Leveraging the Every Student Succeeds Act to Support State Visions for College and Career Readiness

David English, Jeremy Rasmussen, Ellen Cushing, and Susan Therriault

States have implemented policies and initiatives supporting student college and career readiness by focusing on academic knowledge, social-emotional learning, and employability skills. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides an opportunity for states to operationalize their college and career readiness vision. 

Image of Leveraging ESSA for College and Career Readiness report coverThis brief provides a policy framework to help states align their college and career readiness definitions with relevant policy provisions under ESSA into one cohesive strategy. The framework is grouped into three interrelated policy areas under ESSA:

  • Provision of a well-rounded education that emphasizes readiness beyond NCLB’s focus on core academic content via enriched, accelerated curricula and educational experiences and improved conditions for learning
  • Augmentation of accountability systems to include multiple measures that may form a continuum of usable academic and nonacademic measures of readiness from preschool to the workforce
  • Design and delivery of purposeful assessment systems that are balanced across summative, interim, and formative tests and yield more meaningful results by considering student background, ability level, and how mastery can be demonstrated