This week, the US House of Representatives passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a bipartisan bill attempting to fix the unintended consequences of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It is hoped the Senate will take action on the legislation so that it can be signed into law before the end of the year. Some highlights of the bipartisan bill passed by the House:
- Holds all students to high academic standards that prepare them for success in college and careers.
- Ensures accountability by guaranteeing that when students fall behind, states redirect resources into what works to help them and their schools improve, with a particular focus on the very lowest-performing schools, high schools with high dropout rates, and schools with achievement gaps.
- Empowers state and local decision-makers to develop their own strong systems for school improvement based upon evidence, rather than imposing federal solutions as NCLB did.
- Reduces burden of testing on students and teachers, making sure that tests do not overtake teaching and learning, but without sacrificing clear, annual information parents and educators need to make sure students are learning.
- Provides more children access to high-quality preschool.