What is the Every Student Succeeds Act?



The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the federal K-12 education law of the United States. ESSA was signed into law in 2015 and replaced the previous education law called “No Child Left Behind.” ESSA extended more flexibility to States in education and laid out expectations of transparency for parents and for communities.

ESSA requires every state to measure performance in reading, math, and science. Each state determines the way students are assessed. Every school in each state must inform parents about their standards and their results.

ESSA requires every state to develop a concise and easily understandable “State Report Card” that is accessible online and provides parents important information on test performance in reading, math, and science. The report cards must also provide data on graduation rates, suspensions, absenteeism, teacher qualifications, and many other areas.

ESSA increases transparency to empower parents with information to help them make the best choices for their children. For the first time ever, states are required to report how much money, on average, they spend per student. This is called “per pupil expenditures.” ESSA also requires states to list their lowest performing 5% of schools. These schools require “comprehensive support and improvement.”

ESSA extends flexibility for funds to be invested in career and technical education and even toward transportation for students to attend higher performing schools.

Use the information on this webpage to learn about your state’s performance and to access your state’s unique State Report Card.