Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

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Congress passed and the President signed December 10, 2015, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, now commonly referred to as Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)). ESSA is effective for the 2017 thru 2020 school years. Oregon’s current waiver from NCLBA, remains in effect until August 1, 2016.

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  • Requires states to adopt challenging state standards in reading, math and science. Oregon's State Board of Education has adopted state standards in reading, English language arts, math and science.
  • Levels of achievement aligned with entrance requirements for higher education and career technical education (CTE) institutions.

In addition, Oregon has board-adopted content standards in the following areas: health, physical education, world language, social sciences, and the arts


  • Student still will be tested in math and reading in grades 3 thru 8 and once in high school, and in science annually in grades 3-5, 6-8 and 10-12.
  • Allows states to use a single annual summative assessment. Oregon's current adopted assessment is Smarter Balanced.
  • Allows districts to use other nationally recognized tests in high school, as approved by the state.
  • The ESSA maintains the 95% testing participation requirement. Oregon created its own "opt out" policy and will decide how to include this into the state's accountability system.


  • Replaces adequate yearly progress (AYP) with a state defined system.
  • Data must still be broken out in sub groups of English language learners, students in special education, racial minorities and those in poverty.
  • State accountability must still include testing but must include other factors, such as but not limited to, school climate, teacher engagement, access and success in advanced course work.
  • The current structure of the Oregon report card remains the same.

School Improvement

  • Every three years the state must identify and intervene in the bottom 5 percent of lowest performing schools, and high schools where the graduation rates are less than 67 percent.
  • Districts must develop a Comprehensive Support and Improvement plan for schools identified; the plan must be approved and monitored by the State.
  • School improvement grants (SIG) were eliminated. The State must now reserve 7 percent of Title I-A for improvement of identified schools.

Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

  • Ends federally mandated highly qualified teacher requirements.
  • Does not require teacher or principal evaluation systems.
  • Senate Bill 290 (2015) and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) remain in effect. Those OARs are 581-022-1723, 581-022-1723 and 581-022-1724.

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Background Links

Initial Implementation Guide for the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), published by National School Boards Association (2016) - (566k This file is in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.)

Link to the federal Senate Bill 1177 for Every Student Succeeds Act (a.k.a. the reauthorization of  the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). 

Every Student Succeeds Bill - To reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves. (A 391 page document.)

Education Week article by Alyson Klein - ESEA Reauthorization: ESSA Explained (November 23, 2015)

Oregon Department of Education (ODE), ESSA contact person: Theresa Richards, Director of Federal Programs, (503) 947-5922.

Every Student Succeeds Act passed by Congress and enacted December 2015. (This file is in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

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Oregon's NCLB Waiver