The end of No Child Left Behind came recently with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which serves as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law on December 10, one day after the bill passed the U.S. Senate 85-12 and a week after the U.S. House passed it 359-64. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem voted in favor of the bill.
“We’re grateful to South Dakota’s Congressional delegation, along with the House, Senate and President, for supporting ESSA and ushering in a new era of federal education policy, which gives more control to the states,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
One of the biggest coups in ESSA is the affirmation of state control of education standards. States will be able to set their own benchmarks for student achievement in math and reading. In addition, ESSA reaffirms the importance of local governance as state education standards will be up for peer review by school board members, administrators, parents and other groups.
A local governance measure included in the bill strengthens support for local control in managing school administration, budget development and related operations for school district responsibilities – all of which will enhance the local district’s goal of consistent student achievement.
Federal mandates on teacher evaluations were removed in ESSA and federal resources will be increased to states and school districts to implement innovative services to support teachers, principals and other educators.
ESSA requires education plans to be in place by the 2017-18 school year.