Every Student Success Act (ESSA): A Bipartisan Landmark That Improves Education
WHEREAS, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) believes education is the cornerstone of our society and a key element in ensuring the development and quality of life for Latino and minority communities;
WHEREAS, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background.
WHEREAS, the achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation’s best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency ;
WHEREAS, on December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law as a bipartisan legislation, reauthorizing the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which is the nation’s national education law providing longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students;
WHEREAS, ESSA advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students;
WHEREAS, ESSA requires that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers;
WHEREAS, ESSA helps to support and grow local innovations including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators;
WHEREAS, ESSA maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time;
WHEREAS, ESSA rolls back much of the federal government's big footprint in education policy, on everything from testing and teacher quality to low-performing schools;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the NHCSL encourages policymakers to support the continuity of the Every Student Success Act as a landmark legislation that improves education.
THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON APRIL 29, 2017, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN WASHINGTON, DC.