Improving Academic Achievement

Improving Academic Achievement is fundamental to closing the achievement gap. How to produce results remains a topic of discussion. NCLB called for districts and schools to use “scientifically-based research” as the foundation for education programs and interventions. Under ESSA, districts and schools are charged to use “evidence-based interventions”. The shift in language highlights the law’s intention to increase the impact of educational investments by ensuring that interventions being implemented have proven to be effective and lead to desired outcomes, namely improving student achievement.

ESSA Addresses Academic Achievement:

  • ESSA provides several grant opportunities specifically to address academic achievement
    • Student Support and Enrichment Grants combines several programs from NCLB. This grant can provide funding for a range of activities aiming to provide all students with a well-rounded education, improve school conditions for learning, and improving the use of technology.
    • ESSA provides opportunities for communities to expand or establish community learning centers. Community Learning Centers offer a broad array of additional support services, programs, activities, as well as meaningful parent engagement. The program is authorized at $1 billion for FY2017.
    • Charter School Grants allow applicants to open and prepare for the creation of new or the replication of high quality charter schools.
    • Magnet School funding
    • Family Engagement in Education Programs Grants. The minimum reward is $500,000.
  • School districts must complete a comprehensive needs assessment every three years