The No Child Left Behind Act

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Literature Review:
Every Student Succeeds Act
Suzanne Hatton, BSW, LSW
University of Kentucky-SW 630

This literature review seeks to explore the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), a bipartisan reauthorization and revision to the No Child Left Behind Act (2002). The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the first law passed in fourteen years to address Reneeded changes to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Considered progressive and innovative at the time of its passage, NCLB was the most dramatic and aggressive legislation enacted in decades and afforded the federal government enormous oversight of schools in the U.S. Passage of ESSA represents a shift back to state governance of schools and, whether
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Instead, President Obama continued to use federal authority to guide and enforce state reforms, leading some to call his endorsement “NCLB on steroids” (Mathis, 2011). When congress and the administration recognized the need to rewrite the legislation, they were unable to formulate a bipartisan agreement to ensure passage of a new bill until December, 2015 – fourteen years after passing the NCLB Act.

Literature Review
Numerous studies have detailed the small successes and numerous failures associated with NCLB and the need for change (Aldeman, 2015, Dee & Jacob, 2010, Hess, 2015). Because it is still so new, there is less scholarship evident regarding the Every Student Succeeds Act. When ESSA was made into law in December, 2015, popular media hailed its’ passage as a referendum against the NCLB and a cause for celebration. The Wall Street Journal described it as “the largest devolution of federal control to the states in a quarter-century” and the New York Times described ESSA as “the end of an era in which the federal government aggressively policed public school performance, and returned control to states and local districts.”
One of the major changes brought about by ESSA is expected to be its’ effect on rural schools (Brenner, 2016). NCLB was especially criticized for its impact on rural schools (e.g., Eppley, 2009; Jimerson, 2005; Reeves, 2003).
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