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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSAlogoEvery Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and affords states greater flexibility. The new law extends the promise of an excellent, well-rounded education to every student, regardless of race, family income, home language, or disability. ESSA encourages schools and educators to innovate and create systems that address local needs. As a part of this work, the Oregon Department of Education remains committed to designing a State Plan that reflects the state’s education priorities. 

Draft State Plan for Public Comment

The Oregon Department of Education is proud to release Oregon’s ESSA State Plan for public comment.  The following documents are posted:  (1) an overview version that provides a summary of Oregon’s State Plan and (2)  a technical document that  will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in April.

  1. The Every Student Succeeds Act:  Ensuring Equity and Excellence for Every Oregon Learner – A Draft Overview of Oregon's State Plan (summary document) Spanish version of summary document
  2. Oregon’s ESSA Consolidated State Plan technical document (full document)

Key Principles Guiding the Work
  • Designing a collaborative plan that will improve both teaching and learning and student achievement in Oregon
  • Improving student outcomes and boosting graduation rates
  • Closing the state’s achievement and opportunity gaps and having a state plan founded on educational equity
  • High-quality instruction and educational leadership; every student should be taught by an effective teacher and every school led by a strong and effective leader
  • Leverage effective strategies to prepare all students for success in the workplace and college
Please share your suggestions or send questions to:

ESSA State Plan Development

As Oregon assembles a plan for federal review, it will apply the following lenses:
  • EQUITY: Does it support equitable outcomes and learning opportunities for all of Oregon’s students?
    • Does it align with Oregon’s vision, values, and goals?
    • Does it align with other parts of the state plan?
  • FEASIBILITY: Does it reflect state and local capacity to support implementation (human, organizational, fiscal)?
  • EFFICIENCY: Does it streamline processes where possible, avoids creating unnecessary burdens and duplicative systems or processes?


On Dec. 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a long-awaited overhaul of federal education law. Passed with bipartisan support, ESSA represents a shift from broad federal oversight of primary and secondary education to greater flexibility and decision making at the state and local levels. 

December 2016 Draft Framework and Summary

  • Draft Framework of Oregon’s ESSA State Plan (Please see the revised draft State Plan for Public Comment above) 
  • Summary of Draft Framework

ESSA Resources

ESSA Community Forums

ESSA Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)?

    The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and was signed into law in December 2015. ESSA is the major federal legislation aimed at supplementing public school funding to support the learning needs of students living in poverty, English Learners, and other students who have been educationally disadvantaged. This legislation was first passed in 1965, originally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty.” 

    ESSA returns a great deal of autonomy and authority to states, including the flexibility to design accountability and support systems that work to improve outcomes for their students and schools. The new law encourages states and schools to innovate, while at the same time maintains a focus on equity and accountability. In place of the NCLB one-size-fits-all approach, states have the flexibility to set their own goals for improving student achievement and graduation rates. States also have more flexibility in how they identify and support struggling schools and districts. 

  • What does ESSA mean for Oregon?

    While the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) must develop and submit a state plan for approval to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) that meets the requirements in ESSA, the ODE will design and implement an equitable, student-centered State Plan that honors the priorities of Oregon students, families, educators, and community stakeholders. So, while ESSA offers Oregon an opportunity as a state to enhance our larger state vision, it also reinforces the fact that we have many systems that are working well. The Every Student Succeeds Act provides Oregon with additional leverage to advance this work. The department is committed to ensuring that Oregon’s State Plan represents the concerns of all stakeholders and our collective commitment to the success of Oregon’s students. 

  • What are the main provisions in ESSA?

    ESSA requires states to:
    • Adopt challenging academic content standards that align to higher education and relevant career and technical education (CTE) expectations;
    • Annually administer state tests in reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once during high school, as well as science assessments in selected grade bands;
    • Require a 95 percent test participation in the state tests by all student groups and also allows states to create their own testing opt-out laws;
    • Establish long-term and interim goals for achievement by all students and each student group;
    • Develop an accountability system that “meaningfully differentiates” school performance annually. Accountability measures must include academic achievement, graduation rate, an additional achievement measure that may be a growth measure, performance of all student groups, achievement of English Learners and additional measures of school quality or student success (such as students’ access to rigorous coursework, school climate and absenteeism rates);
    • Use their accountability systems to identify schools and districts in need of comprehensive support, as well as those in need of targeted support due to one or more persistently underperforming groups of students;
    • Provide support for schools and districts identified as needing comprehensive and targeted support; and
    • Implement plans that ensure equitable access to effective teachers for students living in poverty and students of color.

