The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the 2015 reauthorization of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act, aimed at ensuring equal access to high-quality education for all students in the United States. ESSA outlines federal policy in assessment and accountability, educational standards, teacher quality, program innovation, and other areas.
ESSA includes a number of new requirements for the education of English Learners (ELs), including standardized criteria for identifying EL students and inclusion of English proficiency as a measurement of school quality. Unlike its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act, ESSA pushes back to the states critical decisions such as how quickly schools must improve and how states can intervene with struggling districts. Shifting such decision-making to state governments—along with provisions within ESSA requiring stakeholder engagement—opens the door to wide variation in how states judge whether ELs are making satisfactory progress, at the same time that it creates new opportunities for community input into how important decisions related to ELs are made. The National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy is working with the National Partnership to Improve PreK-12 Success for Immigrant Children and Youth (for more click here), and the resources on this page can help inform discussions about ways to improve the quality of education provided to EL children and youth.