We posted several analyses of the updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Current legislation, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is on its way to the President’s desk. No Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top are gone. What remains are annual testing requirements and support for charter schools. Responsibility for most education accountability reverts to the states. Thus, each state can determine how test scores are used for teacher evaluation, school grades and the Common Core.
States are required to identify schools with under performing students and help fix them. What this means is unclear. For a good analysis, see Education Week. Many provisions are subject to different interpretations. One thing is clear, citizens need to turn to their state legislatures to make reasonable, valid decisions about how test scores are used. Continued policies that force districts and teachers to focus instruction on ‘passing the test’ can be changed, if the voters insist.