every_student_succeeds_bill_signingThe Every Student Succeeds Act: ESSA Begins

On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed into effect the reauthorization of the 50 year old Elementary and Secondary Education Act known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA ends a troublesome era of No Child Left Behind where a one-size-fit-all approach to testing, teaching and school improvement dominated our professional landscape placing unrealistic pressures on our most vulnerable students and those who serve them. Watch the signing video.

Under ESSA the responsibilities for school improvement are transferred to the state and local levels greatly reducing federal influences on local school decision making. This change is designed to honor the voice and expertise of those who know the names, strengths and learning needs of the children in their school: parents, teachers, counselors, para educators and administrators, not politicians and corporate lobbyists.

In Wisconsin we must work together to defeat bad ideas, policies, and laws at all levels that do not benefit our students. The Wisconsin Education Association Council is committed to providing its members and partners with the resources needed to take full advantage of implementing the required engagement provisions under the ESSA law. This will help assure a child’s race, income, zip code, disability, home language or background do not determine the quality of education they receive.

Use the WEAC Digital Toolkit to make ESSA work for students in your school:

  1. 5 Steps to Plugging into Your District’s ESSA Team (pdf)
  2. Invitation Letter for Members (Word)
  3. Invitation Letter to Stakeholders (Word)
  4. School Board Speech (Word)
  5. School Board Resolution (Word)
  6. 10-Minute PowerPoint (ppt)

ESSA Podcasts:

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  • Teachers strongly believe that far too much time is spent on student testing, surveys show

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  • U.S. Education Department proposes new regulations for school accountability

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  • Consensus reached on some ESSA regulations, but not all

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  • Education Chief Wants More Well-Rounded Learning – NBC News

    JohnKing_120pxEducation Secretary John B. King Jr. wants to see a return to a more well-rounded education for schoolchildren, one that spotlights the importance of science, social studies, world languages and the arts. In a speech Thursday in Las Vegas, King said some schools have focused too intensely on reading and math and testing in those subjects under the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. Read More...
  • Educators paved way for historic congressional wins in 2015

    NoStoneUnturned_120pxHyperpartisan gridlock is the description commonly used when it comes to Congress. But the legislative body notched some significant bipartisan victories for students and educators when it wrapped up its session last month thanks in large measure to the advocacy of educators. Read More...
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  • U.S. Senate ushers in new era in public education with historic vote

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  • Pop quiz! What can you do to turn the tide on overtesting?

    no_child_left_behind_with_question_mark_120pxIn 2001, before No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was passed, there were six federally mandated tests per student. Guess how many there are now. Read More...
  • NEPC Summary of ESEA

    In this document, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) argues that current ESEA test-focused approaches to education reform are ineffective and that policymakers should focus instead on ensuring that all students have access to educational opportunities and resources. Read More...