The Every Student Succeeds Act: A Profile on The Council of State Governments Eastern Region States

Signed in to law in 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. The ESSA emphasizes college and career readiness, accountability, scaling back assessments, increasing access to preschool and the important role state and local communities play in making their schools successful. ESSA federal funding acts as an incentives package for innovation in America’s school systems.

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Californians will weigh in on bilingual education this fall through Proposition 58, which seeks to overturn a previous proposition's directive for public schools to teach English-language learners exclusively in English.

Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter emphasizing the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. The guidance also clarifies that repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that many children with disabilities are not receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. The Department voiced concern over the possibility of schools failing to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), which could result in a child not receiving the free appropriate public education to which they are entitled under federal law.

As states implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services have released guidance on mitigating disruption in education for students in foster care; states should implement programs to meet the mandate’s requirements by December 10, 2016.

CSG Midwest
Starting in 2017, all of Nebraska’s high school juniors will take a college admissions exam such as the ACT or SAT. Under the recently enacted LB 930, the state Department of Education can use lottery proceeds to pay for administration of the test.

The U.S. Department of Education released its first nationally comprehensive data on chronic absenteeism in June, revealing that about 6.5 million students—or 13 percent of the total student population—were absent at least 15 days during the 2013-2014 school year. The problem is so extensive that in October 2015 the presidential administration launched the Every Student, Every Day initiative to reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year, beginning in the current school year. 

A debate over the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals, which began in the states, has resulted in new guidance from the federal government. But a lawsuit by several states challenging the guidance suggests the issue may not yet be resolved. 

High school graduation rates are going up in most states. Here is a state-by-state look at graduation rates. 

May 1-7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to recognize the critical role that America's public school teachers play in educating and developing our children and youth. Here's a look at America's teaching workforce, by the numbers.

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: What Does it Mean for State Accountability and Data?” experts discussed the increased flexibility that the new law gives states and policymakers as well as opportunities to share better data with schools and communities. The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, is the new name of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and goes into effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

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