Educational Policy Takes a New Turn with Every Student Succeeds Act

What's next in education?

On Thursday, President Barack Obama signed the overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The new policy, named the Every Student Succeeds Act, is a new direction for federal education policy, which has been defined for the past 13 years by the controversial NCLB.

The Every Student Succeeds Act is billed as different from its predecessor given that it allows state and local decision-makers to have more power over making school improvements. Previously, many were unhappy with what they saw as “cookie cutter” federal solutions to local school issues.

Additionally, while Every Student Succeeds will maintain an emphasis on annual assessments, it plans to do away with some of the mandatory testing that was seen as onerous and excessive by many educators and parents under NCLB. It does seem as though Every Student Succeeds will continue to flag underperforming schools, such as those with high dropout rates or where a certain section of the student population is struggling.

So will Every Student Succeeds leave us in a better place than we were with NCLB? Well, the new act certainly passed with bipartisan support, meaning at least that many members of Congress and their constituents are excited to usher in a new era. But it did take some wrangling of the many interest groups within the field of education to get Every Student Succeeds passed.

However, at least a few voices wonder whether completely scrapping NCLB was the right approach. The research into NCLB’s success on student outcomes seems mixed, and some wonder if tinkering with it, rather than moving on to something else would have been the better approach.

Overall, it seems that most of the U.S. was ready to embrace a new direction when it comes to education policy, and Every Student Succeeds, even if not perfect, will take the country in a bold new direction when it comes to our students.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Stefani is a writer and urban planner based in Oakland, CA. She holds a master’s in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a bachelor’s in Human Biology from Stanford University. In her free time she is often found reading diverse literature, writing stories, or enjoying the outdoors.  Follow her on Twitter: @stefanicox

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less