“I think that education is important because it gives people a chance to improve their lives.”

So said Antonio Martin, an eighth grader at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va., introducing President Obama before the president signed the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA, which reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces No Child Left Behind, aims to impact the lives of students by shifting more power to the states for creating their own accountability plans. Under ESSA, states must still track student achievement by race, disability, and other measures and set goals to address wide achievement gaps.

It was No Child Left Behind that first required educators to disaggregate educational data by various subgroups, bringing disparities to the forefront. SERC drew on this data as it began its exploration and work on racial equity. This commitment continues. As always, we are partnering with schools across the state to help reduce opportunity gaps predictable by student characteristics such as race, socioeconomic status, disability, and English learner status.

So as ESSA is implemented in Connecticut and across the country, SERC looks forward to continue working with the CT State Department of Education to help assure an excellent education for all students.