The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), enacted in January of 2002, is being replaced by ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act at the start of the 2016-17 school year. NCLB and ESSA are both products of The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, enacted by President Lyndon Johnson. It was an education civil rights law that provided funding to states and ensured every student had access to education. A part of this act was requiring Congress to re-examine the law every three to five years, to ensure the needs of the educational realm were being met in the best way.
ESSA is being touted as a more flexible approach to student testing and accountability. High standards are the main goal, as they were with NCLB, and many specifics, such as accountability goals, interventions within underperforming schools and testing will be left up to each state and district. This doesn’t mean that testing will not be required by law; ESSA is simply giving states more flexibility in how and when they administer tests.
For more specific information on ESSA, the White House has condensed it’s 1,000+ page document into a ten page progress report. You can also access this article to see some ideas on how ESSA will impact school choice in the future.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on ESSA and the changes to come this next school year! You can find us on Facebook and Twitter (@schoolchoice), or feel free to leave a comment below.