Every Student Succeeds
It was a significant moment in recent educational history: This December, with news cameras flashing and education leaders surrounding him – President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), paving the way for more state control over education. The ESSA essentially replaces the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). While it is our hope that this is a move in the right direction toward more local control – that remains an ongoing conversation we are engaged in.
First, a look at the changes we can expect. Under ESSA the Secretary of Education is unable to force states to adopt a specific curriculum or policy to receive federal funds. States will still have to adopt specific standards, but each state will have a choice in which standards they adopt without any threat that they would not be able to receive federal money. Additionally, states will have the freedom to determine what they want for teacher and educator evaluations.
What we can expect to continue – state assessments. As with NCLB, ESSA requires that all students in grades 3-8 are tested in mathematics and reading each year. It also includes at least one high school proficiency test. States will continue to monitor achievement data for English-learners, students in special education, racial minorities and students living in poverty.
While the full implementation of these changes will not be until the 2017-18 school year, as the education leader of this district, the most important thing I want each member of our Tiger Family to understand is that despite any changes in federal or state requirements, we will continue to provide an excellent education of the students we serve.
And, as the conversation continues – now in Columbus – about how to best manage the privilege of caring for and educating our youngest citizens, you can rest assured that I will be an active advocate for our district. My goal is for collaboration between our legislatures, local school districts and educators to make changes that are in the best interest of our students. Please feel free to contact me directly with any specific questions.
Dedicated to the future of our children,
Posted December 17, 2015