Every Student Succeeds Act

President Obama signed ESSA on Dec. 15, 2015


ESSA ends No Child Left Behind and its rigid and unfair federal formulas for labeling schools, and its failed system of one-size-fits-all interventions and punishments for struggling schools.


In December of 2015, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law. The title of the reauthorized legislation, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The passage of ESSA provides a much anticipated opportunity to improve outcomes for all students and gives states more flexibility and decision-making power at the local level. This law also requires states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, school and district accountability and special help for struggling schools.

Colorado’s state ESSA plan was approved by the United Stated Department of Education on May 7,2018. Visit the Colorado Department of Education to learn more specifics about our plan.

What can educators do locally?

  • Engage with your local school boards by having one-on-ones, community forums or attending regular meetings.
  • Get involved with the Personnel Performance Evaluation Council (formerly 1338) to assess and improve the evaluation for principals, teachers and specialized service professionals.
  • Get involved in your District Accountability Committee (DAC) or School Accountability Committee (SAC) to contribute to decisions around district/school budgets, ESSA funds, district/school unified improvement plans and charter applications.
  • In addition, visit NEA’s Opportunity and Action, My School My Voice page for tools to use locally in developing your platform.

Contact Cassie Harrelson or Joshua Quick, Directors of Professional Practice, with any questions.