In mid-December, President Obama signed off on the new federal educational law: Every Student Succeeds Act. This new law replaces No Child Left Behind which was signed into law by George W. Bush fourteen years ago. This law is really the latest revision of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965.
What are the main points of the Every Student Succeeds Act?
- States and local districts will now have the power to determine how to improve our failing schools. There will now be a diminished role for the federal government.
- There will still be federally mandated standardized testing but no longer consequences for states and districts where students perform poorly.
- It is now up to states and local districts to rate their schools, determine goals, and figure out how to help failing schools.
- Although states will still have to help the lowest performing five percent of schools, it is up to the states how they will provide assistance.
- States will also have to work with schools where more than a third of the students do not graduate on time.
- The federal government can no longer require states to use standardized tests as part of teachers’ evaluation system.
Given the level of bipartisanship in congress, President Obama is quoted as saying that the bill’s signing by Congress was a “Christmas miracle.”
It will be interesting to see if we will be seeing changes in testing from the New York State Education Department in the near future!