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Opinion: Lack of Accountability Decreases Effectiveness of ESSA

Opinion: Lack of Accountability Decreases Effectiveness of ESSA

According to teacher and blogger Peter Greene, the new education legislation the Every Student Succeeds Act can be either really good for education or really bad- depending on the state.

"The ESSA doesn't settle anything. It doesn't solve anything. Every argument and battle that supporters of public schools (and the teachers and students who work and learn in public schools) have been fighting will still be fought -- the difference is that now those arguments will be held in state capitols instead of Washington D.C,” Greene says.

"Depending on your state, that may be good news. Or it may be that the best we can say is that your state government isn't any worse, and they live closer to you.”

Greene argues that ESSA leaves too much up to interpretation, providing states with too many options and instead of mandating action, leaves it up to the state to decide.

In other words, like a significant number of other education experts, Greene is worried that ESSA does not do enough to hold states accountable, allowing for states to run education however they so choose, even if they could be doing a better job.

"ESSA makes it possible to take many important steps forward. It also makes it possible for states to step backward. The steps that are taken will be decided state by state, and the same players who have worked hard to break down public education are still right there, still well-funded, still fully committed to the goals they have pursued for over a decade,” Greene says.

In order to remain hopeful, Greene encourages those in the education community to stay vigilante as new debates under the legislation arise to ensure that good things walk through the doors of opportunity opened by ESSA.

Read the full post.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/06/2016

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