The enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has changed the course of education policy in the country and states now have more flexibility to design and implement policy plans that best meet the needs of their students and communities. As ESSA eases federal control over education policy in individual states, education leaders and policymakers have questions regarding how the new law will impact the development and implementation of state-specific plans.

A new report from Education Commission of the States, ESSA: Quick guides on top issues, provides insight into key areas of ESSA that have prompted questions and concerns from states as they prepare to implement this new law. This report outlines ESSA requirements and explores issues from assessment to low-performing schools.

“We’ve heard from education leaders and policymakers who are trying to understand what the new federal education law means for them,” said Julie Woods, a policy analyst in the K-12 Institute at Education Commission of the States. “This report can help provide the foundation for informed decision-making on key issues as states move forward with ESSA.”

The ten ESSA issues explored in this report include:

  • Assessment Flexibility
  • Assessment Participation and Opt-Outs
  • Innovation Assessment Pilot
  • Indicators of School Quality or Student Success
  • English Learners and Accountability
  • Supporting Low-Performing Schools
  • Teachers and School Leaders
  • Title I’s Supplement-Not-Supplant Provision
  • Title IV – 21st Century Schools
  • State Plans

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Director Amy Skinner at or (303) 299.3609.

Tweet this ECS report!

  • New from @edcommission – quick guides on top questions and concerns around #ESSA implementation
  • Many questions remain before states can fully take advantage of #ESSA. Guides from @edcommission address top issues
  • Dig into top issues around #ESSA with quick guides on top issues from @edcommission

Related ECS resources that you will find useful:

Collaborative Stakeholder Engagement
This report offers a framework for going beyond simply engaging stakeholders for input to collaborating with them to create shared goals and improved results.

ESSA’s Well-Rounded Education
This report reviews the components of ESSA’s prevalent “well-rounded education” concept and potential ways that states can support educational access for every student under this new law.

Plenary Session Video: Every Student Succeeds Act 101: Putting states on track to success
Education Commission of the States’ 2016 National Forum on Education Policy

 PUBLISHED: August 9, 2016

 AUTHOR(S): , , , ,



 STATE(S): Nationwide

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