• Overview

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a federal law that took effect in its current reauthorization (December 2015). The

    Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was implemented in the 2017-2018 school year after a transition year in 2016-17. The law provides an overall system for improving student achievement. The law has three goals:

    1. Ensure that all students, including those from low-income families, minority populations and students with disabilities, meet the state’s challenging content and student performance standards
    2. Hold schools responsible if all children do not perform on or above grade level
    3. Ensure that all students have access to a high quality teacher

    North Carolina submitted and received approval of the state accountability plan under ESSA that includes the following key elements:

    1. Provides a concise statement of the innovation the state expects for students, including using adaptive environments, personalized learning, and empowered educators
    2. Establishes 10-year goals for student performance using state End-of-Grade (EOG) and End-of-Course (EOC) assessments and goals for closing achievement gaps
    3. Continues the School Performance Grades model, in which schools earn A-F grades based on proficiency measures, student-growth targets and student subgroup performance

    The NC ESSA plan can be found at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) website:

    What does this mean for my child?

    Every child in North Carolina is required to meet the standards set forth in the NC ESSA plan. Under the federal law and state plan, students and schools are required to meet a “proficient” rating in reading and mathematics on state assessments. North Carolina has defined those students making a Level III, IV or V on the EOG and EOC tests in reading and math as being “proficient.”

    Principals, teachers, parents and students each have a part to play in ensuring the success of each individual child.

    Strategies already in place in CMS to ensure that no child or school is left behind

    CMS intends to meet these goals and provide the resources to help all students be successful in the classroom. CMS has also made tremendous gains in closing student achievement gaps.

    CMS put measures in place long before ESSA took effect to ensure that every child, regardless of race, social status or ability, receives a quality education at every school.

    Elementary/Middle School Requirements

    All students in grades 3-8 are required to take the state assessments in reading and math. Students in grades 5 and 8 also take a science assessment.

    High School Requirements

    At the high school level, 10th grade students must meet the ESSA performance requirements in Math I and English II. The goal is to have all students performing at or above grade level (Level III, IV or V). High schools will also be measured on ACT results (grade 11 students) on state assessments, WorkKeys and Future Ready Core (Math III) at grade 12 and four-year cohort graduation rates.