Federal Law and Regulations

Education Department Issues New Guidance on Implementing ESSA

by Ernie Melcher

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The reauthorized law prioritizes excellence and equity for students and supports great educators. The work of LEAs provides a strong foundation to help ensure that every child graduates from high school ready for college and careers. The ESSA reinforces their efforts, and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) looks forward to supporting LEAs during the upcoming transition and throughout ESSA implementation.

To facilitate an orderly transition to the programs authorized by the ESSA, the ED will provide ongoing guidance to support schools, districts, and States in the transition to the ESSA. A recent Dear Colleague letter begins this process and provides guidance regarding certain activities that are affected by this reauthorization. In particular, this letter covers ED’s expectations regarding: Title I assessment peer review; annual measurable objectives (AMOs) and annual measurable achievement objectives (AMAOs) for school years 2014–2015 and 2015–2016; conditions and other related requirements under ESEA flexibility; priority and focus school lists; and educator evaluation and support systems under ESEA flexibility.

The Dear Colleague letter is available at http://dataserver.lrp.com/DATA/servlet/DataServlet?fname=ESSA+DCL.pdf

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