The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) returns significant responsibility for setting the vision and strategy for educational excellence to states and districts, and district leaders are already working to identify priority areas and implement initiatives to improve outcomes for students in their schools. Rather than treating ESSA as a separate initiative to implement, district leaders can use the law to strengthen work they are already leading and to breakdown siloes that have traditionally existed between federal programs and local initiatives.
To help district leaders take full advantage of the opportunity created by ESSA, the Aspen Institute Education & Society Program, Chiefs for Change, EducationCounsel, and Education First have partnered to produce Seizing the Moment: A District Guide to Advance Equity Through ESSA. This suite of tools—including a series of infographics to help inform and guide local conversations—identifies eight equity priorities many leaders are already pursuing and identifies potential barriers to equity, key decision points, and opportunities to braid and blend federal funds to strengthen local equity priorities.
Begin here with the introduction to ESSA how district leaders can use these briefs, and then scroll below for infographics and the specific briefs aligned to district equity priorities.