What is ESSA?
The Every Student Succeeds Act, also known as ESSA, is the new federal education law, signed by President Barack Obama in December 2015. For 14 long years, students and educators lived under the deeply flawed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. ESSA returns decision-making to where it belongs: in the hands of local educators, parents, and communities.
Gone is No Child Left Behind’s rigid system of focus on standardized testing and labeling public schools. This means there is more time for teaching and learning, and more flexibility for us to make choices that we know work for our students.
How is this new law really different from No Child Left Behind?
The new law reduces the amount of federally mandated testing and ensures that educators are part of decisions about teaching and learning. One of the other bright spots of the new education law is that it requires at least one “opportunity dashboard” indicator of school quality or success in state’s accountability systems.
But it’s up to states and locals to decide what that measure will be. And your state could decide to look at more than one thing. That’s why your voice is critical right now.
What’s happening with ESSA in the State of Alaska?
Check out these resources below to see what is going on with ESSA implementation in our state:
Full State Implementation Plan
State Information One-Pager
I need help talking to others about this.
We’re glad you asked! NEA members developed ESSA Issue Cards / Conversation starters to engage others about these issues. Download them here.
I have questions about the details of the law.
NEA developed a number of practice guides to help you understand the major elements of ESSA. They provide an overview and look at assessments and accountability. Read the practice guides here.