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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Resources

ESSA District Resources

Additional Information

Non-Regulatory Guidance and other resources from the U. S. Department of Education

Other ESSA Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 is the ESSA Consolidated State Plan?

​The state plan under ESSA will include a description of Oregon’s:

  • Consultation/Stakeholder Engagement System of Performance Management
  • Challenging State Academic Standards and Assessments
  • Statewide Accountability System and School Support and Improvement
  • Long-Term Goals and Interim Measures for ELA/Math Proficiency and Graduation Rates
  • Supporting Excellent Educators
  • Supporting All Students

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.


When does ESSA go into effect?

The 2016-2017 school year will be a transition period, with full implementation of most provisions effective in the 2017-2018 school year. In the fall of 2017, ODE will run the new accountability model to identify schools that may be designated as Comprehensive or Targeted Support schools. ODE staff will work with these schools and districts throughout 2017-18 to conduct a needs assessment and additional local data. Schools will be formally identified as Comprehensive or Targeted Support schools in the fall of 2018.

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.

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 2016: ODE 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 April 27, 2017
  • Final Plan submitted May 3, 2017

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 on-line surveys, conference, and stakeholder meetings.

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 and implementation of Oregon’s State Plan. Send your comments or questions to


Please contact Meg Boyd, Strategic Communications Analyst, with questions or for more information.