Not too long ago, students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, and students with disabilities — who had long gone underserved in our nation’s schools — were invisible, hidden behind averages. But in 2002, federal legislation changed all that by requiring that each state have robust systems of standards, assessments, and accountability to help ensure that all students — regardless of their race, family income, home language, or disability status — get the education they need and deserve. In 2015, building on that earlier legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) challenged states to refine their accountability systems to incorporate multiple measures that could help identify schools and students that needed additional resources and support.

As states implement ESSA, Ed Trust continues to urge state and district leaders to go beyond compliance to serve all their students. From statewide assessments to transparency in data reporting, we offer resources and analyses that help education advocates push for strong, equity-focused accountability and improvement systems in their states.