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Listening sessions encourage stakeholders to inform education policy

Sessions in Madison, Pewaukee, and Eau Claire feature focused discussion on key questions in ESSA
Thursday, June 9, 2016


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559

MADISON — Teachers, administrators, parents, and others interested in education are invited to a series of public meetings that will inform Wisconsin’s plan to implement the new federal education law.

In December 2015, Congress passed and the president signed the reauthorized federal education law, known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Implementation of ESSA starts with development of a state plan for public education to address key areas of the law. Listening sessions are Wisconsin’s first step in that process so educators, parents, and the public have the opportunity to inform development of the state’s ESSA plan.

List of ESSA listening session dates and locations“We need classroom teachers, school administrators, parents, and our partners in communities throughout Wisconsin to engage in the important conversations about public education,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “We want to learn from those in the trenches about what works and where we can make improvements so our state plan can incorporate our shared experiences and values. That’s the only way we can truly ensure every child graduates ready for college and career.”

Listening sessions on school improvement and school accountability will be held on five dates this summer, including two virtual sessions. The Madison, Pewaukee, and Eau Claire sessions will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and will open with a presentation by Department of Public Instruction staff members to provide contextual information. Small group discussions, focused on specific questions, will follow with note-takers documenting those discussions. The structured conversations from the three physical listening sessions and feedback from virtual sessions and the public comment site will shape public education policy for Wisconsin as the department develops a plan for implementing ESSA.

Educators, parents, and other education stakeholders who want to participate in the small group conversations are asked to register online at, so discussion tables can be formed ahead of the meetings. Those who don’t register are welcome to attend the June or July listening sessions as an observer and may join the public conversation during the Aug. 8 virtual session from 10 a.m. to noon or submit comments online at Details for joining the virtual session will be forthcoming on that page.

NOTE: More information about the listening sessions and the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) can be found online at

Official Release