ESSA: What Every Citizen Needs To Know

ESSA  stands for The Every Student Succeeds Act.

ESSA is the eighth reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The architects of the 1965 ESEA designated that the law should be reviewed and updated at least every five to six years. That didn’t mean it couldn’t have changes made to it more frequently as was demonstrated the year following its enactment. But we must jump forward here quickly….

For starters, what every citizen needs to know about this federal education law is how their congressional representatives voted.

12/2/15—-The HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES voted on The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
In the final rushed version, the writers forgot to change “achieves” to “succeeds.”

Find out how your representatives voted.

12/9/15—-The SENATE voted on The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
ESSA is sited here as the Every Child Achieves Act.

Find out how your senators voted.

12/10/15 President Obama signed ESSA into law.
Was ESSA fast-tracked into law? After waiting for eight years, eight days seems pretty fast!

According to law — this revision (reauthorization) should have occurred by 2007. Between 2007 and 2015, what happened? Public schools labored under the continued rule of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Congress continued to send federal funds to states through Continuing Resolutions rather than the more responsible thing — identify the problems and address them.

Washington, We Have a Problem

“Most educators and policy experts will agree that NCLB has deep, structural flaws; … and … it actually creates barriers to reform and student progress.” Barbara Michelman

Many diehard education activists fought hard against the flaws of NCLB (as past attempts at ITEM actions shows). Numerous reasonable solutions for the “deep, structural flaws” were put forth in bills that died in committee including a White House petition that spawned this website.

Many of those same activists fought to stop ESSA  from becoming law because they felt it did not address the “deep, structural flaws” of NCLB.

Conventional wisdom tells us that it is harder to get a law repealed once it is in place.

But please don’t let that prevent you from taking the actions presented on this website. If you agree that ESSA should be repealed, take the necessary actions to make it happen.

What every citizen needs to decide is, does ESSA sufficiently address the problems with and flaws of NCLB? Read more before you decide.
If you are ready to take a stand against the Every Student Succeeds Act, here are some reasoned requests that will stop the U.S. Department of Education from spending more money taking us in the same direction as No Child Left Behind, do not do any harm in the process, and begin the process of legislating a better way to reform what needs improving.

REQUEST: A Continuing Resolution to fund the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to hold existing schools financially harmless but NO NEW FEDERAL EDUCATION FUNDING for the new programs in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

REQUEST: An immediate injunction to stop implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to honor the NAACP call for a moratorium on charter school expansion and the call to stop the data collection on the nation’s children that is occurring under a variety of federally supported programs.

REQUEST: To start the repeal process for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with a request to Congress for a full independent review of the law’s proper aims, goals, and limits.

Already decided? Contact Your Representatives Today!

This is why No Child Left Behind stayed in place, unchanged for 15 years.