What teachers think about ESSA

Our teachers will be most heavily impacted by the new education law so, what do teachers think about ESSA?

With the passing of ESSA, all of us in education expect changes big and small when the new law goes into effect for the 2017-18 school year.

We found this exact question posted on Quora with an interesting answer from (we presume) a teacher.

The long and short of the answer was that it is naive to believe an education law can truly change education. This is because of the current mindset of passing and failing within schools.

Download the ESSA guide

We’re not quite as pessimistic as the author but pressing into the argument, there is some truth to it.

Essentially, there is an existing belief in our culture that if every student in a class/school/district is succeeding, that success isn’t valid because no one failed.

Or, unless failure is present, success is not legitimate.

teachers ESSA

Here is a scenario for you: If every child in a 4th-grade class got an ‘A’ in Math what would the response be from parents, district and state administrators?

It isn’t out of the realm of possibility (for more likely than not in our opinion) that you would get complaints about the education standards and curriculum being too dumbed down so that every student succeeded. All of a sudden, a grade isn’t credible if every student gets one.

It’s sure interesting to think about.

We also talked to an elementary school teacher right here in Tennessee who said he’s encouraged with the direction encouraged by ESSA. With a greater emphasis on state control and reduced emphasis on assessment testing.

There are lots about ESSA that is unclear. What is clear is that the pros and cons of this new law will be debated heartily over the coming months. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Curious about ESSA? To learn more: Download the ESSA guide


Matt Phillip Senior Marketing Manager at Thrivist, LLC