The Montana Office of Public Instruction has been negotiating with the U.S. Department of Education about final edits to the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan. On Friday, Superintendent Arntzen was excited to announce that U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos signed off on Montana’s plan. OPI Spokesman Dylan Klapmeier explains.

“The number one complaint that people have heard about with the No Child left Behind Act was every school and every student had to get to 100% proficiency,” said Klapmeier. “Montana has taken a step back and implemented more realistic and flexible goals for all of our various student groups to close achievement gaps, but set realistic bars for schools.”

According to Klapmeier, this plan will help identify schools and students that are in need of support. He says they will be looking at how schools are serving specific populations of students.

“In the past, Montana has really struggled with certain student groups, our American Indian students and our special education students,” Klapmeier said. “Those challenges are going to remain, but this will allow us to begin community conversation in a very transparent way about best allocating our resources to really lift all students up.”

Klapmeier says ESSA passed in 2015 and it is replacing the No Child Left Behind Act.