On December 10, President Obama signed The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). It was passed with strong bipartisan support, the previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002, representing a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects.
In 2010, the Obama administration joined a call from educators and families to create a better law that focused on the clear goal of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.
ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools.
Below are just a few important aspects of such Law:
- Ensure states set high standardsso that children graduate high school ready for college and career.
- Maintain accountabilityby guaranteeing that when students fall behind, states target resources towards what works to help them and their schools improve, with a particular focus on the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools, high schools with high dropout rates, and schools where subgroups of students are struggling.
- Empower state and local decision-makers to develop their own strong systems for school improvement based upon evidence, rather than imposing cookie-cutter federal solutions like No Child Left Behind (NCLB) did.
- Preserve annual assessments and reduce the often onerous burden of unnecessary and ineffective testingon students and teachers, making sure that standardized tests don’t crowd out teaching and learning, without sacrificing clear, annual information parents and educators need to make sure our children are learning.
- Provide more children access to high-quality preschool, giving them the chance to get a strong start to their education.
- Establish new resourcesto test promising practices and replicate proven strategies that will drive opportunity and better outcomes for America’s students.
- Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students’ progress toward those high standards.