An Analysis of a Political Topic in Education


The recent replacement of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has received significant attention. The change is expected to have a significant impact on education, considering the interventions that the policy holds. This article will analyze the policy from the development, impact, execution, communication of policies, and effectiveness. The article postulates that the promotion of equity and collaboration in the education system were some of the factors that contributed to policy development. The article observes that through the policy, the collaboration will be promoted significantly in the system. To promote academic achievement, ESSA advocates for teamwork in the education system; under the law, educators, communities, and parents must collaborate to ensure that students’ needs are addressed. Furthermore, this article concedes that there will be more post-secondary access and success through the policy because it supports personalized education throughout students’ education trajectories. For execution, educators need to be trained and prepared; states are expected to ensure the professional advancement of educators since they form the basis of education. Moreover, all the stakeholders need to understand the policies; this article observes that there have been efforts to enhance communication by creating an ESSA website. Based on the interventions of the policy, this article postulates that the policy will be effective in promoting equity and academic achievement in education.


In recent years, the need to reduce inequalities in education has received significant attention. The recent desire to improve education has sired the movement from the No Child Left Behind Act to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in 2015 by Congress and President Barack Obama. ESSA has made a noticeable contribution to education by promoting collaboration and teamwork between all the stakeholders to support and embrace achievement for every child. With this broad vision of reducing educational inequalities, the policy strengthens the integration of community-based strategies to reduce the systemic under-resourcing of needy students. According to the policy, investments in education will be directed towards the place and evidence-based interventions created by the local teachers, parents, administrators, and community members to enhance educational opportunities. With the prospected contribution of ESSA to reducing inequalities and promoting educational achievement, the movement from NCLB to ESSA is a significant aspect that cannot be overlooked.

The Policy Development

In 2015, the NCLB was replaced by ESSA under President Barack Obama and congress. The main goal for development was to ensure that every child receives a fair, equitable, and quality education (McGuinn, 2016). The law postulates that every child from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary has a right to access a standard education that prepares them for college and career life. Under the policy, every state has a responsibility to ensure that students receive adequate opportunities and resources to help them achieve excellent academic performance. Furthermore, the development was inspired by the need to change school accountability. Although the previous testing requirements of NCLB were retained, the law changed the accountability plan from the federal government to the states (Darling-Hammond et al., 2016). Under the law, the state government is responsible for deciding how schools serve their students; every state is required to hold meaningful consultations with the teachers to develop an accountability plan.


Increased Collaboration in Education

Through the policy, there will be more collaboration between stakeholders in the educational system—the law advocates for the inclusion of parents and educators in the accountability process by the states. Parents and educators are given the power to evaluate the educational plans developed by states to ensure that the needs of every student are covered. Also, they are given the authority to participate actively in developing achievement and accountability goals for struggling students. This intervention aims to reduce the achievement gap for students with special needs by providing an education that addresses their needs. Furthermore, the intervention aims to increase the graduation rates for students with special needs and the provision of quality education that prepares students for career life.

The promotion of post-secondary education access and success

Through the policy, most students are expected to access and succeed in their post-secondary education. The policy enhances the development of a robust foundation for students by supporting preschool education (Hackmann, 2019). Under the law, preschool students must access high-quality education, supporting long-term success. The states, parents, and educators are required to collaborate in creating performance goals for students and establishing education plans that address every child’s needs. Additionally, based on the fact that the policy calls for a rigorous and personalized education for preschool students, the goal of ensuring that individuals reach post-secondary education can be achieved. Personalized education can create enough confidence in individuals to guide them through their educational trajectory.

Increased Equity in Education

There will be a significant increase in inequality in education. The primary purpose of ESSA was to ensure that all students access resources equally to bridge the education gap (Darrow, 2016). Under the policy, states should assess the areas of weakness in low-performing schools every three years. They are then expected to develop strategies and plans to help address the issues to boost their academic performance. Furthermore, the policy advocates for the identification of community-based factors in the development of academic plans. It postulates that factors such as housing instability and food insecurity contribute significantly to underperformance, and therefore they should be considered in the accountability process. By taking a broad approach to addressing factors that affect student outcomes, inequality in education will be reduced significantly.

