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Video: 5 Things to Know About America’s New Education Law, the Every Student Succeeds Act

January 4, 2017

Talking Points

A @the74 video explainer: 5 things to know about America’s new education law — the Every Student Succeeds Act

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ESSA, Explained: The Every Student Succeeds Act is the new, bipartisan K-12 federal education law that was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2015. It replaces No Child Left Behind, beginning with the 2017–18 school year, and states are currently rushing to revise their education policies to align with the new law.

The 74’s Carolyn Phenicie has been covering the passage and implementation of the law, including the ways in which Donald Trump’s victory on election night scrambles federal election policy. A handful of recent links on how ESSA took shape, and what it means for educators and policymakers across the country now drafting their own plans:

Rewriting No Child Left Behind: The 3 Key ESSA Compromises

Hillary Clinton Sees ESSA as Boost to Charter Schools, Pre-K, High Standards

The First Big ESSA Fight Is Here — 7 Things to Know About 2016’s Title I Showdown

What Will Donald Trump Do on Education? Seeking Clues on ESSA

How States Are Keeping Their Focus on ESSA Implementation Despite D.C. Upheaval

Looking for a quick guide on how ESSA may affect your state’s schools? Here are the five top things to know:

1. ESSA reduces Washington’s authority over school decisions and gives it back to the states and local districts.

2. States must still give standardized tests every year and report the results, including for specific groups like English-language learners.

3. ESSA requires states to have challenging academic standards, but Washington cannot dictate what those standards are.

4. School accountability systems must now include a non-academic measure, like chronic absenteeism, in addition to statistics like test scores and graduation rates.

5. ESSA requires states to intervene in their lowest-performing districts.