Murkowski Welcomes the Approval of Alaska’s ESSA State Plan

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today welcomed the announcement of the approval of Alaska’s consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“ESSA provides greater flexibility and control to states and local communities to decide how best to support, celebrate, and improve their schools and provide greater opportunities for all students. I congratulate the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development and the thousands of Alaskans who participated in crafting Alaska’s State Plan.” said Senator Murkowski. “From urban communities to rural villages, every young Alaskan deserves access to a quality education. This is an exciting step toward improving educational outcomes for students across the state.”

Alaska’s State Plan—designed by Alaskans for Alaskans—focuses on helping schools to improve instead of punishing them as under the failed No Child Left Behind Act.  While schools will still be held accountable for how well they educate Alaska’s youth, each state is now able to decide the best way to achieve that goal for themselves.  Schools will no longer be judged on one test score.

“No Child Left Behind was about one-size-fits-nobody, top-down mandates that did not work for Alaska’s educators, students, or communities.  One of my goals when I was helping write ESSA was to enable states to pursue excellence while meeting local families’ and communities’ needs, and I am pleased that Alaska’s State Plan does so,” said Senator Murkowski. “It will now be up to local school districts and communities to take up the framework of Alaska’s ESSA Plan and draft their own local plans.  I encourage everyone to be involved in that effort.”