A Conversation on State Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act

November 17, 2016


DURHAM, N.C. – Policymakers and leaders from 10 states ̶ including state board members, legislative leaders, governors’ education advisors, state agency staff and community leaders – gathered on November 15-16, 2016, with practitioners and policy experts to discuss the implications of the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA), the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that replaced No Child Left Behind. The meeting, held in Houston, Texas, was co-hosted by The Hunt Institute, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Association of State Boards of Education.

 “The Every Student Succeeds Act presents states with an opportunity to pause, reflect on their systems, build on success, and lead the way for the next era of American education,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, Hunt Institute executive director and CEO. “This meeting was designed to foster the important conversations that must take place if states are committed to seize this opportunity and ensure excellence and equity in our public schools.”

Teams of high-level state policymakers and education leaders from Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington, and West Virginia, explored the opportunities and challenges presented by ESSA. The meeting included substantial time for state team collaboration as state team members considered next generation of accountability; flexibility in the design of statewide assessment systems; evidence-based interventions for low-performing schools; and the importance of effective stakeholder engagement and collaboration among state policymakers to ensure long-term success.

The two-day meeting featured panel discussions with a variety of experts, including Jeremy Anderson, president, Education Commission of the States; Stephen Parker, legislative director, education and workforce committee, National Governors Association; Robyn Harper, policy and advocacy associate, Alliance for Excellent Education; Tara Kini, senior policy advisor, Learning Policy Institute; Kristen Amundson, executive director, National Association of State Boards of Education; Daniel Gonzales, assistant director for policy, the education and society program, The Aspen Institute; Anne Hyslop, senior policy advisor, U.S. Department of Education; Michelle Exstrom, education program director, National Conference of State Legislatures; Laura Jimenez, director, standards and accountability, The Center for American Progress; and Lucille Davy, senior advisor, The Hunt Institute.

As states continue to progress with their ESSA plan development, The Hunt Institute will continue to support their efforts with targeted assistance, webinars, and other opportunities to engage with experts and policymakers.

For more information on ESSA, visit The Hunt Institute’s website to learn more about the key topics addressed within the law, along with some of the latest research on best practices in education that can be used to inform policy design.


Media Contact:
Tracie Ford
Associate Director of

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