Inside the Every Student Succeeds Act

Our friends at the NEA have done it again! They’re providing educators with great resource tools as we work our way through the implementation of ESSA — the Federal “Every Student Succeeds Act.”

First, they’ve relaunched the main ESSA website to better house resources available to communities working on ESSA. CLICK HERE to access the My School, My Voice web site.

Next, the web site houses a great CHECKLIST for you to use to help decide whether your school has all the tools necessary to meet the goals of ESSA. If not, take the opportunity to let your decision-makers know — how else will they know how to close the gaps in your program?

They’ve also created a SNAPSHOT OF STATE ESSA PLANS. This “snapshot” will help you compare what our state has planned in comparison with our sister states. To review Mississippi’s plan, CLICK HERE.

We hope you find these tools helpful. Like its predecessors, ESSA was designed with an idea that it would help students succeed. We can help make sure it helps, rather than hurts, with our engaged involvement in the process.

ESSA Talking Points

The Every School Succeeds Act (ESSA) has offered educators a great opportunity to talk about the factors that create the kind of school atmosphere where every student can succeed. Below are some key ideas to help educators “talk up” this new and valuable program for student achievement.

  • Show me a school that works well, and I’ll show you a school that has the resources and programs to support, encourage, and inspire students at every level. Take a $3.50 clipboard, a piece of paper and a #2 pencil and walk into the best school in your state. Just start writing down what you see: a band; teachers who are certified to teach physics and calculus; counselors to help students make life-altering choices; caring and supportive staff who welcome families into the school; theater class; girls’ volleyball; a chemistry lab; classes that offer college credit; debate; robotics; foreign languages.
  • Those things—the things that make schools great, the things that build curiosity and instill a love of learning—that’s your state standard. It is what every child deserves. And it shouldn’t be available based on how much their parents make, what language they speak at home, and certainly not what neighborhood they live in.
  • Take that list into every school in your state and see where kids have access to what makes a school great and where they don’t. And then fix it. Work with your colleagues, parents, school board members, community leaders, state education officials, and other friends of public education to fill in the gaps.
  • Every student deserves a well-rounded curriculum that will nurture his natural curiosity, imagination, and desire to learn. The new education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA, will get us closer to achieving that goal for all students if we make our voices heard in how it’s carried out.
  • Do we want someone as unqualified as Betsy DeVos making decisions about our students and schools? No!  Here’s the good news: The new education law, ESSA, gives us more say in our classrooms and a seat at the table to determine what really matters to student success.  We must make sure our voices are heard.
  • The best opportunities for our students arise when we’re at the table driving the discussion, and the new education law gives us the opening to do that. The law is called ESSA, and it will only work for our students if we get involved and shape how it’s put into action in our classrooms and schools.
  • We can determine what success looks like for our students under the new education law. The law is known as ESSA, and “student success” is at the heart of it. The best part about it is that we get a say in determining what factors lead to student success.
  • You have the opportunity to ensure that all our students have the support, tools and time they need, but only by getting involved in how the new education law is carried out. Make sure our students get the most out of ESSA by putting your two cents in right now.
  • We’re the ones who are best equipped to ensure student success, and the new education law lets us make our voices heard. We’ve got a seat at the table to determine how the new law, ESSA, is carried out and how to make its promise of greater opportunity real for our students.
  • Thanks to the new education law, educators and support staff—the professionals who know the kids by name and understand how to unlock their potential—will play a key role in shaping policies that affect students and making school decisions.