The New Jersey School Boards Association today commended the New Jersey Department of Education on receiving approval of New Jersey’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan from the U.S. Department of Education. To date only three other state plans, including Nevada, New Mexico and Delaware, have been approved.

The Every Student Succeeds Act, enacted in December 2015, is the federal education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The law, which provides states with flexibility to set student achievement goals, requires all states to submit an accountability plan to the U.S. Department of Education for approval.

“We congratulate Commissioner Harrington and her entire staff on gaining federal approval,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. “The New Jersey plan reflects the participation of a wide range of education stakeholders, including NJSBA,” said Feinsod. “We appreciate the opportunity we had to provide input on the implementation of this landmark legislation, and to represent the interests of New Jersey’s local school boards.”

New Jersey’s ESSA State Plan emphasizes specific approaches to accountability. It examines the performance of individual student groups through the accountability formula; it aligns and streamlines state assistance so schools receive coordinated support, based on specific needs of their students; and it adds new measures to school performance reports.

“The Every Student Succeeds Act represents an important milestone in the local governance of public education by providing balance among the roles of the federal government, the states and local boards of education,” said Feinsod.  “The New Jersey ESSA State Plan provides a solid framework for improving student achievement and preparing our children for college and careers.”