The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. The measure reauthorizes 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.
The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002. That law was scheduled for revision in 2007, and, over time, NCLB’s prescriptive requirements became increasingly unworkable for schools and educators. ESSA represents an effort by federal regulators to cede more control over education policy to individual states.