ESSA: The ink is now drying

President Obama has signed the Every Student Succeeds Act. On Wednesday, in an 85-12 vote, the U.S. Senate approved the bill, which replaces No Child Left Behind as the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Most media reports focus on how unpopular NCLB has become, on how the new law devolves much education policy authority to states, and on the strong bipartisan nature of the vote. Here are just a few of the main aspects of this new set of federal regulations:

  • Replaces adequate yearly progress with a statewide accountability system
  • Maintains reporting about student performance in grades 3-8 and high school
  • Affirms states can control their own academic standards, and that they can identify and prescribe remedies for low-performing schools
  • Maintains reporting of disaggregated data and preserves alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities
  • Provides resources to improve teacher quality
  • Provides for expansion of charter schools