The new Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA] recently passed by Congress enhances the authority of states and school districts for elementary and secondary education. A replacement of the No Child Left Behind [NCLB] act, the new law takes effect in the 2017-2018 school year when a new president and education secretary will be in office. The ESSA focus is on accountability and testing, teacher quality, research, regulation, funding, early-childhood education, and achievement of those students who lag behind grade-level expectations. Furthermore, the ESSA has significant changes to how schools can use dollars set aside for economically disadvantaged students, specifically use of Title I aid. The new law allows the flexibility for more funds to go directly to programs for low-income families and other students who may have disadvantages. ESSA also removes the requirement for standardized test scores being used in teacher-evaluations. At the same time, while NCLB required annual tests to measure student progress in math and English, ESSA changes the frequency of testing to the state's discretion. Under ESSA, states must also adopt "challenging" academic standards and the U.S. Secretary of Education cannot influence the decision for use of any one set of standards over another.
More information on the ESSA can be found at:
By: Kathleen Ideguchi