ESSA – Educators, “Seize the Moment!”

By Linda Marrs-Morford, IPLI Director

Photo taken from www.upi.com

Photo taken from www.upi.com

For many educators, it’s hard to get fired up about another major change in education, but the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (originally authorized in 1965), previously known as the No Child Left Behind Act (2001), and now Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) should.

It’s an historical time for educators.  Although the accountability piece and state testing is still a part of ESSA, states will have much more flexibility when it comes to determining teaching and learning objectives and accountability measures.  What does that mean for educators?  We now have a chance to “get it right.”  We know what to do; we just need to do it (the knowing/doing gap).

This is an opportunity for educators to get engaged in the major changes that will be occurring in our states.  It is our professional duty to impact and influence what is happening at the state level.  Our legislators and state education officials want to know and are willing to help, but we have to step-up and communicate with them.  I am challenging every educator to get involved —join state committees, contact your state legislators and members of state boards of education and departments of education.   Let’s “seize the moment” and make ESSA changes educator-driven rather than another NCLB!