Education Desk: New Law Takes Focus Off Tests

Dec 11, 2015

Cinda Klickna
Credit Dusty Rhodes / WUIS/Illinois Issues

This week, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act --- a rewrite of No Child Left Behind. The new law, referred to as ESSA, passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress.

It replaces the wildly unpopular law that's come to be known as No Child Left Untested. Educators are so enthusiastic about this rewrite, the heads of two Illinois teachers unions flew to Washington to witness its signing.

Cinda Klickna, president of Illinois Education Association, stayed home, but says teachers are relieved that ESSA allows schools to be judged by a broader measures.

“You know I think overall, we’re really happy with it. As always, as we move into the implementation, we’re going to have to be paying attention to consequences and ramifications that are in there that weren’t quite understood at the beginning,” she says. “Even though there will still be tests, they won’t be used in the punitive way they’ve been used for the past decade."