Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Impact of the ESSA on Tennessee

In Tennessee, we have laid a firm foundation for our students’ future by raising standards to a more rigorous level that will prepare them for college and careers; establishing fully aligned assessments to ensure all of our students are developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills; and by using evaluation and accountability systems based on multiple factors.

ESSA builds on this work by reaffirming the importance of standards, assessment, and accountability and through empowering states to make decisions for our kids. ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind and will go into effect in August 2016. Tennessee will remain on its previously approved waiver until then, and all states are required to fully transition to ESSA by the 2017-18 school year.

Much of the work we have outlined in our recent waiver – which was developed with extensive stakeholder engagement – and in our strategic plan is in sync with the new law and will allow for a seamless transition. The department has been gathering feedback from Tennessee’s educators, key advocates, parents, students, and the public on specific policies. The feedback is informing a Tennessee-specific ESSA plan that will guide the department’s work over the coming years and help the department capitalize on the new law’s empowerment of local leadership.

Kick-off May 2016; Stakeholder Input June-August 2016; Writing the Plan September-November 2016; Stakeholder Feedback December 2016-January 2017; Approving the Plan February-March 2017

Resources