NMU alumnus Aaron Payment is one of two Native education advocates selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. He is tribal chairman of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Payment will work with selected committee members to draft proposed regulations on assessments and on the requirement that federal funds supplement, not supplant, non-federal funds in high-need schools.
According to a Department of Education press release, ESSA replaces the outdated No Child Left Behind law. It is designed to help build on key progress made in education over recent years, including a record high school graduation rate of 82 percent, significant expansion of high-quality preschool and a million more African American and Hispanic students enrolled in college than in 2008, when President Obama took office.
ESSA promotes equitable access to educational opportunities. It asks states to hold all students to high academic standards to prepare them for college and careers and ensures action in the lowest-performing schools, high schools with low graduation rates and schools that are consistently failing subgroups of students. "Maintaining effective, high-quality assessments and ensuring that all states and districts know how to meet the updated 'supplement not supplant' requirement are crucial to achieving these objectives," the release stated.
The committee will convene March 21-23 and April 6-8, with an optional session April 18-19, at its discretion.