Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a federal law that governs K-12 public education. ESSA reauthorizes and amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. It was signed into law in December 2015, and goes into full effect in the 2017-18 school year.

ESSA largely rolls back the authority of the federal government in education policy. It prohibits the federal government from requiring any specific academic standards or intervention methods. The Act also removes the “highly qualified teacher” provision, and prohibits the federal government from requiring states to have a teacher evaluation system.

Students are required to be tested on math and reading in grades 3-8 and once in high school, as well as on science at least once between grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. States choose their long term goals, but have to measure short term progress by tests, English language proficiency, graduation rates, and at least one indicator of school quality or student success.