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Every Student Succeeds Act

A New Education Law

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country.

The previous version of ESSA, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002. NCLB represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background. The law was scheduled for revision in 2007, and, over time, NCLB’s prescriptive requirements became increasingly unworkable for schools and educators. Recognizing this fact, in 2010, the Obama administration joined a call from educators and families to create a new law that focused on the clear goal of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

ESSA is the first piece of legislation that narrows the United States federal government's role in elementary and secondary education since the 1980s. ESSA retains the hallmark annual standardized testing requirements of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act but shifts the law's federal accountability provisions to states. Under the new law, students will continue to take annual tests between third and eighth grade.

Title I Funding

Our school receives Title 1 funding. Title 1 is a federal program that provides resources to schools in areas of economic need. ESSA focuses on schools, like ours, that receive Title 1 funding. Under ESSA, every school receiving Title 1 money is required to notify parents of their rights to request and receive the following information from the school:

  • Professional qualifications of their child’s teacher (s) including degrees/certifications held and whether the teacher is certified in the area he/she is teaching
  • Whether or not their child is receiving instruction by a paraprofessional, and if so, his/her qualifications. This applies to all instructional staff in the school, not just those paid with Title 1 funds.
  • Their child’s achievement level on tests. If you need to discuss your child’s achievement level, contact your site principal.
  • If your child has been assigned or taught for at least four consecutive weeks by a teacher who does not meet the highly qualified definition
  • Of parent's right to be included in the planning and implementation of the parent involvement program in their school

We need your help to make sure that all children are successful in school and in life. By working together as a community, we will overcome our challenges and build the bright future our children deserve. If you would like to get involved, contact Julie Waters, our ESSA coordinator, at (520) 822-9343.