NCLB (2001) vs. ESSA (2015)

No Child Left Behind v. the Every Student Succeeds Act

How do they stack up?

This poster was created to inform parents of the recent reauthorization, or change in United States Education legislation, from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. Also, it serves to offer a comparison and contrast between the principles of each law.

The No Child Left Behind Act (2001)

1. “The law has held schools accountable for the performance of all students no matter their race, income level, English-proficiency or disability” (, 2012).

2.Standardized testing requirements must be met for schools to receive federal funds (Race to the Top).

3. Children were tested on their abilities to test and NOT their abilities to learn.

4. Test scores acted as the primary measure for school performance

5. Increased government involvement in the requirements created guidelines for principal and teacher evaluation.

6. Factors such as: learning and working conditions, location and resources available to schools and students were not taken into account when measuring student success and teacher effectiveness.

7. The Federal Government had the power to evaluate schools for needs improvement status; could reform or close them if they did not meet the required goals.

8. School achievement standards had to be lowered to meet the demands of NCLB legislation.

9. Legislation did not meet the unique needs of and provide adequate resources for each state and school district, thereby, forcing schools to commit to the same accountability system.

10. Teach-to-the-test mentality left educators minimal flexibility to teach children the required subject material.

A Teacher's Guide to Fixing No Child Left Behind

Every Student Succeeds Act (2015)

1. Law serves to alleviate the strain of poverty, so that students may continue to receive the resources and intervention needed to ensure Free and Appropriate Education opportunities, to include early childhood intervention.

2. It rebuilds community involvement in student education; Gives the art of educating students back to parents, teachers and the states.

3. The availability and quality of teacher resources, working conditions and teacher voice are taken into account during the teacher, administrative and school evaluation processes.

4. Teacher evaluations are a means of professional development and growth, not punishment, to ensure a quality education for all students.

5. Flexibility is offered for Standardized Testing; this means an end to the pressures of high-stakes testing requirements and the necessity to meet “AYP” or Adequate Yearly Progress

· a. states chose nationally recognized tests for students.

· b. students are free from being “over-tested” in subjects like math. The assessments from advanced math courses can be counted for accountability purposes.

6. Students have the right to public school choice in the event that their zoned schools are not meeting their needs.

7. State and local school districts share responsibility for reforming schools that need improvement.

8. Pathways are extended for paraprofessional professional development: which makes the road to teacher certification readily available.

9. Standardized testing assesses student needs, and fosters actual teaching and not just testing.

10. States permitted to develop its own content standards and accompanied assessments. Federal mandates such as Common Core are no longer required.

11. Funding for schools and school systems are no longer tied to federal testing mandates and standardized testing outcomes.

12. English Language Learners (ELL’s) or students who speak other languages--are given enough time to learn the new language and are allowed to take tests in their native language (for up to 3 years). Tests are not required to be included for state accountability records until adequate master of the new target language (English).
View these links below for more information concerning ESSA (2015) and NCLB (2001)

By: Olivia Heitt