5 Facts About the Every Student Succeeds Act

If you’ve heard of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) but don’t know much about it, you’re in luck. We’ve gathered 5 facts about ESSA to help you better understand what it does and why. From ensuring equality, to helping communities and schools, ESSA was created to better each educational situation for every American student.

1. ESSA is a Civil Rights Law (at its Core)

Just like the “No Child Left Behind” laws, ESSA was passed in order to provide equal opportunity. ESSA became an initiative to ensure that all children in America are provided the same educational opportunities, regardless of geography, poverty level, race, or religion. The hope of ESSA is that not only do students get the same opportunities, but that they are also providing the resources necessary to complete that task to schools that need it the most. Guidelines were created to help streamline education requirements so that every child has the skills they need to succeed.

2. ESSA Demands Assessments

When ESSA replaced the “No Child Left Behind” Act, a few things changed. Nothing changed more than the assessments requirement though. ESSA now supports states in implementing their own quality assessments, by providing them with a new pilot program, funding, and flexibility. Not only can does ESSA allow a system for evaluating schools, but it also allows officials to step in in an effort to improve schools that are not educating their children to their fullest ability. A wide variety of assessments can be done, from types of tests, to class size and graduation rate.

3. It Provides and Ensures Resources

ESSA wants to make sure that no student is left behind because an administration has limited resources. This act ensures that all vital resources are provided to “educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure student progress toward those high standards,” according to the U.S Department of Education’s Every Student Succeeds Act. It also holds states and districts accountable for doing whatever is necessary to ensure the success of every student. Their assessments help give the most help to the schools/areas that need it the most.

4. The Act Enforces Accountability

For the first time ever, it ESSA requires that students be taught to high academic standards that will help them succeed. This involves getting everyone involved; from parents, to students, teachers, and administrations, they take advice and assessments from every source. ESSA ensures that states and districts are held accountable and enforce action to help create positive changes in the country’s lowest performing schools. The Department of Education will step in in the event that schools are not performing adequately enough.

5. ESSA is Dedicated to the Community

The Department of Education understands that sometimes, a school is only a reflection of the surround community. This is why they have dedicated themselves (through ESSA) to support and grow local innovations, help support local leaders and educators, and invest in promising neighborhoods. The hope is that if they can effect positive change in the community, they can effect positive change in the school. They work hand-in-hand with schools and communities to create educational, family, and community programs, offering a support system with the school as the base.

ESSA is the successor to the “No Child Left Behind” Act, which began the fight for equal educational opportunity. The Every Student Succeeds Act not only fights for equality, but also provides states and schools with every available resource and support they may need to give students the best education they can have.