Missouri Board of Education Weighs in on Every Student Succeeds Act


Today Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education presented the State Board of Education with an overview of new federal legislation dubbed the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, that is replacing No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Department staff indicated that they do not expect major shifts in Missouri’s current education policy as a result of ESSA.

“The increased flexibility provides the chance to work together to do what we know works for children in our state,” said Commissioner Margie Vandeven. “Missouri is well-positioned to use the new legislation to improve opportunities for students and teachers.”

The act returns responsibility to the states in holding schools accountable and for helping school districts, educators and students find success in classrooms. ESSA outlines parameters for state accountability systems, but the act gives Missouri the flexibility to design an accountability system that best meets the needs of Missouri students.

The act maintains the current assessment requirements which the state carries out through the Missouri Assessment Program or MAP tests. It also reaffirms that states are in control of academic standards and assessments. ESSA will not affect the state’s review of the Missouri Learning Standards, which is expected to wrap up this spring.

ESSA ends the federal practice of prescribing specific reforms for educator evaluation and support systems. Missouri will move forward with its Missouri Educator Evaluation System. ESSA will allow Missouri to continue to use the Missouri Educator Standards and provide a model educator evaluation system for districts.

The Department will continue updating the public about the law as federal officials create new rules and regulations for implementing ESSA. The rulemaking process will take up to a year once the public starts to give its input.