A thriving economy and a workforce prepared for it will
increasingly demand that more adults earn
postsecondary credentials. Ensuring that students
successfully move from middle grades into high school, then into
college or technical education programs, is critical if states
hope to boost their adult educational attainment levels.
To answer this question for stakeholders across the region,
SREB’s benchmarking team reviewed Every Student Succeeds Act
plans submitted by SREB states in 2017. ESSA, signed into law in
2015, replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 as the latest
reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education
Act. ESSA maintains some of the basic requirements for state
accountability systems from NCLB, while also giving states new
flexibility in shaping many aspects of their systems.
According to the law, states submitted plans to the U.S.
SREB report can serve as a guide as work continues
Big changes don’t happen overnight. And when states adopted
higher education standards, it was only the first step in a
long-term effort to improve schools so all students graduate high
school with what they need to be ready for college and careers.
Next came the complex work of implementing the
standards. Schools needed textbooks, curricula and lesson plans
designed with the new standards in mind. Teachers needed training
to shift their classroom strategies to help students meet the