Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Published: 6/15/2017 2:03 PM

​In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the main federal law governing P-12 public education.  Known as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),​ the measure replaced No Child Left Behind and created a long-term policy that gives states additional flexibility and provides more state and local control over the accountability process.  
ESSA provided 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.
In Spring 2016, Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt hosted a series of Education Town Hall Meetings to determine what Kentuckians value in their schools. This information guided the development of the new accountability system.
The Kentucky General Assembly provided further direction how the accountability system should work when it passed Senate Bill 1 (2017).
Under the as yet unnamed system, schools would be evaluated on how well they perform on five indicators: Proficiency, Achievement Gap Closure, Student Growth, 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 of from one to five stars.
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.
In Spring 2017, Commissioner Pruitt once again hosted Town Hall meetings statewide to determine what Kentuckians think about various aspects of the proposed system. (See information  below on Town Hall meetings.)

“This system goes beyond compliance, focuses on students and truly reflects Kentucky’s values,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said of the system. 

Over the past year and a half, nearly 5,000 Kentuckians have provided input and participated in the development of the new accountability system and continue to do so.  As a result of this input, the system has evolved over the past weeks and months.
The following information is based on the latest proposal.
Accountability at a Glance (as presented to the Kentucky Board of Education 6/6/17)
Kentucky Accountability Data and Measures (as presented to the Kentucky Board of Education 6/6/17)
Feedback Survey on Draft Accountability System
The Kentucky Board of Education must approve any changes to the accountability system. The current timeline calls for Kentucky to submit its plan to the United States Department of Education in September 2017. 
A new Kentucky ESSA-aligned accountability system would be implemented in the 2018-19 school year.

 Kentucky Accountability System Development


Shareholder Engagement

Kentucky Education Listens:

Spring 2017 Town Hall Meetings 

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

Monday, March 13                                           

Simon Kenton High School
Independence, KY (Kenton Co.)             

Wednesday, March 22                                     
Kentucky School for the Blind

Louisville, KY    (Jefferson Co.) 


Monday, April 10​                                             
McCracken County High School 
Paducah, KY    


Thursday, April 13​                                           

Laurel County Schools Center for Innovation
London, KY     


Monday, April 17                                             
Rowan County Senior High School

Morehead, KY      

Tuesday, April 18                                            
John Hardin High School

Elizabethtown, KY    (Hardin Co.) 


Thursday, April 20  ​                                         

Glasgow High School 
Glasgow, KY   (Barren Co.)


Tuesday, April 25​                                            
Bryan Station High School           

Lexington, KY   


Thursday, April 27​                                           
Mountain Arts Center
Prestonsburg, KY    


Monday, May 1​                                               

Henderson Co. Schools Professional Development Center

Henderson, KY    


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