Sorry this didn't go out last week!
January 20, 2017
NAEP Begins at End of January
The National Assessment of Education Proficiency begins on January 30th. If you are interested (and we at the Secretariat encourage participation as our students always do well and it bolsters the reputation of Catholic schools) in participating, please reach out to NAEP directly by emailing Carole Bower at

This Wednesday, January 25th, at 2:00pm Eastern, there will be a webinar to discuss inclusion for students with disabilities and English language learners. If you would like an invitation to the webinar, please let Carole know as soon as possible.

ESSA Equitable Services Toolkit
All superintendents should have received a complimentary ESSA Toolkit from the Secretariat. Thank you to those who wrote in with your praise for the product and appreciation for our sending it along - you are most welcome and we are glad it is of use!

Many have asked for instructions on purchasing further copies to send to principals, assistant superintendents, etc. The toolkit is for sale at a cost of $30.00 each from Michelle Doyle. At this point, Michelle can only accept checks for payments (but she hopes to be able to do charge cards soon). The Toolkit available for sale is updated to reflect the new guidance which came out in November. To order the toolkits, email her at and specify the number of toolkits and mailing address for them.

ESSA Consolidated State Plan Guidance 
ED also recently put out their Consolidated State Plan guidance. I highlight it for those in state Catholic conferences or state CAPEs and direct them to page 9, where the SEA must, "include a discussion of how the SEA conducted outreach to, and solicited input from...Representatives of private school students." There's your reason to call the SEA and make them include you if they have not already!

DeVos Hearing Before Senate Committee
On Tuesday, January 17, nominee for Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sat for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. She spoke repeatedly of her support for parents and families being in charge of their children's education - a very encouraging and reassuring statement in line with Catholic teaching. She is scheduled for a vote by that committee on January 31, and if she is approved will face a floor vote sometime after that. We will keep you updated on the nomination as necessary.

ESSA Peer Review
ED is seeking peer reviewers for the consolidated state plans under ESSA. The multi-disciplinary peer review teams must include: 
  • Educators (e.g., teachers, principals, or other school leaders, or specialized instructional support personnel), ideally within the past two years;
  • State and local educational agency personnel, ideally within the past two years;
  • Researchers who are familiar with the implementation of standards, assessments, and accountability systems; and
  • Researchers who are familiar with how to meet the needs of disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and English learners, the needs of low-performing schools, and other educational needs of students. 
Peer reviewers will evaluate whether each State plan meets statutory and regulatory requirements and the degree to which each State plan will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements within the areas of: consultation and performance management; academic assessments; accountability, support, and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students.  Peer reviewers will work together on panels to offer vital feedback to the Department for State plans.  For more information, including a link to the application, visit their site.

Questions about the application may be sent to

Reading List
As always, please share with me your ideas, suggestions, and experiences by emailing


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