ESSA was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for U.S. schools. The bipartisan measure reauthorized the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
“Throughout this approval process, it has been exciting to see how each state has chosen to serve its students through the flexibility afforded to them under ESSA,” said Secretary DeVos.
“The efforts,” she added, “put into these plans by chief state school officers, governors and others is evident, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with each of them as we work to expand and improve educational opportunities for all students.”
Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA.
Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students.
The following are some of the unique elements from New Jersey’s approved plan:
- Implements the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports, which is an evidence-based framework for implementing academic and behavioral supports and interventions to improve achievement for all students.
- Supports LEAs in offering greater opportunities for middle school students to enroll in advanced-level math coursework by designing, implementing and evaluating research-based technical support around math literacy; designing and disseminating guidance to LEAs on the use of Title I to support preparation for advanced math; and designing multiple, model course pathways for middle schools that allow eighth-grade students to complete Algebra I.
- Aims for at least 80 percent of all students and at least 80 percent of each subgroup of students in each tested grade to meet or exceed grade-level expectations on the statewide ELA and mathematics assessments by 2030.