Every Student Succeeds Act: Information and Resources



On Dec. 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed S. 1177, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, into law as P.L. 114-95. Now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the legislation replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

NCLB was extensively criticized for setting unrealistic goals and placing too much authority over education policy in the hands of the federal government. In contrast, ESSA returns authority to state and local education leaders. Important ESSA provisions include the creation of state-designed accountability systems (and the elimination of the Adequate Yearly Progress metric), greater authority over how testing is used in evaluation of students and “guardrail” policies to ensure the lowest-performing schools and groups of students are not ignored.

On September 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) approved Florida's consolidated state ESSA plan, hereby, granting approval to all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The Department has also recently approved Louisiana as the first state for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA) program. IADA allows states to pilot innovative assessments on a smaller scale. The Department may approve up to seven states, or a consortium of states, for the pilot program each year.

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