Recommended ESSA Resources

In December of 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into federal law. ESSA, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, made substantial changes to the previous iteration of the law, known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Most notably, ESSA represents a significant shift of power from the federal government back to the states. The new legislation places states squarely in the driver’s seat by empowering them to develop their own accountability systems that measure student progress and affording them the authority to determine how best to improve student and school performance.

Below are some resources from news outlets and organizations that offer helpful information to anyone looking to learn more about ESSA:

State By State Tours

This list from us contains all of the planned public comment periods and activities underway in each state.

Education Week

This cheat sheet delves into what Education Week considers to be some of the most important accountability issues addressed in ESSA and some of the reactions to the regulations ESSA proposes. The issues they cover include school ratings, test participation, accountability indicators, student subgroups, consistently under-performing students, school turnarounds and interventions, and proposed timelines.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

AFT’s teacher-directed resources include FAQs and fact sheets on how ESSA might affect change for charter schools, teacher prep, early childhood education, and accountability.

Center for American Progress (CAP)

CAP’s has a 50-state analysis of the accountability landscape under ESSA, as well as a number of recommendations for the implementation process.

Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

CCSSO’s guide for states on engaging stakeholders around ESSA was created with input from a variety of educational partners, including civil rights organizations, the NEA and AFT, and the PTA, and offers engagement best practices and planning tools.

Foundation for Excellence in Education

In addition to detailing their plan to assist states in implementation, the Foundation for Excellence in Education has a list of resources including what states need to know, implications for standards and assessments, and key provisions policymakers should know about.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s primers include individual state by state accountability system fact sheets, which detail each state’s current accountability system, what could change under ESSA, and what to be asking state leaders.