Strategic Execution

Educator Development, Retention, and Advancement

To execute the policy, states will have to develop strategies that enhance educator preparation. Educators form the basis of the policy’s success, and their contribution to education cannot be overlooked (Weiss & McGuinn, 2017). To ensure that the policy is implemented, states must develop strategies that support professional growth and development. Educators will have to be prepared and trained on ways of dealing with different students, especially those with special needs. Furthermore, they must be guided through promoting parent involvement in education. With the law’s main focus being the promotion of diversity and collaboration in education, it is crucial for educators to be well prepared.

Performance of A Needs Assessment

For the states to succeed in the promotion of accountability, they will have to understand the needs of students in their schools. The policy advocates for states to develop plans that address coordination, challenging assessments and standards, and accountability (Mathis & Trujillo, 2016). However, without understanding student needs, this intervention cannot be successful. Furthermore, states will have to encourage parents’ and educators’ contributions to the accountability process. The law obliges the involvement of parents and educators in the development of educational plans and goals to ensure that all students are covered. Therefore, states will have to devise ways to motivate and encourage the participation of all the stakeholders.

Communication of Policies to Communities of Interest

For everyone to understand the policy, media and internet platforms were used. The key documents of the policy were made available on the ESSA web page (Adler-Greene, 2019). This made it easy for the communities of interest to understand the policies. Furthermore, direct communications were held with educators and parents in school districts. They were informed of how the policy would affect their profession and their responsibilities in executing and implementing the law. This made it easy for them to understand and participate in policy execution.

Evaluation of its Effect and Effectiveness

Based on the policy’s focus on providing personalized education, it is more likely to enhance educational outcomes. With the needs of every child being the core of the education plan and strategy, school performance is more likely to be improved (Adler-Greene, 2019). States, educators, and parents will concentrate on helping students by addressing the challenges they face in their education trajectory, which will enhance their performance. Furthermore, the policy is more likely to be effective by changing accountability from the federal to the state government. States will be able to assess and understand the performance needs of different schools to strategize evidence-based intervention; this will ensure that energy and resources are directed towards essential needs that could severely affect performance.


The introduction of ESSA in education will play an essential role. Collaboration and teamwork between all the stakeholders will be enhanced, which will, in turn, promote academic achievement. This intervention will help address the barriers that challenge educational performance and achievement for struggling students. Under the policy, resources and investments in education will be focused on reducing barriers that could affect academic outcomes, making it easy for students in their educational trajectory. Moreover, the policy will be instrumental because it supports a continuous needs assessment by states to promote the development of place-based and evidence-based strategies that meet every child’s needs. This strategic assessment will enhance educational performance among students of different backgrounds by addressing factors like food security that could lead to underperformance. Inequalities in education will be reduced, and students will access resources that help them achieve better academic outcomes. Individuals that struggle with education, such as students with disabilities, are also catered for in the policy. They will be able to participate in an education process that cares about their needs and works hard to address them. To execute the policy, educators will have to be prepared since they form the basis of educational attainment. Preparing educators will enhance the effectiveness of the policy since they will be able to strategize ways of teaching students from diverse backgrounds.


Adler-Greene, L. (2019). Every Student Succeeds Act: Are schools making sure every student succeeds? Touro L. Rev., 35, 11. Web.

Darling-Hammond, L., Bae, S., Cook-Harvey, C. M., Lam, L., Mercer, C., Podolsky, A., & Stosich, E. L. (2016). Pathways to new accountability through the Every Student Succeeds Act. Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute. Web.

Darrow, A. A. (2016). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) What it means for students with disabilities and music educators. General Music Today, 30(1), 41-44. Web.

Hackmann, D. G. Manuscript Number: 4441 Title: An Analysis of College and Career Readiness Emphasis in ESSA State Plans Manuscript re-submitted: 2019. Web.

Mathis, W. J., & Trujillo, T. M. (2016). Lessons from NCLB for the Every Student Succeeds Act. National Education Policy Center. Web.

McGuinn, P. (2016). From no child left behind to every student succeeds act: Federalism and the education legacy of the Obama administration. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 46(3), 392-415. Web.

Weiss, J., & McGuinn, P. (2017). The evolving role of the state education agency in the era of ESSA and Trump: Past, present, and uncertain future. Web.

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ChalkyPapers. "An Analysis of a Political Topic in Education." October 27, 2022.