ESSA implementation across different states.

Ward-Sell, Krista,

Topic: ESSA

Darling-Hammond, L. Soung, B. Channa, M. Cook, H. Lam L., Mercer, C. Podolsky, A. and Stosich, E.L.  Pathways to New Accountability Through the Every Student Succeeds Act (Palo Alto: Learning Policy Institute, 2016). Retrieved from


A report on the proper implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which places an emphasis on local control of accountability in three areas. Deep learning, “Professionally skilled and committed educators, Adequate and appropriate resources that enable and support the first two pillars.” The emphasis being on continual rounds of improvement. This report documents the structure that multiple states have put into effect, highlighting some of the best strategies for compliance.  The part of this report that specifically concerns us as librarians is the third pillar, the adequate and appropriate supports. While the report categorizes most of the support coming from counsellors and social workers. There is a part to play here for librarians, both in the instructional and the support columns. 


I sit on the California program committee for my school site and have done for the last three years, I will most likely continue to sit on it for the next year. This local control group has input into how to fix the problems sourced from local stakeholders. Getting the ear of members of the LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Program) or sitting in on these meetings can be very helpful in the struggle to fight for more of the resources your library program needs. The description of this program and the contrast this report gives to other state’s plans for accountability is interesting. This report is worth reading for anyone who wants to know more about how different states meet the accountability requirements set out by ESSA.

The Voucher System

Katy Golden


Catapano, J. (n.d.). What is a voucher system? Retrieved from

I thought this article was helpful because I had a lot of questions about the voucher system. This simple article articulates both the pros and cons of a voucher system and its effect on schools, students, and discrimination. It also briefly discusses the few states that have experimented with the voucher system and how it has (and might) affect curriculum and standards in both public and private schools.

I really appreciated this arrticle because I thought it was a pretty unbiased and comprehensive overview of the concept. In Michigan, there are very strong feelings about the voucher system – and charter schools in general – so it was nice to read the justification behind the system and see that it can have good intentions. I don’t know what will happen with the public and private school system, but after reading this article, I feel like I have more of the facts.

Legislation Influences Curriculum Development

Alpers, Jessica

CA-Curriculum Assessment

Robinson, G. (1961). Legislation Influences Curriculum Development.Educational Leadership, 19, 26-30.

Summary: This article begins with a discussion on how “authority for regulating both the content and conduct of public education in the United States resides in the state legislatures.” Most states have given power to the school boards, however. These bodies all give input in what subject matter is taught in public schools, especially in history, health, and safety. These bodies also set rules to prohibit the teaching of certain subjects, such as subjects that are religious in Utah or the facts of birth control in Michigan. The discussion continues by describing how some states set lists of subjects that must be taught, then gives a history of how curriculum legislation evolved in the first half of the 20th century. The second half of the article gives a long discussion about financing and finance legislation.

Evaluation: While this article is over 50 years old, I believe is gives some good information. It is a good article for beginning research in this area as it gives good background knowledge. I felt that the finance section was a bit off topic, but that is because I was primarily looking for information about curriculum and subject matter. The discussion was still very informative.

The Every Student Succeeds Act: An ESSA Overview

Hudson, Evelyn


Klein, A. (2016, March 31). The every student succeeds act: An ESSA overview. Retrieved from

This article gives an excellent overview of the ESSA for those who are unfamiliar with it. The article breaks down the ESSA into different parts such as “Accountability Goals” and “Testing” to clearly explain the coming changes. There are also videos in several sections for those who need additional explanation.
As someone who knew nothing about the ESSA before this course, I feel much more knowledgeable after reading this article. I appreciated the use of text and videos to really drive the concepts home.

Every Student Succeeds Act to Boost Libraries

Felix Davila III
Peet, L., & Vercelletto, C. (2016). ESSA signed into law. Library Journal, 141(1), 12-14. Retrieved from
Peet and Vercelletto’s article primarily details a new law that was signed by the Obama administration in late 2015. The Every Student Succeeds Act will allow states to determine their own standards for education, so long as they reach a preset difficulty standard, while also allowing federal funding to be distributed to school libraries.

While brief, this article derives its importance, in my opinion, by showing how political action can factor into the success of libraries. Overall, librarians must also consider, beyond just their effectiveness at work, how they can positively impact the industry toward improving itself toward better funding, opportunities and employment. It is a law such as this that can send a message to school districts that school libraries should be looked upon with importance.

CA-Starting the conversation about school libraries and ESSA

Emily Ratica


Church, A. (2016). Starting the conversation about school libraries and ESSA. Knowledge

Quest, 45(1), 4.

This short snippet, written by Audrey Church, the 2016–2017 AASL President, quickly reviews the American Association of School Librarians’ official position on the importance of school library programs in light of the new Every Student Succeeds Act.  She reestablishes that “an ESLP [effective school library program] is led by a certified school librarian who is a teacher and instructional leader…[and] school librarians play in instruction in various types of literacies and learning” (4). 

While short, this article gives a clear message which is an important reminder for all: Librarians and libraries are IMPORTANT! It is easy to get caught up in our daily activities as we go throughout the school year, but this reminds us that it is essential that we advocate for our programs at our schools and now we have federal legislation to back us up.  


CA-What Educators NEED TO KNOW about ESSA

Emily Ratica


Fennell, M. (2016). What educators NEED TO KNOW about ESSA. Educational Leadership, 73(9), 62-65.

The new “Every Student Succeeds Act” replaces the previously frustrating and often baffling “No Child Left Behind.” Many educators are honestly excited about this new legislation, as it removes items like the necessity of each school to meet their AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress), specific federal teacher requirements (in addition to state requirements), and changes to teacher evaluation. It also adds in items, like how schools will implement new standards that gear students toward college and career readiness, more funding toward professional development and teacher-led professional growth, and, most importantly for librarians, actual funding for school library programs.

This article provides a good overview of the new legislation and how all professionals can become involved it its interpretation and implementation. It is essential for all educators involved in every level of education to get to know and fully understand ESSA, as we must be the ones actively advocating for our programs within our sites and districts.

A win for all

Bradshaw, Trina


In this article, Miller describes the transformation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind) into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These important pieces of legislation guide how schools operate and in some cases can determine funding and staffing. One extremely important addition is the inclusion of libraries, validating the important contribution they make to student learning and enabling funding to support their development. The article also discusses how this could have a positive impact on public and academic libraries as well. Public librarians are often left attempting to aid students when their is no school librarian on staff to help them. They often don’t have the necessary skills and resources needed to truly help. This support of school librarians will help lessen this burden. In addition, academic librarians will benefit from having more students that are well trained in library use in the lower grades. Finally, the author acknowledges the hard work by stakeholder groups in making sure that libraries were adequately represented in this important legislation, including the American Library Association (ALA), the American Library Association Washington (ALAWASH), and library advocates at all levels. This success truly shows what can be attained through the political process when there is the patience required to move something forward over time and maintain commitment.


The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was a hovering threat that caused many changes in many schools across the nation. After years of backlash, it is satisfying to know that the call for change has finally been answered. Though this article talks about many of the benefits and successes, it does not go into detail about the language of the actual legislation or how it may affect accountability measures. It would be beneficial to include some of those details so that librarians can spread the information to the decision makers in their schools and districts.