The U.S. Department of Education has finished putting meat on the bones of the new Every Student Succeeds Act, the legislation that superseded the No Child Left Behind Act and its heavy emphasis on state standardized tests.
Congress re-wrote the law last year, and President Barack Obama quickly signed it, downplaying the emphasis of test scores as an accountability tool for schools. The federal education agency then had to make rules to operate under the new law, and Education Secretary John B. King Jr. on Thursday announced his department’s proposal.
The regulations require schools to produce easily-digestible performance report cards while continuing an emphasis on struggling students, according to US DOE. “They also give educators room to reclaim for all of their students the joy and promise of a well-rounded educational experience,” King said.
Standardized tests are still required under ESSA, but states have more latitude in deciding how to use them to hold schools and educators accountable. Georgia responded this year with Senate Bill 364, a law that de-emphasizes the state’s Milestone test results in teacher evaluations. Even so, Gov. Nathan Deal has said he wants teachers’ performance to influence their pay.