As states work to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), one of the most positive developments is the frequency with which they are adopting chronic absence as the indicator of school quality or student success. For those not immersed in ESSA details, the requirement to measure school quality is one of the ways ESSA improves on the No Child Left Behind Act.
Regular readers know that New America’s Dual Language Learners National Work Group has been keeping a close eye on the genesis, passage, and early implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We’ve analyzed how the law, the primary federal legislation governing elementary and secondary education, changes No Child Left Behind’s (NCLB) English learner (EL) policies.
The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) strives to reduce academic achievement gaps for children. Research shows family engagement is essential to meeting this education goal. Families guide children on their learning adventures both in and out of classrooms, beginning at birth. Initial interactions with the formal learning system set the tone for subsequent years.
The leap from pre-K to kindergarten can be both exciting and stressful, as children face new classrooms, new classmates, new rules, and new teachers. Moving from the familiar to the unknown can also intimidate parents learning new routines and meeting new families. Even teachers may feel anxious about what to expect from an incoming class of students with different learning styles, abilities, and home lives.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides both significant flexibility and opportunity to state and local education agencies to increase access to high quality early learning programs, align and coordinate birth to third grade programs, and prepare and support highly effective teachers.