Every Student Succeeds Act

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) during the Obama administration repealed the No Child Left Behind Act and amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. It is the United State’s current set of rules governing K-12 public school education and aims to provide a quality education to all students. Four historically disadvantaged groups are provided four in this Act, namely, students in poverty, students of color, students who receive special education services, and students with limited English language skills. [Source] Further, it removed federal oversight of teacher evaluation systems, signaling a small but notable reverse in the federal government’s involvement in schools.┬áTitle III of the Act, titled Language Instruction for English Learners and Immigrant Students, stated that its purpose was “to help enusre that English learners…attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English” and “to assist teachers, principals, and other school leaders…to develop and enhance their capacity to provide effective instructional programs designed to prepare English learners, including immigrant children and youth, to enter all-English instructional settings.” [Source] The implication for language policy is the end goal, which is moving emerging bilinguals quickly into English-only learning environments.