In December 2015, Congress signed ESSA into law. It required every state to develop their own plan for the law’s implementation.
ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, which itself was a re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The Oregon Department of Education said NCLB was intended to close achievement gaps by requiring annual reporting of test scores and graduation rates. However, the law lacked flexibility and had unintended consequences.
According to ODE, the emphasis on math, reading and writing led to cuts in other subjects like science, history and the arts.
“This approach, while well-intentioned, has stymied what we know is best for students: providing rich learning opportunities that embrace a well-rounded education from pre-K through high school,” ODE officials wrote.
ODE said ESSA restores a great deal of control to individual states and will provide flexibility to set their own goals for improving student achievement.
Part of Oregon’s commitment under ESSA is to provide a well-rounded education that provides real-world knowledge and skills.
According to ODE, Oregon will also allow local educators to reclaim decision making in regards to their individual districts.
“Education provides a pathway for every Oregonian to fulfill their potential,” Governor Kate Brown said. “Oregon’s ESSA State Plan supports a seamless system of education that ensures all students have the tools and opportunity to become lifelong learners, to graduate from high school and pursue rewarding careers.”
Oregon’s plan under ESSA will be phased in beginning with the 2017-18 school year.
You can read the entire plan HERE.