PTA ESSA State Roadmap
Now that the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is law, the focus of our advocacy turns to effective implementation of the law to ensure every child has the ability to reach their full potential. While this new law provides a great opportunity for states to tailor their education systems to meet the needs of their students—including students with disabilities—this new level of authority will also require an increased amount of responsibility for states to ensure they close achievement gaps.
As a PTA leader, you have an important role to play in ESSA implementation. The goal of this Roadmap is to empower you to:
- Actively participate on ESSA implementation at the state level
- Educate other parent leaders and the community on ESSA
- Ensure states are including parents and gathering meaningful input from them on ESSA implementation
Click on the PTA ESSA Roadmap to find out how to get started!
What is the Every Student Succeeds Act? What does this mean for my child and for family engagement in school districts and schools? The first stop for every PTA member in the state is understanding how this new law works and the implications for you, PTA, your school and your state. It is imperative to learn about the new changes in ESSA before you can teach other PTA members in your state about the new law.
- ESSA Overview, Title I, Title II, and Title IV summaries
- What’s the Difference? No Child Left Behind and the Every Student Succeeds Act
- Family Engagement in ESSA (En Español)
- Statewide Family Engagement Centers
- ESSA: What Does This New Law Mean for my Child? (En Español)
Stop number two on this road trip involves ESSA state plans. Engaging in your state’s education plan is one of the most important things you can do as a PTA advocate. State education plans will determine the shape of education in your state for the next few years. As a parent leader in your state, it is imperative that you have a seat on the state-level committee drafting the plan. Making sure every parent’s voice is heard and all families are involved in the process is critical to ensuring a successful implementation. It is important that you hold the decision makers in your school, district and state accountable. Be sure to continuously remind your decision makers of the importance of family engagement and the parent voice during this transition period.
Use the resources below to get involved in this imperative part of the transition to provide children and families with the education they deserve.
- Stakeholder Engagement Provisions in ESSA
- Talking Points for PTA Leaders on Family Engagement
- Template communication from PTA state leader to state chief/superintendent
- Questions PTA Advocates Should Ask about ESSA Implementation
- To find out how you can get involved in your state's ESSA implementation visit your State's ESSA Webpage.
State education agencies should also actively engage parents in creating new education plans. Below are two resources that you can share with your education leaders on how to effectively engage parents throughout the process.
- A State Guide to Building Online Report Cards New!
- Guidelines for SEAs on Engaging Parents
- Framework for Meaningful Parent Engagement Under ESSA
The next stop on the ESSA implementation journey is making sure your members have the resources they need to become actively engaged in the implementation of the new law. You can download the list of resources below to distribute to your members. Distribute these materials through your website, newsletters, PTA events and other social media avenues using the PTA and ESSA Media Toolkit so that your members can have the information they will need to engage in the implementation of the new law.
- Download the ESSA resources:
The fourth stop on the ESSA Roadmap is to inform and educate other members of your community about the new law. Your members should already have the resources you provided them in Stop 3 and now you can bring them together to organize, discuss and plan for the future. Successful implementation of ESSA depends on many different people. You can customize the ESSA PowerPoint below to fit the needs of your community and use the script provided as a guide to help inform and train others on the new law. The guide on how to hold a stakeholder event may also be helpful as you prepare for your meeting.