Every Student Succeeds Act Pros and Cons

As explained on the Understood website, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the main law for K-12 public education in the United States where it replaced No Child Left Behind. ESSA is a law which is large and complex and it affects all students in public schools.

So, here are the Every Student Succeeds Act pros and cons according to Vittana.org.

The Every Student Succeeds Act Pros

    • It advances equity in the K-12 public school population.
      Before the 1960s, the best education can be obtained only by students who had money, connections or both. Then, the U.S. government made every child a priority and the purpose was to give the same access to the systems that could help the next generation to be able to read and write. The function of The Every Student Succeeds Act is to uphold the critical protections for students who come from disadvantaged families.
    • All students are required by the ESSA to be taught to high academic standards.
      Before the ESSA was implemented, individual planning for students meant that they would get an education based on their evaluated capabilities. Let’s say that you had a child in special education classes. If so, their requirements to graduate may be entirely different than a student in the school’s gifted program. The ESSA mandated that all students in the country were to be taught to similar high academic standards. The purpose of the process is to prepare more K-12 students for their upcoming career or time in college.
    • The ESSA provides a vehicle for better communication between schools and parents.
      If the ESSA is implemented, it means that the important information that students produce in the classroom are distributed to communities, families and educators. So, everyone knows where the progress of the student is at any given moment.
    • The ESSA helps to promote local innovative methods.
      Different communities need to approach education in a way which is suitable with the needs of their district and the families that they serve. The purpose of the initial laws which were passed in the 1960s were to make more equality through civil rights legislation. So, it gave grants to districts that provided services to low-income students including for textbooks, library books and educational centers. Now, the money is used to place-based and evidence-based interventions that local teachers, leaders and administrators make to support more educational opportunities.
    • The ESSA can expand the investments which are made into preschools in the United States.
      It is explained on the Vittana that the historic investments which are made into the country’s preschools over the past decade are formalized in the ESSA. This is a good solution for a lot of families. It is because it introduces young children to a consistent routine and structure. There are a lot of programs which teach kids a variety of social, emotional and cognitive skills. They are also able to practice language learning in a safe environment.

The Every Student Succeeds Act Cons

    • The ESSA maintains the status quo in a lot of areas where previous attempts have already underperformed. Even though the ESSA improves the accountability concept in education across the United States, but it is not radically different from earlier efforts to improve outcomes. This law relies on testing to make accountability results which are able to be an unreliable way to measure the success or failure of a student. The only main change in this area is that it changes the responsibility of implementation from the federal government to the states.
    • There is no effort which is made to handle the root causes of inequality. Since the ESSA stresses accountability in the K-12 system by looking at testing scores and classroom environment. So, the root issues which cause inequality are not fixed yet again.
    • It got rid of the stipulation for adequate yearly progress. The ESSA supporters celebrate the fact that it gives flexibility on the testing requirements placed on public schools. It also gets rid of one of the important areas of accountability that were used to guarantee compliance with the expectations of No Child Left Behind. Under the ESSA, there are no requirements to report adequate yearly progress on the test score gains from the student body anymore.
    • There are more methods to cover inequalities in the ESSA. High levels of resilience are shown by poor families and their communities. However, it is not enough to help them achieve better results. All of the schools that got an F rating in North Carolina had a student population that was more than 50% low-income children. In 2013, the U.S. saw children with low income, which is defined as living in a household earning no more than 185% of the poverty threshold, became the majority of students in the public school system. 95% of children will be tested by states and the states will intervene in the lowest-performing schools. Then, classrooms are able to choose the students who they believe will do the best on the required test and it makes the results that the under-performing students achieve. The students who need to take the test then feel like they are being given more work. So, it pushes K-12 students with defiant personalities to do the test on purpose.
    • In some communities, the ESSA does not stop the process of school closures. The testing mandates which were found in the ESSA goes on making a retreat from the anti-poverty focus included in the original legislation from the 1960s. The Johnson administration stated that poverty was the largest barrier to educational opportunities. In some cities such as Newark, NJ, accountability does not mean getting the Title I approach that was in the original spirit of the law. It involves more testing, additional school closures and potential long-term trauma to the kids since they get the blame for the outcomes instead of the adults.

Well, that’s the pros and cons about Every Student Succeeds Act taken from the Vittana site. If you want to know more the pros and cons about ESSA, you can access Vittana site directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *