Association of Metropolitan School Districts

Association of Metropolitan School Districts

Minnesota ESSA

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA Overview

Minnesota Department of Education:

Committee Information:

Final Regulations:


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the nation’s latest pre-kindergarten through grade 12 education law, was signed into law in December of 2015. ESSA is the newest version of the 50-year- old federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaces the 2001 reauthorization known as No Child Left Behind. ESSA emphasizes equity and gives states and schools more latitude to innovate, while maintaining a focus on accountability and an emphasis on state and local systems of improvement. Through waivers from the federal government, Minnesota has had its own accountability system since 2012, called the Multiple Measurements Rating System.

ESSA requires that states identify schools for improvement based on the following five components:

  • Academic achievement on state tests.
  • Academic growth over time.
  • Graduation rates.
  • Progress toward English language proficiency (for English learners).
  • At least one indicator of school quality or student success. Options could include student engagement, college and career readiness, school climate and safety, access to and completion of advanced coursework.

The first four indicators above must be assigned “much greater weight” than the indicators of school quality or student success.

Test indicators must include the performance of every student group.

ESSA also requires that states identify schools for improvement if they are:

  • In the lowest 5% of Title I schools.
  • High schools with graduation rates below 67%.
  • Particularly low-performing in any student group.

States must determine how school participation rates on state tests below 95 percent will be factored into the accountability system. In addition, schools with low participation rates must have students counted as “not proficient” for the purposes of accountability calculations.


The U.S. Department of Education released the final regulations to implement ESSA on November 28. Of note is that the accountability system would begin in 2018-19 using 2017-18 data (states may stick to original timeline of 2017-18 implementation with 2016-17 data). The timeline for states to submit plans has also changed to either April 3, 2017 or by September 18, 2017.

AMSD ESSA Committee Summary 121216