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Secretary DeVos Approves Puerto Rico's ESSA State Plan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of Puerto Rico's consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

“Puerto Rico’s plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it,” said Secretary DeVos. “This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which Puerto Rico can improve education for its students."

Allowing states and territories more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state and territory crafted a plan that they feel will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students. The following are some of the unique elements from Puerto Rico's approved plan as highlighted by the commonwealth:

  • Closes the achievement gap over the next five years for all student subgroups in math, English and Spanish.
  • Introduces new system-wide school improvement strategies such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), collaborative teaching and school improvement teams.

“With the approval of the ESSA Plan and the innovations it presents, we are ready to prepare our most vulnerable students for university and work life,” said Puerto Rico Secretary of Education Julia B. Keleher. “We will also be able to put our long-term academic goals into operation, expecting progress, both in English language proficiency and in other subjects, as well as focusing on practical and effective solutions that meet our educational needs.”