Every Student Succeeds Act

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Under a new federal education law, all states are required to come up with plans for keeping their schools accountable. However, last week, U.S. Senators voted to roll back some of the rules within that law.

Now, the U.S. Department of Education will no longer tell states how to judge school quality, or how to identify low achieving schools, among other things.

The way School A-F Report Cards are calculated may soon change. 

The state Board of Education approved a new grading system on Thursday, and it will now go before the legislature for final approval.

The new system, set to go in to effect for the 2017-2018 school year, proposes using a single letter grade with no pluses or minuses. However, the overall report card will be presented like a dashboard, with seven different criteria adding up to one score.

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State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is asking Oklahomans for input as she creates a strategic education plan for Oklahoma schools.

The new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, ultimately rolls back the federal government’s footprint in state education policy. However, the law requires each state to submit a plan for academic goals and school accountability in order to receive federal funding.

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UPDATE (5/25): The Senate passed  HB3218 on Wednesday. It now awaits the governor's signature.

Lawmakers are considering a measure that would significantly reduce school testing.

On Monday, the House passed a bill that eliminates all tests that are not federally mandated. That includes five tests in the lower grades, and the seven end of instruction exams high schoolers take to graduate.

Eric Westervelt of the NPR Ed team is guest-hosting for the next few weeks on Here & Now, the midday news program from NPR and WBUR.

Now that President Obama has signed the new Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, a big question for many educators is: Will the changes help the populations most in need of better schools: students of color, students with disabilities and low-income students?

President Obama called it "a Christmas miracle. A bipartisan bill signing right here."

The "right here" was the South Court Auditorium, part of the White House complex. More importantly, the bipartisan bill being signed was the Every Student Succeeds Act — a long-overdue replacement of the unpopular federal education law known as No Child Left Behind.

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Education officials around the state are praising Congress for approving the Every Student Succeeds Act. State officials believe this new education law will correct many of the weaknesses in the No Child Left Behind Act.

The Senate voted 85-12 on Wednesday to pass the long-awaited rewrite of the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law. President Obama says he'll sign it Thursday.

The new version — called the Every Student Succeeds Act — returns much government oversight of schools to the states and curtails or eliminates the federal role in many areas. Critics of NCLB are celebrating its demise.

But the question now is, what exactly are states and local school districts going to do that they couldn't do before?