Press Release

Chairman Kline, Ranking Member Scott, and members of the House Education and Workforce Committee, thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective on implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This perspective is informed by The Education Trust’s long history of working alongside educators, advocates, and policymakers to close gaps in opportunity and achievement separating low-income students and students of color from their peers.

Allow me to begin as we always do at Ed Trust, with the data. It’s become popular to characterize the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era as lost years for our nation’s students — years in which “unrealistic goals” and “test and punish” systems shackled educators’ hands and yielded nothing but rote instruction and shallow learning. But the data suggest a different story altogether: Since we’ve had federal requirements for annual testing, full public reporting, and serious accountability for the results of every group of children, achievement among black, Latino, and low-income students has improved.