New Opportunities for Deeper Learning in the Every Student Succeeds ACT (ESSA)

Previously, provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act served as an impediment to deeper learning. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes changes in support of a deeper learning agenda.

KEY WINS FOR DEEPER LEARNING

  • ESSA specifically outlines that students can be assessed using portfolios, projects, and performance tasks. This means that states will have the resources and flexibility to develop high-quality assessments, as well as competency-based assessments, that support student-centered approaches.
  • Multiple measures are required and states have the flexibility to incorporate indicators of deeper learning into their accountability systems.
  • States and districts can use funds to help teachers learn how to implement high-quality project-based learning, integrate career and technical education and rigorous academics, and use other methods to make learning more personalized and engaging.

ESSA provides states and districts with a great degree of flexibility and responsibility. At the heart of this flexibility should be a commitment to rigorous content delivery and student mastery of college- and career-ready skills.

Each of the videos below provides a five-minute overview of ESSA’s advances of deeper learning for students. The corresponding fact sheets provide additional specifics of the language in the new law.


There remain more than 1,000 low-performing high schools across the United States that are predominantly made up of students from low-income families and students of color. Learn more about how ESSA holds states accountable for targeting resources to these schools.


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| FACT SHEET

With the changing demands of today’s workforce, it is critical that states are empowering teachers to assess students’ mastery of deeper learning competencies. ESSA provides new assessment flexibility and support for a new pilot program.


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| FACT SHEET

ESSA requires states and districts to describe the strategies they will use to prepare students for the transition to postsecondary education. Check out the resources below to learn what ESSA says about state and district plans.


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| FACT SHEET

Under ESSA, states and districts are responsible for improving the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Professional development is necessary to ensure teachers have the skills needed to support deeper learning in the classroom.


VIDEO
| FACT SHEET

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