New Jersey Department of Education

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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in New Jersey

FY 2019 Federal Performance Review Report

To support continued implementation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the United States Department of Education (USED) conducted a Performance Review of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE)’s compliance with federal fiscal requirements in October 2019.  

The primary goal of the review was to ensure that implementation of ESSA provisions related to school accountability, school improvement, and programmatic and fiscal rules for Titles I, II, III, and V is consistent with the fiscal, administrative, and program requirements contained in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance:  2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200); the Education Department General Administrative Requirements (EDGAR); and the ESEA. 

The final performance report issued by USED in April 2020: Final Performance Report

The complete listing of the required actions and their status to date: 2020 Federal Performance Report – Required Actions

Required actions taken to meet USED requirements: Changes to the Calculation of the Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) Fact Sheet.  Additional information regarding the ACGR is available on the Special Education webpage.

ESSA Assessment and Accountability Waivers

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) previously posted the following requests for flexibility in implementing requirements under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for public comment:

  • COVID-19 ESSA State Plan Addendum (1/13/21–1/27/21)
  • Targeted Support and Improvement for Consistently Underperforming Students groups (TSI) Waiver Request (2/3/21–2/17/21)
  • ESSA Statewide Assessment Waiver Request (2/19/21–3/5/21)

Based on updated guidance from the United States Department of Education (USED), the NJDOE has submitted an Accountability Waiver using a template provided by USED, which replaces the requests that were included in the Addendum and TSI Waiver and some requests included in the previous version of the Assessment Waiver. The NJDOE has also submitted a revised Assessment Waiver which reflects updated guidance from USED and feedback received during the public comment period.

Accountability Waiver

ESSA Statewide Assessment Waiver Request

New Jersey ESSA Plan

On August 9, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education approved New Jersey's ESSA State Plan.

Thank you to the many New Jersey families, students, educators and community members who participated in the development of New Jersey's ESSA State Plan.  Your involvement ensured the plan was developed by New Jersey and for New Jersey. The collaborative development process enabled the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to create a plan that focuses on equity for all students, deep support for the schools that need it most, and the promise that all children attend a school providing the support and skills they need to thrive throughout their K-12 experience and far beyond.

A short overview of New Jersey's ESSA State Plan can be found here.

Map of New Jersey
Star = community with which we directly engaged

Input from stakeholders before, during and after the drafting of the plan was received in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Over 5,300 survey responses;
  • An ESSA Stakeholder Focus Group with over 80 invited education and community organizations
  • More than 90 meetings organized or attended throughout the state including four listening and learning sessions, during which NJDOE met with more than 140 attendees;
  • Over 400 districts represented at in-person ESSA technical assistance sessions;
  • Direct communication with individuals representing more than 160 communities throughout the state.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is committed to hosting discussions and receiving feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders as we work to make policy decisions that reflect the values of New Jersey communities.
We continue to receive a great deal of input on how we can expand and diversify our outreach in the education community.

As a result, we have developed the ESSA Accountability Stakeholder Focus Group. The purpose of the group will be to help the Department share and receive feedback on materials designed to clarify aspects of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and better understand stakeholder priorities that will inform existing ESSA working groups. Previously invited organizations are listed here. If you would like to see your organization represented in the ESSA Accountability Stakeholder Focus Group, please contact