A Comparison of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
to The People’s Alternative
UPDATE: Bad policy S.1177 became bad law on 7 December 2015 despite efforts by parents and many informed, aware citizens to stop it — In 10 days flat during the holiday season S.1177 came out of committee, voted on, and signed by President Obama. This after keeping No Child Left Behind in place for 15 years….10 days?
|Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA,S.1177) up for Senate Vote
|The People’s Alternative to No Child Left Behind
Aim: “To provide all children significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps.”
Aim: “To strengthen and improve educational quality and education opportunities in the Nation’s elementary and secondary schools.”
|“High-quality” is used to describe everything from teachers, to professional development, to charters, to pre-schools but how that will be defined is not clear except that assessments will be judged based on validity and “comparability” which could be interpreted to be “standard” in order to compare.
|Defining quality is based on “appropriate measures” as determined by state and local officials with an accounting for equitable distribution of state funds and resources, wise use of existing resources, and federal oversight to ensure proper use of funds as clearly designated in the proposal.
|The Accountability Mechanism is based on standardized achievement test scores assessing federally approved state standards selected by the states for math and language arts/reading with approval of the Secretary of Education including approval of the whole State plan for accountability.
|Accountability is based on demonstrating a shared responsibility – locally to each student and their community with state accountability for supplying funding, assistance, and resources, and federal support through dissemination of information, funding, and support and guidance based on research findings.
|Flexibility with funding in this bill is questionable given that funds are made available throughout it to non-profit, non-governmental, and for-profit services and entities.
|Flexibility for school programs to meet children and school needs is coupled with accounting for the proper use of federal funds and state accounting for progress towards equitable funding mechanisms.
It isn’t clear how this bill strengthens and improves the public system.
|Strengthening and improving the public system is returned to the law through research, dissemination of information, and training aimed at improving teaching, counseling, state leadership and principals, and the continuous school improvement process.
|Theory: Through standards, assessments, and federally approved state accountability systems, better charter schools, and increasing technology better outcomes will be produced.
You can also compare the original 1965 ESEA……………………………………………
|Theory: Quality teachers, counselors, and leaders plus parents and communities supportive of learning and school improvement efforts will produce a quality education system.
…….to No Child Left Behind at ESEA then & now.