Is ESSA Better Than NCLB? Flaws, Violations & Lies

Congress overwhelmingly passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with bipartisan support. Does that mean they got it right?

NCLB (No Child Left Behind) was passed in the same bipartisan manner.

So it’s the public that needs to take a closer look and decide, is ESSA better than NCLB?

What changed with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

The major flaws of NCLB were many. Countless articles and papers expound upon these same flaws in various ways.

Flaw #1: Overemphasizing Standardized Testing

Flaw #2: Deprofessionalization of Teachers

Flaw #3: Disregard of Education Schools

Flaw #4: Marginalization of Social Studies Education

So, is ESSA better than NCLB based on this authors list of major flaws?

Yearly standardized tests — still in.

Teachers — “highly qualified” terminology was changed to “effective versus ineffective.”

Alternate routes to certification — set to expand.

Social Studies — THIS ONE IS ADDRESSED! ESSA established a Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics. Eligible entities?


Is federal training of civic educators through for-profit providers a better way? Or privatization?






And what about charter schools? “School Choice” was first introduced by President Clinton’s ESEA reauthorization, IASA. President Bush expanded it in NCLB. President Obama expanded it further in signing ESSA.
And as the NAACP has made clear, we should be very concerned about the effect of charter schools on the public education system. Further expansion has already begun under Secretary of Education DeVos. It will expand further with each budget passed by CONGRESS, particularly the one in motion RIGHT NOW!Is ESSA better than NCLB?

Well, there are many more issues to consider. We should not ignore the violations that have been noted in the Child Abuse in the Classroominitiative.

This list of reasons, presented here, for considering ESSA abusive  is a summary of a few of the violations.

Data Tracking: Collection of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) on babies, children, and teachers identified with a unique national ID, contracted by the Institute for Educational Sciences, NCES/IES, in compliance with Obama’s Executive Order 12866 creating state longitudinal data systems to collect and share data.

ESSA continues data collection (p43) “as existing in Federal, State, and Local reporting.” Longitudinal data systems were part of the Race To The Top spending.

Data Trafficking: States Release Personally Identifiable Information, PII, to 3rd Party Contractors: State Departments of Education are able to enter into written agreements with businesses, foundations, higher education, and other Departments, releasing PII because of the loopholes in FERPA, (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) that redefine school officials. Personally Identifiable Information, “womb to workforce” data, is freely given to 3rd party contractors through written agreements contracted by each state DOE.

ESSA asks for consistency with FERPA (pp46,52,212,250,321). “Consistency with” isn’t enough “to protect” children’s data from misuse and abuse.

Violations of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, PPRA: Violations under Title I school wide through the use of psychiatric, psychological examination, assessment, evaluation, or testing; Psychiatric or psychological treatment/interventions deceptively used in classrooms without the knowledge, disclosure, or written permission of parents. ESSA forbids mental health screening without consent.

ESSA, under Title II, Part A (p128), provides grants for Activities to Support Safe and Healthy Students including school-based mental health services. That might sound fine, but if you read further (p181), ESSA supports pay-for-success initiatives.

Pay for Success is a financial model to promote investments. Are we sure we want investors in health care developing school/provider partnerships? Don’t we have enough reasons for concern to just say “STOP”?

Speaking of Pay for Success….and universal preschool.
This is one of the lies.

With Pay for Success, we pay for “measurable outcomes.” The well-known scam is that these providers are picking already proven methods whose funding has previously been cut. They implement them at a higher cost, make more money, gather more “evidence,” and expand programs we previously had to cut because our government of the People didn’t fund them.ESSA contains a new Preschool Development Grant program (p352) where one of the purposes listed includes “to maximize parental choice among a mixed delivery system of early childhood education providers.” The GOP House Education and the Workforce Committee sold ESSA as having no new pre-K programs.

And did you know that ESSA gives THIS authority to the Secretary of Education for charter start-ups including pre-K?

Is ESSA better than NCLB?

If you are ready to take a stand against the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), here are some reasoned requests that will stop the DeVos administration from using the U.S. Department of Education to push her personal agenda, will do no harm in the process, and will begin the process of legislating a better way to reform what needs improving.

REQUEST:  NO NEW FEDERAL EDUCATION FUNDING for the new programs in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

REQUEST: An immediate moratorium on charter school expansion and any expansion of data collection on the nation’s children that is occurring under a variety of federally supported programs.

REQUEST: An independent Congressional Oversight Hearing to review the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in light of the proper aims, goals, and limits outlined in the original 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Make the calls (federal, state, and local listings at the following link). Let your representatives know what you demand.