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Every Student Succeeds & Special Education

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  • 0:04 Accountability in Education
  • 0:42 Decision-Making Power
  • 1:36 Early Identification
  • 2:01 Some Things Stayed the Same
  • 2:40 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn more about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that was signed into law in December 2015 and examine its implications for special education.

Accountability in Education

A new era of accountability for schools began in January of 2002. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush and high-stakes testing came into focus. While student achievement did rise as a result, legislators began to see that more could be done. In December of 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Barack Obama to replace No Child Left Behind. While annual statewide assessments are still required, more power has been given to the states to develop policies related to testing. Let's look at some of the ways that the Every Student Succeeds Act affects special education programs.

Decision-Making Power

What decisions have been given to the states? One of the ways that states have been empowered is that they now have the ability to determine student performance targets. Although chronically low performing schools still need to be remediated, state governments rather than federal governments will be responsible for choosing supports and interventions for schools in the bottom 5%. Dedicated federal funds are provided for turn-around initiatives.

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