The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) is the current reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), the legislative representation of our federal education policy. ESEA was originally established to direct resources for improving educational opportunities for the lowest achieving students in our nation’s highest poverty schools. The law replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which prescribed accountability mechanisms that proved unwieldy and were essentially discarded through a waiver program in its waning years. With ESSA, states are still required to implement systems of standards, assessments, and accountability, but these are now focused on college- and career-ready skills. Further, states have significantly more leeway for how they design their accountability systems and can make much more efficient use of their federal funding by combining resources across programs.
edCount’s primary objective is to support states and school districts as they design and implement systems that enhance their students’ educational experiences and achievement. Whether we work in a single classroom or with an entire state, we strive for coherence among goals and the means for achieving them through aligned instruction and assessment. As researchers and policy analysts, we are deeply familiar with ESEA and its various reauthorizations and related federal laws and policies. As consultants who have worked with nearly every state and the federal government, we have first-hand knowledge of the ways in which education systems are interpreting and successfully implementing reform. And, as educators with personal experience in classrooms, schools, and district and state education agencies, we understand how these instruction, assessment, and accountability components are inter-related and strive to provide assistance that helps all practitioners contribute to student success.