For Immediate Release: December 9, 2015
Contact: Renée Rybak Lang, renee.lang@nasbe.org, 703-740-4841

National Association of State Boards of Education Applauds the Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act

Alexandria, VA – The National Association of State Boards of Education welcomes the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This bipartisan compromise, passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and the Senate, will bring needed change to the nation’s public education governance.

“ESSA gives state and local leaders flexibility to meet the needs of diverse students in their states,” said NASBE Executive Director Kristen Amundson. “We know that ensuring that every child is prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship will be a challenge for states to address in the coming years, particularly as our schools become more diverse. The nation’s state boards of education stand ready to redouble their commitment to educational equity. ESSA gives the policy certainty they need to make long-term plans to better support teachers, students, and schools.”

NASBE is a bipartisan organization representing the citizen volunteers who serve on state boards of education. In recommendations for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act made earlier this year, NASBE urged support for strong state and local leadership while promoting meaningful accountability, encouraging continuous improvement, and establishing systems for better supporting the nation’s educators.

The organization’s leadership welcomed the bill’s passage:

NASBE President Mary Lord, member-at-large of the DC State Board of Education, noted that ESSA “preserves and strengthens transparency for measuring the achievement levels of diverse groups of students but gives states more running room and authority in such key areas as accountability and school turnarounds. State boards of education are ready to play a greater leadership role in this new era.”

NASBE President-Elect James McNiece, president of the Kansas State Board of Education, also praised the legislation. “ESSA provides states with stability and confidence to innovate in ways that will serve all our students equitably.”

Dr. Jay Barth, a member of the Arkansas State Board of Education, who will assume the office of president-elect in 2016, echoed the importance of ESSA. “For years now, state boards across the country have had to spend considerable energy on the waiver process and have been in a constant state of flux, not knowing what the future of federal education policy will be. This provides us much-needed stability so that we can shift our energies to innovations that will serve all our students best in delivering the educations they deserve.”

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America’s state and territorial boards of education. Our principal objectives are to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking, advocate equality of access to educational opportunity, promote excellence in the education of all students, and ensure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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