Last week, President Obama signed a new law on education called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This bill succeeds No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and will help improve the nation's current educational system. Educators, teachers, parents, and citizens are now asking the same question, "Now what? What will this accomplish?"
According to the most recent report by the White House's Office of the Press Secretary, the bill will help schools in the following ways:
Ensuring that states set higher standards of achievement
Making sure children graduate from high school and are college- and career-ready is the bill's top focus. The NCLB, which emphasizes standardized testing, has been met with varying criticism throughout the years. The Every Student Succeeds Act will require annual testing but administration may do so under their own advisement. This means administrators may test once annually or break up the test into a series of smaller tests. In addition, the new act says that states may "evaluate teachers any way they see fit." This means teacher evaluation and coaching may improve, leaving less anxiety about teaching to the test and more focus on preparing students.