By Rob Muller, Dean of National Louis University’s National College of Education, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education, and Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education.
President Barack Obama greets eighth-grader Sofia Rios and the other stage participants prior to a bill signing ceremony for S. 1177, Every Student Succeeds Act, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building Dec. 10, 2015. Official White House photo by Pete Souza.
We are pleased to note the December 10 enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the long overdue successor to No Child Left Behind. After years of negotiations and political gridlock, this bill is the result of a bipartisan effort that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and House, and signed by the President.
The new law’s provisions regarding teacher evaluation, standards and accountability, investments in early childhood education, innovation and other priority initiatives are worthy of note.
The new law shifts primary implementation responsibility from the federal to state and local government, providing us with a significant opportunity to address some of the shortfalls of No Child Left behind, while simultaneously reaffirming our commitment to high standards and educational excellence for all learners, regardless of race, ethnicity, socio-economic or educational advantage. We hope that state and local leaders will take advantage of these changes to support what is best for our students, and effective educational practice.
For over 100 years, the National College of Education has been an innovator in preparing educators to help all students succeed. In coming months, we will be working with our colleagues in Illinois and nationally to ensure that the law’s enactment provides for the best educator and teacher preparation possible.
To help make that possible, we’ll be in communication with the more than 50,000 National Louis University education graduates across the state and nation. We’re looking forward to ESSA’s effective implementation in the best interest or America’s students, teachers and families.