Much-anticipated bill attempts to satisfy all stakeholder groups as it moves away from NCLB mandates
While a “new and improved” version of the hotly-debated No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) would still require reading and math testing in grades 3-8 and once in high school, states would have much more leeway when it comes to defining teaching and learning objectives and outlining accountability measures.
The Every Student Succeeds Act gives states the power to determine their own academic goals and measure progress toward those goals–a departure from NCLB, which aimed for 100 percent math and reading proficiency by 2014.
States or districts will be in charge of determining how to improve persistently underperforming schools. Previously, NCLB gave the federal government a strong voice in what happened to those schools. Now, under Every Student Succeeds, schools requiring much intervention would be among the lowest-performing 5 percent in the state.
Every Student Succeeds also prohibits the U.S. Department of Education from providing incentives for participation in the Common Core State Standards.
Reaction to the bill came quickly, with critics worrying that states will have too much leeway and too little accountability. Supporters’ statements echoed the sentiment that a change has been a long time coming.