  • When does ESSA go into effect?

    The 2016-2017 school year will be a transition period, with full implementation of the new state plan effective with the 2017-2018 school year. ​​

    Current ESEA programs as authorized under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) will remain in effect for the 2016-2017 school year with a few exceptions:

    • Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT) requirements have been eliminated, effective in 2016-17. See ODE’s ESSA-HQT​​ brief for further guidance.
    • The ESEA waiver requirements expired on August 1, 2016.
    • States must continue interventions in schools identified as priority and focus schools during the 2016-2017 school year. Funding for 2016-2017 will be allocated under NCLB rules.

  • What is the ESSA Consolidated State Plan?

    The state plan under ESSA will include a description of Oregon’s:
    • academic standards and assessments;
    • accountability system and report card;
    • state-level goals for student performance;
    • system of support for struggling schools and districts;
    • equity plan to ensure economically disadvantaged students and students of color have equitable access to effective teachers; and
    • systems of support for all students.

    In addition, the consolidated state plan will be comprehensive, incorporating each of the federal programs under ESSA. This will encourage greater cross-program coordination, planning and implementation, and alignment with Oregon’s vision and priorities for improving outcomes for all students. 

  • Do local ESSA plans change in the 2016-17 school year?

    ​No. The requirements for local district plans for federal program spending and implementation remain the same in 2016-17. As districts begin planning for ESSA implementation, they must be sure to engage their stakeholders in the process to reflect their communities’ needs. 

  • What is the timeline for developing and submitting the state plan?

    April - June 2016ODE engaged stakeholder work groups and the ESSA advisory committee to provide initial recommendations on key areas of the state plan

    • Stakeholder Input
    • Community Forums
    • ESSA Workgroups
    • ESSA Advisory Committee

    July - August 2016:

    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Draft framework for state plan
    • Work groups review and provide feedback

    September - December 2016:

    • Begin drafting state plan
    • Plan adjusted based on final USDE regulations
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • Solicit public input
    • Present to State board for review in October

    January - April 2017:

    • ​State Board approval
    • Solicit public input
    • Final Plan submitted April 3

    Implementation 2017-18 School Year

  • How is Oregon developing its state plan and engaging with stakeholders?

    ODE has endeavored to engage stakeholders in meaningful dialogue about their values, priorities, and hopes for Oregon’s students and schools. To date, ODE has:
    • Launched regional community forum conversations;
    • Established technical work groups​ to develop recommendations under key areas of federal flexibility: Standards & Assessment, Accountability, School Improvement, and Educator Effectiveness;
    • Reviewed and discussed work group recommendations with an external advisory committee; and
    • Collected input on recommendations through conference presentations.​

    In addition to the four key areas mentioned above, ODE staff members are working to address reauthorization of other programs, including the education of migrant children, at-risk students, student support and academic enrichment grants, homeless education, and 21st century community learning centers. All of these components are required elements in Oregon’s State Plan, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. 

  • How can I be involved?

    More than ever before, this new law creates an opportunity for stakeholders to play a more active role in the creation of state policy and for ODE to foster relationships that will strengthen implementation and the launch of new initiatives. As we gain momentum in developing Oregon’s State Plan, we want to ensure that you are informed and understand how you can play an active role in this work. Your feedback is very important to ODE’s development of Oregon’s State Plan. 

    We invite you to provide input in the following ways:

    • Online – ODE will post key questions and decision points along with surveys and other mechanisms for the public to provide comment on our ESSA webpage​ beginning in November.
    • In-Person – ODE staff will gather feedback at fall conferences (including those held by the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Oregon Education Association, Oregon School Boards Association and Oregon School Personnel Association) and tribal meetings, and will engage in extensive targeted outreach throughout the development of the State Plan.


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