Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Published: 5/16/2017 11:41 AM

​In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main federal law governing P-12 public education.  Now known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),​ the measure replaces No Child Left Behind and creates a long-term policy that gives states additional flexibility and provides more state and local control over the accountability process.  

ESSA provides an opportunity for Kentucky to create a new accountability system that will be used as the basis to better our schools and celebrate their educational progress. The goal is to produce a system that will improve the education and readiness of ALL Kentucky students and is fair, reliable and valid.

Over the past year, nearly 3,500 Kentuckians have provided input and participated in the development of the new accountability system. “This system goes beyond compliance, focuses on students and truly reflects Kentucky’s values,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. 

Under the as yet unnamed system, schools would be evaluated on how well they perform on five indicators: Proficiency, Achievement Gap Closure, Student Growth (elementary and middle school only), Transition Readiness and Opportunity and Access. Each indicator includes multiple measures. Some will be reported only; others will figure into a school’s overall accountability rating. Data will be reported online in a dashboard format that better illustrates school/district progress or deficits than a single number. Data will be reported by student group where available to create more transparency on where gaps may exist.

Because it is important that this new system continues to be developed with the input of all​ shareholders,  Commissioner Pruitt once again will be hosting a series of Education Town Hall Meetings across the state to determine what Kentuckians think about various aspects of the system. See the list below.

 Following public review, the commissioner will make a recommendation to the Kentucky Board of Education on a new accountability system for Kentucky.  The current timeline calls for Kentucky to submit its plan to the United States Department of Education in September 2017.


Kentucky Education Listens: Accountability Development 

All meetings are 6:30 – 8 p.m. local time.
Town Hall PowerPoint                        Accountability at a Glance                       Accountability Survey  

Accountability System -- Full Draft Proposal (as of 1/31/17)

Town Hall Feedback​                                                             Town Hall Survey Results (as of 5/1/17)

To view a video of a Town Hall, click on the meeting date.

Date                                                                    Location                       


Monday, March 13                                           Simon Kenton High School Theatre
                                                                       11132 Madison Pike

                                                                       Independence, KY (Kenton Co.)             


Wednesday, March 22                                     Kentucky School for the Blind Auditorium
                                                                       1867 Frankfort Avenue

                                                                       Louisville, KY     


Monday, April 10​                                             McCracken County High School Auditorium
                                                                       6530 New Highway 60 West

                                                                       Paducah, KY    


Thursday, April 13​                                           Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation --
                                                                       Main Presentation Room
 East 4th Street

                                                                       London, KY     


Monday, April 17                                             Rowan County Senior High School -- 

                                                                       Performing Arts Center
                                                                       499 Viking Drive

                                                                       Morehead, KY      


Tuesday, April 18                                            John Hardin High School
                                                                       384 W.A. Jenkins Road

                                                                       Elizabethtown, KY     


Thursday, April 20  ​                                         Glasgow High School Auditorium
                                                                       1601 Columbia Avenue

                                                                       Glasgow, KY   


Tuesday, April 25​                                            Bryan Station High School Auditorium
                                                                       201 Eastin Road

                                                                       Lexington, KY   


Thursday, April 27​                                           Mountain Arts Center
                                                                       50 Hal Rogers Drive

                                                                       Prestonsburg, KY    


Monday, May 1​                                                Henderson County Schools Professional Development Center
                                                                       631 North Green Street

                                                                       Henderson, KY    

Thank you for your interest in Our Children, Our Commonwealth!
Rebecca Blessing
Office of Legal, Legislative and Communication Services
Division of Communications
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2000
Fax (502) 564-3049