Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December 2015, amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and replacing No Child Left Behind provisions. With a strong, proven accountability system, Florida is already ahead of most of the nation as it relates to the requirements laid out in ESSA. Student performance has consistently improved since Florida introduced rigorous accountability measures, and the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) is confident that this plan meets the intent of ESSA using current policies and practices. States were required to submit a state plan describing their approach to ESSA compliance by September 18, 2017. Florida was given an extension to October 13, 2017, due to Hurricane Irma, and submitted the state plan on September 20, 2017.

The department held a first round of public input summer 2016 via online survey, and outreach continued throughout the school year to educator associations and stakeholder groups. The commissioner also convened a superintendents’ workgroup to provide input on major decision points. Then, a draft of the state plan was posted for public comment June 30-July 31, 2017. There were 450 respondents (1,295 comments) to the accompanying online survey. The comments were reviewed and further refinements were made. The state plan was submitted to the Governor for review, as required by ESSA.

In April 2018, Florida submitted a revised ESSA state plan, along with a waiver, in response to feedback from the U.S. Department of Education.