When building curriculum for a wide range of students, it is important to ensure that all students’ needs are being met in order to receive an education that will prepare them for college and careers. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed to change the ways K-12 student progress is measured, helping students of different learning types succeed. These changes are accomplished through a shift in accountability and decision-making from the federal government to the states. With ESSA, states are able to decide where to focus federal funding in order to support all students needs through technology, including the implementation of a learning management system (LMS).
ESSA’s Primary Areas of Focus
To ensure that there is equal opportunity to an education that meets all students’ needs and prepares them for college and careers, ESSA focuses on a few specific aspects of education, including curriculum standards, assessments, accountability and teacher quality. States can choose their own learning standards without influence from the federal government, although the existing state testing requirements for reading, math and science remain. However, states can determine further measures of student performance in addition to test scores through accountability programs with student performance goals designed to support all students’ needs. States are also expected to continually improve teacher certification and professional development in order to ensure top tier educators at every level.
An LMS to Support ESSA Focus Areas
Under ESSA, developing teachers into effective facilitators of student learning is largely the responsibility of districts and states. An LMS allows educators to support all students’ needs by putting learning standards, assessments, content resources, digital learning and communication tools, and professional development support in one central location. This provides districts the ability to standardize the resources, tools and support they provide all teachers, leading to consistent education for students state-wide.
Here are four ways the itslearning LMS can support ESSA:
Students all learn differently, so it’s important that you create a variety of learning paths to support all students’ needs. The itslearning LMS supports individual learning paths while linking them to standards and assessments. Student agency and self-direction allows students to be accountable for their own learning, while teachers can still follow each individual learning journey through embedded progress monitoring.
- Standards & Assessments
A wide variety of content exists in the platform including multimedia resources, assessments, and other learning materials can easily be aligned to lesson plans to support all students’ needs. Teachers can also work the other way around by adding content directly aligned with standards to create new learning plans and assessments.
- School Improvement
Using itslearning not only provides individual student performance data, but also collects all data school-wide and district-wide to help administrators and leaders better understand progress throughout the district. This advanced reporting allows districts to intervene if overall performance goals are not being met or learning gaps are identified.
- Teacher Quality
Professional learning opportunities can be offered using the same platform teachers are using for standards-based lessons and assessments, making it possible for schools and districts to support teachers with targeted coaching that they can immediately apply in their classrooms. The itslearning LMS also offers embedded collaboration and communication tools to support teachers as they change their teaching practice to become facilitators of student-directed learning.