one test score is not going to give you the information that you need to know whether or not a child is truly college and career ready.”

By giving her input, Pletnick hopes the ESSA implementation will not end up as divisive between state and federal authorities as Common Core.

“If they keep stripping away our responsibility and flexibility, that’s going to make it next to impossible to make the changes we need to make,” Pletnick said.

Pletnick was one of four educators to give input on the rule-making process.

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