State Superintendent of Education, Molly M. Spearman, praises the passing of today’s Congressional passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The Act returns significant education power to the states and provides added flexibility to local school districts.
“Education is an issue that is best handled on the state and local level and not in Washington,” said Spearman. “I commend the passage of ESSA by both houses of Congress and look forward to the additional flexibility provided to our state and school districts so that we may best serve the needs of our students and local communities.”
“We have long awaited a more common sense approach to education than was offered by No Child Left Behind. The days of students and schools being measured on one high stakes test are behind us and we can implement an accountability system that uses multiple measures that gives better information to our students, parents, and educators,” concluded Spearman.
The Act is expected to be signed into law swiftly by President Obama, according to Ryan Brown in the Office of the State Superintendent.
ESSA was passed by a large bipartisan vote of 359-64 in the house last week, and 85-12 vote in the Senate today.
The newly passed bill maintains federal reporting accountability by requiring annual assessments in grades 3-8 and high school as well as testing data reporting requirements for student subgroups; racial minorities, poverty, and English language learners. However, the bill gives states the flexibility to design their own accountability system and school improvement models based upon the needs of that state’s particular students. ESSA confirms a state’s right to designing its own education standards, a move that South Carolina made earlier this year in adopting the South Carolina College and Career Ready Standards.