• 24 May 2019
The Every Student Succeeds Act And How It Affects Tutors

The Every Student Succeeds Act And How It Affects Tutors

Jul 13, 2017

What tutors should know about The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) before it goes into effect for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year.

In September of 2015, the No Child Left Behind Act was replaced with the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Act is going into effect for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year and, with its enactment, individual states are tasked with submitting their own proposals for academic rules. It’s important to understand what the Every Student Succeeds Act is, how it’s different from No Child Left Behind, and how the new rules will affect tutors. Read on to learn more about the changes it will bring.

What is ESSA?

The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed by Barack Obama in 2015. It’s a bipartisan act that affects K-12 students, taking effect in schools this upcoming September. ESSA specifically gives more power to states to have a say in their school decisions and reduces federal power in this realm. States have each been tasked with drafting their proposals for academic rules. Some have already submitted their proposals, but all states must do so by September before the start of the academic year. There are many differences between ESSA and No Child Left Behind (NCLB), but the major points to know include:

  • Elimination of the requirement for 100% of students to be proficient in math and reading. Instead, ESSA requires that states develop their own accountability systems. States are required to hold students to challenging academic standards within these accountability systems, but the states are to decide what those are.
  • Accountability systems are required to include a non-academic standard along with academic measures of performance and progress. Absenteeism is an example of a non-academic measure that can be reported.
  • For the lowest-performing schools, states must intervene to improve performance.
  • States are required to administer standardized tests each year and must report the results.
  • States must identify an area in need of support and improvement within schools every three years and must focus on advancing that area.

Other new points within ESSA include the need to include parent feedback on state proposal planning, the requirement for the creation of a national center focused on children with learning disabilities, and a handful of others. There are a number of measures that will also remain from the NCLB act. For an in-depth, comprehensive view of the similarities and the differences, the ACSD provides a helpful outline.

How will ESSA affect tutors?

ESSA brings a few new opportunities for tutors and will affect them in the following three ways:

  1. As part of ESSA, states are now allowed to reserve up to 3% of school funding for student support services, such as academic tutoring. If they choose to do so, states will compile a list of high-quality tutors to provide services to students, creating valuable opportunities for tutors should you fit the bill. Make sure you stay up to date on your state’s ESSA planning through your state government’s website (or follow along with developments through resources such as the74million.org) and communicate with the state should you be interested in joining.

  2. With regards to required testing, ESSA’s timeline is similar to the NCLB’s in that students from third to eighth grade must be tested once annually in reading and math, high school students must be tested once throughout their four years, and students must be tested once in science in grade, middle, and high school. However, states are no longer required to administer their own state’s standardized tests and ESSA limits the number of students that can take “alternate” tests. Therefore, tutors can expect to see more schools using SAT and ACT testing, allowing for more tutoring opportunities in these areas outside of those limited to college admissions.

  3. ESSA’s requirement for accountability systems to include non-academic factors will open more doors for tutoring. Aside from chronic absenteeism, some examples of these factors include college readiness and advanced coursework completion. With a heavier emphasis on these factors, tutors will be able to market services such as college preparedness sessions to high school seniors, or specifically offer to work with students on AP-level courses if their state has highlighted these non-academic factors within ESSA.

With ESSA’s enactment on the horizon, it’s important to understand and be prepared for the key changes it will bring. With these changes, however, come new opportunities for tutors to highlight specific services and to grow business.


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