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FEA Action Center Alert
Updated On: Jun 22, 2016
FEA Action Alert

Florida Public Comment Window Open for Every Student Succeeds Act

The Florida Department of Education has provided a website for teachers and other interested people to give input and guidance on Florida’s plans for implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal replacement for No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The state has not yet announced plans to facilitate face-to-face stakeholder meetings for discussions about how our state will comply with the new federal regulations. Much of the changes remove specific federal directives and leave the states and local school districts to determine how to implement the new regulations.

We suggest that your first general comment be to request round-table dialogues (true collaborative discussions) among stakeholders to debate the challenges and benefits of our existing system and provide suggestions for improvements.  That should go to this email:

This is our first opportunity to provide input into topics such as:      

  • Requiring the state and districts to provide mechanisms for staff and community input.
  • Student assessments.
  • Teacher evaluation measures, labels and consequences; student assessments.
  • Rules for assisting and assessing English Language Learners.
  • Rules for assisting and assessing Students with Unique Abilities.
  • Professional development processes for teachers and education staff professionals.
  • Promoting teacher leadership opportunities.
  • Teacher preparation, particularly alternative certification.
  • Addressing teacher shortages and hard to staff schools and subjects.

DOE’s website is structured by topics within sections. It is important that comments are attached to the sections they apply to and contain specific policy recommendations for Florida’s system.  We believe that suggesting specific changes rather than commenting on things that do not work will be helpful. The website for specific comments on each area of policy is here:

If you have any questions or need further guidance, you can email Cathy Boehme


Joanne M. McCall, President
Florida Education Association

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Last night's communication:

Subject: Florida Public Comment Window Open for Every Student Succeeds Act


I am writing to let you know that the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is now accepting public input on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and that I would greatly appreciate your engagement in this very important dialogue. Through July 22, 2016, all members of the public will be able to submit comments on each component of the law, and we will consider this feedback as we develop Florida’s draft state plan. To access the public input form, please visit<>.

For ease, we have divided the feedback form into specific sections named in the law (#1-7), each title named in the law (#8) and U.S. Department of Education draft regulations (#9). You are welcome to provide input on as many of these as you would like, but you are not required to respond to all. Likewise, it is not mandatory to answer every question on a specific topic.

1.  Challenging State Academic Standards
2.  Academic Assessments
3.  State Assessment Grants
4.  Statewide Accountability System
5.  School Improvement
6.  School Support and Improvement Activities
7.  Direct Student Services
8.  General Comments by Title of the Act (Titles I-VIII)
9.  U.S. DOE Draft Regulations on Accountability, State Plans and Data Reporting

It is important to note that, as we continue through this process, there will be additional opportunities for stakeholders to offer suggestions. Once FDOE develops Florida’s draft state plan, we will again ask you and all of our state’s education stakeholders to provide feedback before the state plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

The Florida Department of Education is sharing this news with all of our stakeholder groups, and we encourage you to do the same. Attached is a flyer that can be printed for or emailed to your local constituents and a badge for use on social media.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email and a member of the FDOE team will get back with you. We thank you for your time and thoughtful input.

Pam Stewart

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