ESSA - The Basics

The Basics

ESSA continues to evolve to match the new challenges in education. TECS offers an overview of the current educational landscape and the various laws affecting schools today.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was originally enacted in 1965 during President Lyndon Johnson’s administration.

It is the primary federal law that affects PK-12 education. The most recent version of ESEA is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015

ESSA Highlights

President Obama signs the Every Student Succeeds Act into law on December 10, 2015.

ESSA includes provisions that will help to ensure success for students and schools. Below are just a few. The law:

  • Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requires—for the first time—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 our Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods
  • Sustains and expands this administration's historic investments in increasing access to high-quality preschool.
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.

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