There is a great deal education leaders don’t yet know about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including its prospects for making school reform work by advancing equity and excellence in our country’s public schools.
One thing is for certain: states, not the federal government, are now more directly in the driver’s seat when it comes to school accountability, closing the achievement gap, and determining what constitutes teacher effectiveness. The days of federally-mandated, narrowly-defined measures of student learning, and rigid approaches to turning around low-performing schools, could be over.
Successful implementation of ESSA requires active engagement of accomplished educators. In this report, we explore the potential that exists for the expertise of accomplished Illinois teachers to usher in a new era of teaching and learning in the state.
The decisions and actions that Illinois policymakers take today, along with the decisions and actions of teachers and administrators, can ignite teachers to help realize ESSA’s full potential to improve Illinois teaching and learning. And more than 5,000 teacher leaders in Illinois are already networked and eager to help lead the hard work necessary to achieve the success ESSA is aimed to address.
We are deeply appreciative of the Joyce Foundation's support of this report.