ESSA Summary: 3 Things To Know
If you’re curious about the new education act, allow us to present our brief ESSA summary.
Here are 3 things you need to know:
- Control: It shifts power and responsibility for school quality away from Washington and gives it back to the states.
- Testing: While standardized testing is still required the states will now decide what is required of their schools for the ratings.
- Curriculum: ESSA prohibits the federal government from implementing mandated curriculum (i.e. Common Core)
The main theme here is we’ve taken power away from Washington and given it back to the individual states.
What seems to have some educators very happy is takeaway #2 - the reduced emphasis on standardized testing.
Under No Child Left Behind educators felt the need to teach their students to the test and in the same vein, their students were “tested to death”.
Now, even though schools are required to test up to 95% of their eligible students the states decide how much testing is required. There is the possibility that a state could use a test like the SAT or ACT to replace other state tests.
ESSA also establishes a pilot program for seven states (to be determined) to rethink and reinvent their assessment system. Should this go well then we could see the way we go about assessing our students completely reimagined.