ESSA Update


May 13, 2019


Dear Partners in Education,

State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen sent the below letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos today outlining a proposed amendment to Montana's State ESSA Plan to provide a definition for "ineffective teacher" as required by federal law.


The Honorable Betsy Devos

U.S. Secretary of Education


U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20202


Dear Secretary Devos,

The U.S. Department of Education approved Montana’s State Plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act with the understanding that by May 15, 2019, Montana would submit an amendment to its State Plan to comply with ESEA section 1111(g)(1)(B) which requires definitions of ineffective, out-of-field, and inexperienced educators to show that low-income and minority children enrolled in Title I, Part A schools are not served at disproportionate rates by these three categories of educators. 

Montana has defined these terms as:

  • 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.

Montana is a local control state and does not collect data on local evaluations, however, upon approval of this amendment, the data on non-licensed teachers will be analyzed and reported along with out-of-field and inexperienced teachers. 

Attached to this email is a public document describing our amendment process, consultation with the governor, and public comment period.

Thank you,

Elsie Arntzen


Montana Office of Public Instruction