The federal government enacted the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December of 2015. ESSA replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001.
Similarly to NCLB, ESSA will reshape how public schools operate as it is implemented over the next few years. Like every school district in the nation, our district will be working on building, shaping, and adapting our programs and operations to meet the requirements of ESSA.
Some of the biggest changes ESSA brings to the table, from our perspective, are:
1. Every school building will be rated, not just the district as a whole.
2. The rating for a school building will no longer be based on just a test or series of tests such as ACT/SAT and/or PARCC, but on multiple measures.
3. ESSA brings a stronger focus to subgroups, which are specifically defined groups of students which number 20 or more in a building.
4. ESSA requires 90% of students to be proficient by 2035, as opposed to NCLB's 100% of students.
5. ESSA does not have standardized testing opt-outs as were available in NCLB.
6. Schools and districts are required to engage not only the traditional school community but also the broader community in leadership efforts.
7. There is a more robust methodology for working with schools which do not meet standards.
Over the next several months, we will be highlighting several aspects of ESSA and how those aspects are impacting our school district. Our first round of information later this week or early next week will be related to ESSA's "Summative Designations" and the factors which are used to calculate them.
Dr. Daniel L. Oakley, Superintendent