Advocacy Action Alert: Provide Your ESSA Feedback to PDE

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) is working on drafting the Every Student Succeeds Act state plan.  Following a series of stakeholder sessions over the past few months, PDE is now asking for feedback from the general public.  We’re asking you to help provide feedback directly to PDE.

PDE is considering some very broad topics for inclusion in the state plan.  At this point, PMEA is not staking a postion on any of these suggestions because they are vague and not part of the state plan yet.  However, we’re asking for you to provide feedback directly to PDE on your thoughts on these topics.

Below you will see several topics PDE is considering.  We’d like you to review these topics and think about the value of each suggestion as well as how the suggestion could be implemented.  You can email your responses directly to PDE at They have assured us they are reading these emails and taking all feedback into account.



•Can we reduce the amount of time students spend on statewide PSSA testing (grades 3-8)?
•Is it feasible to test students at multiple times across the school year instead of only once?
•Can we eliminate double testing for middle school Algebra I students (would need to add adv math test in high school for those students)
Accountability – Measures
Future Ready PA Index – a proposed tool to measure school success
•Increased weight on growth in test scores  versus point-in-time achievement
•Local options for additional assessments
•Career ready indicators and meaningful postsecondary student engagement
•More holistic measures of student success
•Measures of both inputs (i.e., course offerings) and outcomes (achievement scores)
Accountability – Interventions
•Tailored to local context and school based needs assessment.
•Intervention for lowest performing schools to include BOTH academic and holistic strategies
•Level of state intervention to be responsive to student progress over time.
Educator Preperation and Evaluation
•What are the best strategies to ensure effective, diverse educators and school leaders for all students?
•What changes in teacher preparation do we need to consider to improve the readiness of new teachers?
•How to promote alternative pathways to teacher certification?
You don’t have to respond to every suggestion, but please feel free to respond to those you can provide opinions and feedback on.  You can submit you comments to PDE at
Feel free to submit your feedback to PMEA as well so we can monitor the view of our members.  You can email, Mark Despotakis, chair of the PMEA Advacement of Music Education Concil at