Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law on December 10, 2015, requires that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers. It ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students’ progress toward those high standards. The law also helps to support and grow local innovations in education – including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators. ESSA provides for the expansion of high-quality charter schools and increases access to high-quality preschool – one of the most powerful things we can do to ensure opportunity for students, by giving our youngest learners a strong start.

The law shows unprecedented support for career and technical education, including CTE in definition of a well-rounded education, requiring coordination of ESSA and CTE plans by State and local education agencies, supporting the integration of academic and CTE coursework, and encouraging States to include the progress of students in attaining career and technical education proficiencies on State report cards.

Visit the Department’s Website for important updates on ESSA implementation.

Links to Legislation


Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (PDF, 972 KB)


Sharon Miller
(202) 245-7846