With Final Round of ESSA Submissions, Education Experts Weigh in on Outlook for Latino Students

WASHINGTON, DC—At a press briefing today, policy experts from UnidosUS (formerly NCLR) gathered with advocates from the National Urban League and other organizations to assess the state of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) implementation nationwide. The group discussed how states fared in developing plans that address barriers facing vulnerable students, particularly students of color and English learners. The event came on the heels of the final window for states to submit their ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education for review.

Education experts discussed the states that stood out in their efforts to craft education plans with strong protections and accountability systems centered on safeguarding the academic success of English learners and marginalized groups, as well as those that did not go far enough in meeting important provisions of the law. UnidosUS is particularly interested in reviewing the plans of states with large numbers of Latino students and English learners, such as California, Florida and New York. The briefing offered a unique opportunity to hear from civil rights groups and educators who are in the trenches working to improve our education system and ensure all students get the high-quality education they deserve.

“ESSA laid the groundwork for building a more just and equal education system. One that delivers on the promise of giving every child an opportunity to achieve their full potential. For our organization, our partners and allies, this has meant a months-long commitment to ensuring state plans reflect and adhere to the core values at the heart of ESSA: opportunity and fairness. We will keep a close watch as these plans go into effect and monitor changes to the education landscape on the policy front,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation at UnidosUS.

The event also highlighted the debut of Progress Report, an online news bureau dedicated to providing resources and information on education issues impacting Latino students and educators, as well as other UnidosUS-led initiatives on other issues.