ESSA is an abbreviation of Every student succeeds Act. ESSA was incorporated into the law in December 2015. It was a reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that had been active for 50 years. President Obama signed it on 10th December 2015. ESSA entailed provisions that would help ensure the success of students and schools. ESSA embraces equity by enhancing the protection of the disadvantaged and needy students in America. ESSA also supports and encourages invention and local innovations.
Pros of Essa
1. It enhances equity: Few people had access to formal education in the past. The establishment of ESSA enabled everyone to access education with equal rights. ESSA contributes to upholding rights for students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. It also assists students with disability in coping with the old-fashioned classroom setting.
2. All students get educated to higher levels: Before ESSA was established, students would progress in education based on their evaluated capabilities. Students in special education classes had different merit requirements from those in gifted classes. ESSA makes it compulsory for all students in the United States to be educated to the same high academic standards.
3. It provides a means of communication between schools and parents: ESSA encourages sharing information from the school to parents and vice versa. Students will take home results produced at school for evaluation. The information is also shared with educational shareholders and the community for follow-up on progress.
4. Encourages invention and innovation: Funding of schools is now focused on evidence-based and location other as opposed to the previous laws that focused on equality. Teachers and local leaders may come up with programs that enhance innovation in students to provide more educational opportunities
5. Helps to attract more investment in preschools: ESSA formalizes every investment made in preschools over the past ten years. It helps ensure consistency in the routine and structure of the preschool program. ESSA normally provides over $ 250 million in allocations to cater to preschool grants which is a great contribution compared to the previous allocation.
6. Enhances accountability: In the past, the quality of education provided to children was at its lowest because of a lack of accountability. ESSA states the expectations of schools to be accountable for the quality of education.
7. Discourages teacher’s performance based on test results: In the past, teachers were ranked or evaluated based on what students would achieve in a standardized test. It caused teachers to focus on subjects that they were best at and forget others instead of finding a way to make them better. ESSA states that teachers should get a raise or promotion not only based on students’ performance.
8. Participation of federal government through grants stipulations: The federal government still controls the allocation of grants despite states choosing to create their solutions in ESSA. More funding to local schools encourages teachers to avoid going to top schools that perform well and the average performing ones.
9. More funding to train teachers and principals: ESSA contains rules and regulations on recruiting and training high-quality teachers and principals. ESSA encourages a 3% rise in state allowances directed towards teachers and school leaders.
10. Encourages flexibility: State and local educational agencies are provided with flexibility through ESSA to use federal funding to develop and implement required programs.
Cons of Essa
1. Reduced effort to solve the cause of inequality: The causes of inequality are not solved because ESSA focuses on accountability in the k-12 system by using test scores and the classroom environment. ESSA fails to focus on solving poverty; therefore no solutions. Improved standards of living in the community will greatly help solve most of the problems faced in public schools.
2. It focuses on areas that did not do well with previous laws: ESSA improves accountability in education. However, many efforts by other laws that were initially there did not improve outcomes. ESSA relies on a trial and error format to obtain chances of success which is unreliable when measuring the success or failure of students.
3. Did away with stipulations for adequate yearly progress: Unlike the No child left behind policy, ESSA no longer requires a report on yearly progress on test score gains from the student’s body. It has left overseers not to be accounted for their contributions towards developing a better classroom environment.
4. Does not stop the process of school closure: The testing requirements found in ESSA deprive the antipoverty focus included in the 1960s; poverty is normally a barrier to education. ESSA encourages more testing and leads to the closure of more schools which has devastating effects on students.
5. Effects of closure of schools: In the event of school closure due to performance, the kids normally feel the weight and impacts left after. ESSA focuses on replacing underperforming schools with charters.
6. There are various ways to mask inequalities:
Students from poor backgrounds show much hard work and effort. However, it may not be enough for success. K-12 students get a thorough pass after the other students complain of a lot of work. In the event of a test to intervene lowest-performing schools, classes are required to select top students, which masks those who underperform.
7. Does not involve the federal government: ESSA creates a system where each state and district may use a different method of accountability. It causes inconsistency which in turn creates room for unequal practice. In such a case, the government may find it difficult to intervene when there I’d resistance to the changes
8. in obtaining added value in high school: Calculation of value-added at high school level for state report cards could be hard and more complicated based on the grade in which students do the assessment.
9. some states may be left out: ESSA covers countries in America, and some states may be left out. Also, when administering the test, the commonly used test is the Ohio assessment. Countries that require a different type of test may be left out.
10. more effort and time are required: Performance assessments of ESSA require significantly more time to develop, administer and rank or grade. It causes parents and teachers to be frustrated when they receive test scores.