ESSA Update


March 20, 2019


Dear Partners in Education,

Previously, under No Child Left Behind, states were required to provide a definition of “highly qualified teacher.” Under ESSA, states are required to submit a definition of “ineffective teacher” to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). 


  • 2015- Montana Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators
  • January 2017-February 2019- Previous discussions with advocates and research on definitions across the nation
  • November 2018- the DOE published the process for writing amendments
  • March 19, 2019- ESSA Update and posting of amendment for public comment
  • March 20, 2019- consultation with the Governor’s office
  • April 4, 2019- at 9:00am Q & A Conference Call
  • May 8, 2019- submit amendment to the DOE for May 15th deadline
    • The draft amendment can be viewed at this link.

Current definitions that will be posted in the amendment:

  • Ineffective: Montana teachers who are non-licensed or show a pattern of ineffective practices as determined by a local evaluation.
  • Out-of-field: Montana licensed teachers teaching outside their endorsed subject areas.
  • Inexperienced: Montana teachers with less than one year of teaching experience.


  • State and LEA report cards are required to document the percentages of Inexperienced teachers, teachers teaching with emergency and provisional credentials, and out-of-field teachers.  Ineffective teacher data is not included on the report card.
  • The analysis to ensure minority and economically disadvantaged students are not served at a disproportionate rate by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers will be done and a description of the results will be posted on the OPI website to meet the public reporting requirements of the DOE.
  • Data collected in TEAMS and MSEIS is used to determine the number of teachers meeting the definitions of ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers.  TEAMS users indicate whether or not the “Board of Trustees has written policies and procedures for regular and periodic evaluation of all regularly employed personnel in accordance with requirements listed in ARM 10.55.701(4).”