For the first time in ESEA’s long history, the Every Student Succeeds Act requires state accountability systems to include at least one indicator of school success or student support – a major improvement over No Child Left Behind’s one-size-fits-all approach to accountability and the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria for granting waivers to the law.

Key Provisions

  • To help ensure resource equity and opportunity for all students, regardless of ZIP code, state-designed accountability systems must include at least one “dashboard” indicator of school success or student support – for example, access to advanced coursework, fine arts, and regular physical education; school climate and safety; discipline policies; bullying prevention; and the availability of counselors or nurses
  • Requires elementary, middle, and high schools to use multiple measures of student success, not just scores on statewide standardized tests
  • Enhances access to early childhood education
  • Creates a full-service community schools program to address health, nutrition, and other needs that can undermine student learning
  • Takes steps toward increasing transparency and accountability in charter schools – for example, requiring input from parents and community members
  • Continues “maintenance of effort” requirements to ensure that federal funds are not used to reduce state and local investments in education
  • Does NOT include Title I “portability” – a misguided approach that would dilute the impact of Title I, harm students attending Title I schools, and do nothing to address the real issue: providing adequate funding to help the students most in need succeed