“The upshot is that on important matters, like standards and testing and accountability, states are now much more in charge than they were a year ago.”
Last December, Congress passed new legislation governing K-12 education in America. The previous law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is out, and its replacement, the Every Student Succeeds Act, (ESSA) is in. In part three of my ongoing series on American education with Dr. Checker Finn, Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Dr. Finn explains how ESSA works, what it means for states and districts, and why it’s a substantial improvement over NCLB. ESSA was a bi-partisan agreement that has loosened the federal grip over education and given states more control and flexibility when it comes to key issues like standards, testing, and accountability. ESSA has created a great opportunity for states to raise the bar for performance and accountability. Now it’s their job to make sure that happens.