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In December 2015, the U.S. Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and, with it, ushered in a new era of education policy in America. Leaving behind many of the most criticized aspects of its predecessor, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), this newest incarnation of the primary federal legislation guiding K-12 education provides state and district leaders with increased flexibility to best meet the needs of all students. This increased flexibility allows these leaders to look beyond the traditional methods of approaching student achievement and find innovative solutions for ensuring that all students have the opportunity to experience a well-rounded education--one that pushes beyond the subjects of reading, writing and mathematics, and includes the arts, sciences and humanities as essential components. This special report highlights the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This report is a companion piece to the previously released Education Commission of the States report, "ESSA: Quick guides on top issues." This report serves as a resource for the arts and education communities--educators, school leaders, community organizations and policymakers--illuminating the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of ESSA. Whether through funding opportunities to expand access to a well-rounded education, ensuring the effective engagement of community stakeholders in needs assessments and the development of state implementation plans, the establishment of key accountability metrics, or the creation of new assessments, the arts can play a pivotal role in improving schools and educational outcomes for all students. [For the companion report, "ESSA: Quick Guides on Top Issues," see ED567801.]

Descriptors: Educational Legislation, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Legislation, Educational Policy, Art Education, Program Implementation, Needs Assessment, Accountability, Educational Improvement, Achievement Gap, Access to Education, Educational Opportunities, Educational Finance, State Standards, Public Policy, Information Sources

Education Commission of the States. ECS Distribution Center, 700 Broadway Suite 1200, Denver, CO 80203-3460. Tel: 303-299-3692; Fax: 303-296-8332; e-mail: ecs[at]; Web site:

Autor: Education Commission of the States


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