The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

Calling Peer Reviewers for ESSA State Plans

The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve in a critical role as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Those interested in applying to serve as a peer reviewer must apply by January 27, 2017.

Under the ESSA, States will build on their experience making progress toward providing a high-quality, well-rounded education for all students. On November 29, 2016, the Department published final regulations that govern consolidated State plans under the ESSA. To facilitate the development of State plans, the Department published a required Consolidated State Plan template that aligns with the statutory and regulatory requirements. Under sections 1111(a)(4) and 8451(d) of the ESEA, the Department must facilitate a review by external peer reviewers of each State’s plan.

The ESSA requires that the Department establish multi-disciplinary peer review teams and appoint members of such teams that include:

  • Educators (e.g., teachers, principals or other school leaders, or specialized instructional support personnel);
  • State and local educational agency personnel;
  • Researchers who are familiar with the implementation of standards, assessments and accountability systems; and
  • Researchers who are familiar with how to meet the needs of disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, and English learners, the needs of low-performing schools, and other educational needs of students.

To the extent practicable, the peer reviewers should represent a regionally diverse cross-section of States and include individuals who have had practical experience in the classroom, school administration, or State or local government (such as direct employees of a school, district, or State) in the past two years.

Peer reviewers will work individually and on a panel to evaluate whether each State plan meets statutory and regulatory requirements and the degree to which each State plan will support a comprehensive and coherent set of improvements in the areas of: consultation and performance management; academic assessments; accountability, support, and improvement for schools; supporting excellent educators; and supporting all students. Peer reviewers will make recommendations to the Department to inform our review and approval of each State’s plan.

Questions about this request for peer reviewers may be sent to [email protected].

Application Process
To apply to be a peer reviewer, please go to to submit your resume/curriculum vitae and complete the Peer Reviewer Application and Conflict of Interest Questionnaire by January 27, 2017.

Peer reviewers must commit to the following review process:

  • Virtual peer reviewer training for approximately four hours during the week of March 21, 2017;
  • Read and provide detailed comments during off-site individual review for four-five State plans between April 3 and May 3; and
  • Participate in a 5-day panel review in Washington, DC in early May (specific dates to be established in early 2017).

The Department will conduct a second peer review process beginning in September 2017.

Conflict of Interest
Please be aware that any applicant's selection as a peer reviewer for the State plan peer review will include a review for possible, apparent, and/or actual conflicts of interest. If a potential conflict of interest is identified, the Department will consider whether the applicant can participate as a peer reviewer in full compliance with all applicable Department policies and procedures designed to ensure the integrity of the Department’s process for reviewing and approving State plans.

Honorarium and Other Information
Peer reviewers will receive an honorarium for their time and effort, contingent upon satisfactory completion of the above requirements and consistent with the required schedule. Travel costs to the events in Washington, DC will also be covered.