LLTC Alumni Leslie Harper will help draft proposed regulations in parts of the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA).

LLTC Alumni Leslie Harper and Emmy Winner

The U.S. Department of Education named committee members who will draft proposed regulations in parts of the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA) that replaced the outdated No Child Left Behind Act.

The committee consists of many constituencies ranging from state administrators to teachers from throughout the United States.

Leslie Harper was nominated by the National Coalition of Native Language Schools to serve as a participating alternate committee member.  The Negotiated Rulemaking Committee is convened to represent the parties that would be affected by rulemaking to develop proposed regulations that address issues related to the implementation of programs under Part A of Title I, Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies, of the elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

U.S. Department of Education states the committee will draft proposed regulations in two areas: (1) requirement that federal funds supplement, not supplant, non-federal funds in high-need schools, (2) assessments, which will have great impact in all learning communities.

Under this law, states are given more responsibilities to develop educational program standards, processes and assessments.  Rules pertaining to assessments are methodologies as to how they are administered; technology, timeliness, transparency of data reporting, fairness, adherence to civil rights for underrepresented populations is topic of consideration.  The ESSA also requires districts to demonstrate how they will ensure schools receives all of the state and local funds awarded and provide flexibility in distributing some of the Title I funds.

“I’m excited to use my training and education in public policy to address the issues in education. I enjoy researching and developing public policies and I am a passionate advocate for participatory decision making at all levels.  I’m glad that I have an opportunity to bring in my skill-set and experiences developed here at home in Ojibwewakiing to represent many of our peoples who will be impacted by the implementation of this law. I am honored to bring in a voice to help ensure that our native nations have clarity and authority to effectively implement the ESSA,” Harper said.

Harper is a class of 2005 alumna of the Leech Lake Tribal College and received a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from NAES College. She is the founder of the Nigaane Ojibwe Language Immersion Program at the Bug-O-Nay-Geshig Schools.  Furthermore, she also participated in an Emmy Award-winning documentary “First Speakers.” She is currently the executive assistant within Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s tribal government offices.

“The College is proud of Ms. Harper’s accomplishments and her advocacy for the well-being of our community.  In education, it is important to recognize the inclusion of tribal leadership as a constituency of the ESSA committee. This demonstrates the acknowledgment that the U.S. Department of Education view tribal voices should have a seat in the formation of education policies that will affect all students alike,” says Amarin Chanthorn, director of Institutional Advancement.

For more information on the Every Student Succeed Act, please visit http://www.ed.gov/ESSA for more information.