The big education news last week was that the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era has officially ended with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). There are a number of articles and websites summarizing various aspects of ESSA:
- EdWeek (commentary), ESSA Cements the K-12 Obama-Duncan Legacy
- EdWeek, ESEA Reauthorization: Four Ways a New Law Would Differ From NCLB Waivers
- US Department of Education, ESSA page (includes a comparison chart with NCLB and waivers plus ESSA highlights and links to other documents)
- Alliance for Excellent Education, ESSA page (includes links to one-page fact sheets and short videos on accountability, assessments, high schools, and teachers and school leaders)
- Press-Citizen (USA Today), The Every Student Succeeds Act vs. No Child Left Behind: What’s changed?
- Education Reform Now (HT: Joanne Jacobs), INFOGRAPHIC: Everything You Need to Know about the Every Student Succeeds Act
Any of these links can get you started. However, a key change in ESSA is a shift in responsibility for the details of policies from the federal government to the states. This means that understanding--or predicting--what ESSA might mean for Iowa schools requires looking not just at the language of ESSA, but also looking at current Iowa law, the Iowa Department of Education (DE), and the Iowa State Board of Education (State Board).
For this post, I have looked at parts of the ESSA and tried to link to related Iowa state law and statewide education policies. Note that this post isn’t a comprehensive look at ESSA.