The Every Student Succeeds Act: Returning Control to States and Local School Districts

Legislation “reverses the trend toward a National School Board,”

ends the federal Common Core mandate and, according to the Wall Street Journal, “represents the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century”

By restoring responsibility to states and classroom teachers, we are unleashing a new era of innovation and excellence in student achievement. In the future, the path to higher standards, better teaching, and real accountability will be through states, communities and classrooms and not through Washington, D.C.” – Lamar Alexander
  • To learn how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), according to the Wall Street Journal, “represents the largest devolution of federal control to the states,” click HERE.
  • To learn how ESSA repeals the federal Common Core mandate, click HERE.
  • To learn how ESSA fixes the problems with No Child Left Behind, click HERE.
  • To learn why No Child Left Behind needed to be fixed, click HERE.

What They’re Saying About the Every Student Succeeds Act …

“The way the nation's public schools are evaluated—teachers, students and the schools themselves—is in store for a major makeover, with a sweeping shift from federal to state control over school accountability and student testing.” – Associated Press, 12/9

“The measure would substantially limit the federal government's role, barring the Education Department from telling states and local districts how to assess school and teacher performance.” – Associated Press, 12/9

“‘We have an opportunity to inaugurate a new era of innovation and excellence in student achievement by restoring responsibility to states and classroom teachers," said Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who leads the Senate Education Committee and is a chief author of the bill, along with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington. ‘This new law will result in fewer and better tests because states and classroom teachers will be deciding what to do about the results of the tests,’ Alexander, a former U.S. education secretary, added …” – Associated Press, 12/9

On Common Core, education guidelines reviled by many conservatives, the bill says the federal government may not mandate or give states incentives to adopt or maintain any particular set of academic standards.” – Associated Press, 12/9

“A bipartisan compromise has emerged from the Senate and House … [that] would represent the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century.” – Wall Street Journal editorial, 11/30

“Gone are No Child Left Behind’s proficiency benchmarks and mandated federal interventions. The Education Department wouldn’t be able to prescribe accountability systems and standards.” – Wall Street Journal editorial, 11/30

Republicans will have more chances to reform Washington’s role in education if they keep their majority, and this ESEA reauthorization expires in four years. They shouldn’t let their ideal of American federalism thwart a rare opportunity for real reform.” – Wall Street Journal editorial, 11/30

An exceptionally rare development is about to happen in Washington: Congress is expected to pass, and President Barack Obama is expected to approve, legislation that will unambiguously shift federal policy to the right on education.” – Daily Caller, 12/1

“Long outdated and widely criticized as unrealistic, the 2002 No Child Left Behind education law is on track for a major revision after the House voted to dramatically limit the federal government's role in education policy ….”, 12/2

“The new law is a significant conservative victory that profoundly shrinks Uncle Sam’s role in K–12 schooling and upends 15 years of increasing federal control …” – National Review, 11/24

“The House on Wednesday approved a sweeping bill to revise the contentious No Child Left Behind law, representing the end of an era in which the federal government aggressively policed public school performance, and returning control to states and local districts.” – New York Times, 12/2

“The overhaul … allows states and school districts to set their own goals and to decide how to rate schools and what to do with those that underperform.” – New York Times, 12/2

“And the bill would prevent the education secretary from pushing national standards like the Common Core – a set of reading and math standards spread in part through Obama administration incentives.” – Politico, 12/2


# # #