With Every Student Succeeds Act Signed into Law, It’s Time to Get to Work
On Thursday morning, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the key federal programs supporting K-12 education in the United States. Thanks to the efforts of our CEO members and partners in the civil rights community who worked with leaders in Congress, the new law is consistent with the principles Business Roundtable released and promoted while the legislation was being developed.
“In today’s economy, a high-quality education is a prerequisite for success,” the President said at the bill signing ceremony. “This law focuses on a national goal of ensuring that all of our students graduate prepared for college and future careers.”
We especially thank Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray and Representatives John Kline and Bobby Scott for their skilled leadership in guiding the legislation through Congress.
The new law will hold schools accountable for how well they prepare students for college, career and the military. It will also shift more responsibility from the federal government to the states, where it belongs, while ensuring those states use quantifiable measures to gauge and report on student outcomes.
The key to holding schools accountable is the ESSA provision that requires states to collect and report publicly the data they gather on student outcomes, such as test results. The data from tests, graduation rates and other indicators will be a powerful tool in identifying areas where schools are in need of improvement.
As a result of these and other provisions, students will benefit, and so will the businesses that depend on well-prepared workers to help them compete and win in the global economy.
Business Roundtable made it clear in our statement after Senate approval of the bill that we will do all we can to make sure the law is faithfully implemented and the education system delivers for students. With states now in the driver’s seat, our CEOs are looking to them to live up to the promise of ensuring every student is prepared to succeed.