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No Child Left Behind is left behind

Thanks to members’ unprecedented, year-long advocacy on behalf of students, the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB)  finally ended when President Obama signed the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) December 10. Students and educators lived with the unintended consequences of the failed NCLB for more than 14 years, including an over-emphasis on standardized testing.

Thanks to members' unprecedented, year-long advocacy on behalf of students, the era of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) finally ended when President Obama signed the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) December 10. Students and educators lived with the unintended consequences of the failed NCLB for more than 14 years, including an over-emphasis on standardized testing.

Continuing to advocate for an effective law, more than 9,000 NEA members submitted comments this summer on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulations on accountability under ESSA, far more than any other single group. Now it’s time to submit comments on the proposed regulations on another provision of ESSA: “supplement not supplant,” which requires federal dollars to add to, not replace, state and local dollars. Comparing expenditures among schools tells us little about the resource needs of the students in those schools—what matters is sufficient funding, equitably distributed, to ensure that every student has access to meaningful opportunities to learn. The comment period on “supplement not supplant” ends November 7. Check out the proposed regulations, and then submit your comments. 

ESSA furthers all three of NEA's core goals:

  • Creating an opportunity "dashboard" to help ensure equity and opportunity for all students
  • Reducing the amount of standardized testing and decoupling test scores and high-stakes decision making

NEA President Lily Eskelsen García

"This new law is a well-deserved victory for our nation because the Every Student Succeeds Act will create greater opportunity for every student regardless of ZIP Code.

"Now our work begins in earnest as we shift our attention toward implementation. We look forward to working closely with state and local policymakers, as well as other key stakeholders, to raise our voice to deliver on the promise of ESSA and to provide opportunity for all students."

NEARI President Larry Purtill

"ESSA returns decision-making for our nation's education back where it belongs - in the hands of local educators, parents and communities - while keeping the focus on students most in need.

"Educators will have a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect their students and classrooms. This legislation begins to close the opportunity gaps for students by providing a new system that includes an 'opportunity dashboard' with indicators of school success and student support. It reduces the amount of standardized testing in schools so students have more time to develop critical thinking while educators do what they love — teach.

"Senators Reed and Whitehouse, and Congressmen Langevin and Ciccilline have always advocated for educators and students. We thank them for their support in passing this important bill."

ESSA explained



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