What You Need to Know About ESSA

While most state education leaders have been deeply engaged in designing accountability plans aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act for well over a year, many district and school leaders are only beginning to address school-level requirements in the new law. The law’s awkward timing is partly to blame; states may turn in their plans to the U.S. Department of Education through September, but school districts will be held accountable to plans that are in effect beginning July 1 –regardless of their state’s deadline. To help busy school and district leaders navigate the transition, David Deschryver and I teamed up with Frontline Education to create a podcast series filled with background and guidance on ways to leverage the law’s flexibility and ease the challenge of building a meaningful accountability plan. The series includes four individual segments that address key changes between NCLB and ESSA, the framework of evidence, equity, and efficacy that should guide decision-making, ways to provide a well-rounded education, and how to support teachers and leaders. Each segment is about 10 minutes in length, and the series is designed to be consumed independently or as a whole so listeners can match the content with their available listening time. Schools and districts are afforded enormous opportunity under ESSA—but opportunity requires action to realize its potential. The series is designed to start the ball rolling toward action, and to help school and district leaders make the most of the opportunity before them so that students can truly benefit from flexibility under the new law. Check out the series and Tweet questions at me (@EduSilverman) or David (@ddeschryver).