More Than Half Of States Wait Too Long To Intervene In Low-Performing Schools

child struggle school

Attending an under-or low-performing school can have a huge impact on a child's education. Additionally, if your child needs help or intervention for learning disabilities or other issues, being at a school without the resources needed to help can set them back so much, and have a negative impact on their entire education. In one of his last acts before leaving office, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. The law required states to identify low-performing schools at least every three years, and come up with a plan to improve performance. But according to a new report, over half of the states wait 3-4 years before identifying those schools and asking for help.

The report was completed and released by the National Center for Learning Disabilities. They completed an analysis of President Obama's education reform, and found that 29 states don't report under-performing schools until three years of low performance are recorded.

Also, those same states don't ask for assistance or transition those low-performing schools to Comprehensive Support and Intervention (CSI) until they have at least four years of low performance recorded. So while they're technically adhering to the standards and recommendations set forth by ESSA (by the bare minimum), the delay in asking for resources that would improve their school's performance is negatively impacting struggling students who want to do better.

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Credit: iStock / DGLimages

ESSA gives states the power to decide how long a school is low-performing before intervening, but mandates that those schools be identified at least every three years. However, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, low-performing schools should be identified and states should intervene at least every two years. States should also not wait more than three years to transition schools to a CSI plan. Research shows that struggling students in chronically under-performing schools are less likely to advance academically.

So while states drag their feet on identifying and intervening in these low-performing schools, it's the students who suffer the most, and that lack of support and resources can have an impact on their success in the long run. We need to do better by our kids and our schools.

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