The Transition to ESSA: State and District Approaches to Implementing Title I and Title II-A in 2017–18
- Between 2014 and 2018, most states did not significantly change their content standards, and districts increasingly provided supports, such as standards-aligned instructional materials, to implement them.
- States broadened the measures they used to identify struggling schools, while more districts reported that these schools implemented activities to support improvement, particularly teacher professional development.
- States and districts increasingly used performance data as a means to support effective teaching.
In 2017–18, states and districts began to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the current authorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA continues to call for states to set academic content standards, assess student achievement, identify and support low-performing schools, and improve educator effectiveness. ESSA departs from prior law, however, in giving states more discretion about how they accomplish these objectives. This report provides a brief look at the transition toward ESSA, as the foundation for an ongoing assessment of how the law is being carried out. The report uses survey data to examine how key policies and initiatives related to two large ESEA programs were implemented in 2017–18, and contrasts that with four years earlier.