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President Obama Signs Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

December 18, 2015 03:49 PM

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. ESSA marks the first overhaul of the nation's main elementary and secondary education law since the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002.  This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the nation’s national education law, the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Key provisions of ESSA include:

• Critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.

• Requires that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.

• Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.

• Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators—consistent with Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods

• Increases access to high-quality preschool.

• Encourages accountability and action to effect positive change in the lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.

The Every Student Succeeds Act will be fully in place beginning in the 2017-18 school year. The goal is to continue to maintain guardrails and protections for the most vulnerable students while directing federal resources toward what works in helping all children learn.