Signed into law on December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) serves as the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. ESEA was developed in response to the demands of communities during the civil rights movement that the federal government do more to address poverty and limited educational opportunity for people of color. ESEA was last reauthorized in 2002 and signed into law by President George W. Bush as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
ESEA includes many important provisions intended to improve the achievement of historically underserved populations, including students of color, students from low-income families, students with a disability, English Learners, or students who are somehow otherwise disadvantaged.
ESSA will mean new changes in education policy at the federal, state, local and school level, which means Georgia parents have a great opportunity to push schools, districts, and states to make the improvements to education in their communities that all children deserve.
Our Recommendations for Improving Georgia’s ESSA Plan
On June 15, the Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) released its draft plan for how the state was going to hold its schools accountable for how well they are educating all of Georgia’s children. The full plan can be found on GADOE’s website here. You can also sign up there for more information and also comment on the plan to help Georgia improve the plan.
On July 13, we sent a letter signed by 18 Georgia groups to State Superintendent Richard Woods with our recommendations for how to improve Georgia’s ESSA education plan to better serve our children.