Every Student Succeeds Act
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the newest federal legislation to address the need for consistent and measurable support for all American school children. This act maintains the federal government’s deep-rooted support of fair and equal opportunity for all students and supports the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
ESSA’s predecessor, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), was enacted in 2002 under the Bush administration. NCLB provided significant support for our nation’s most vulnerable children and was considered a positive first step. While NCLB’s emphasis on academic measures of success was deemed important, the Obama administration also felt that non-academic measures should be taken into account (this includes social emotional learning or SEL). With it’s framework in mind, the administration worked with educators and families over the course of three years to develop what is now called ESSA. With the support of Congress, the final provision was signed on December 10, 2015.
For most school districts, ESSA will begin in the 2017-2018 school year.