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MASA Statement: Passage of ESSA

MASA Applauds Passage of Every Student Succeeds Act

[Jefferson City, MO] Missouri school districts are about to receive much more autonomy to manage their schools thanks to the repeal of the much-criticized federal education law known as No Child Left Behind. One day after the U.S. Senate finalized the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with a strong, bipartisan vote, President Obama signed the bill into law. 

The president’s signature follows unprecedented cooperation by Congressional leaders this summer and fall by Senators Lamar Alexander (R – Tennessee) and Patty Murray (D – Washington) and Representatives John Kline (R – Minnesota) and Bobby Scott (D – Virginia).  

The bill received considerable support of Missouri superintendents and teachers.

Roger Kurtz, MASA Executive Director, stated, “Too often we are quick to be critical of our leaders in Washington and slow to give credit for a job well done. We applaud the support that Missouri’s Congressional delegation (from both sides of the aisle) have shown Missouri schools, educators, and students.”

Those from Missouri voting in favor of the bill were Sen. Claire McCaskill, Rep. Sam Graves, Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Rep. Ann Wagner, Rep. Billy Long, Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Rep. Lacy Clay, and Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver.

No Child Left Behind’s approach to education relied heavily on standardized tests and lacked the flexibility that states, school districts, and educators said they need in order to support student success. According to the school leaders, ESSA, while not perfect, is a step in the right direction for public education. 

Mike Lodewegen, MASA Associate Executive Director of Government Affairs, said, “Fifteen years of No Child Left Behind has taught us that students are more than a test score and a one-size-fits-all approach to education does not meet the needs of our students. This new law gives Missouri educators, school boards and administrators the freedom to run their community’s schools in a way that best meets the needs of their students.”


The new law will be in effect during the 2017-2018 school year.