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ESSA at the Clerc Center

Congress reauthorized the Education of the Deaf Act  (EDA) at the same time the Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in 2015. The new ESSA still requires the Clerc Center to partner with a state in order to implement:

  • Academic content standards
  • Annual assessments
  • Public reporting of the assessment results for KDES and MSSD

The EDA reauthorization was renewed at the same time the ESSA was passed.

The Clerc Center reviewed the standards, curriculum, and assessments of a number of states to identify one state's accountability system that was effective and well-aligned with the Clerc Center’s objectives. After several years of partnership with Ohio ended, the Clerc Center entered into a new partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) in 2015.

Standards at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center

The Clerc Center operates two accredited demonstration schools on its campus, one in Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) and the other in the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). Both schools are mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) law to adhere to statewide academic standards and to participate in annual statewide assessments. However, the Clerc Center is a federal program and does not report to a state-level department of education.

During 2014-2015, the Clerc Center transitioned from full use of the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) assessment system to the adoption of the MSDE’s assessment system. Due to this transition, the Clerc Center publicly reported assessment results for students in grade 10 that took the OGT as well as an adequate yearly progress (AYP) determination for MSSD, but they were unable to publicly report results for students in grades three through eight nor make an AYP determination for KDES.

The current partnership with MSDE allows the Clerc Center to ensure KDES students in grades three through eight and high school students at MSSD take the required assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics, and allow the Clerc Center to publicly report assessment results for the upcoming school year as required by the EDA.

Academic Content Standards

The  Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of clear, high-quality academic expectations in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics that define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade level. The goal is simple and important: keep students on track for success in college and career. The CCSS were created through a state-level initiative, coordinated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, in collaboration with teachers, parents, higher education leaders, and experts from across the country.

In 2013-2014, Maryland implemented new, higher standards for student learning in English language arts/literacy and mathematics – the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards – in all schools across the state. Maryland’s new standards are based on the Common Core State Standards.

In June 2013, the Maryland State Board of Education adopted the  Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a set of rigorous and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education.

How Do the New Standards Differ from the Old Standards?

The instructional shifts of the CCSS and NGSS will provide all students with an education that not only leads to a high school diploma, but prepares them for college, career, and life after graduation.

  • English language arts/literacy instruction is based on the CCSS and applies to English, as well as social studies, science, and technical subjects. The CCSS in ELA/literacy exposes students to more content-rich nonfiction and informational texts in addition to literature. Reading and writing is grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and nonfiction.
  • Mathematics instruction is based on the CCSS and focuses on fewer topics at each grade level, but instruction is deeper in content. Mathematical concepts are logically connected from one grade to the next and linked to other major topics within the grade. The standards are designed to help develop fluency in arithmetic, application of knowledge to real-world situations, and create a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Science instruction is based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a set of rigorous and internationally benchmarked standards for K-12 science education. The NGSS are composed of the three dimensions from the NRC Framework. The National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework describes a vision of what it means to be proficient in science; it rests on a view of science as both a body of knowledge and an evidence-based, model and theory building enterprise that continually extends, refines, and revises knowledge. It presents three dimensions that will be combined to form each standard: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas.

The Clerc Center has also adopted the assessments of its new partner state, Maryland, and will provide those assessments annually. See  Assessments at the Clerc Center for more information.