Communicating the Every Student Succeeds Act

As the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is implemented across the country, stakeholders and community members have sought to understand the law’s details and how ESSA will change states’ education systems. As a result of changes in accountability indicator requirements, states are re-evaluating their accountability systems and assessing whether or not changes are needed to meet ESSA requirements. Considering the magnitude of some of these changes, states must communicate the law and its associated changes to the public in a way that enables all stakeholders’ understanding. To do so, states have created and shared communication tools to provide further information and detail on the stipulations and requirements of ESSA. This Spotlight examines states' creation and use of websites to share ESSA information with stakeholders. 

While the content is accurate at the time of this writing, state web pages and links can change quickly. We will try to update information on a regular basis. If you have specific communication or public engagement efforts that you would like to share, please send an email to   

Overview of ESSA 

The full text of ESSA can be found here; answers to frequently asked questions about the transition to ESSA can be found here. CSAI has compiled communications and guidance from the U.S. Department regarding ESSA and its implementation in this collection

The Council of Chief State School Officers has produced a comparison of ESSA and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), outlining the differences in requirements. 


Focus on States' ESSA Communication Efforts 

As a communication tool, states have elected to create pages presenting information on ESSA and its requirements, as well as information on states’ actions and timelines to create and implement ESSA state plans. This Spotlight includes links to states’ ESSA pages and a summary of the information contained within each page. Those interested in further information on how states have collected stakeholder feedback during the state plan development process will also find related information in this Spotlight.

CSAI Supports for ESSA Implementation 

CSAI has compiled a collection of resources, both CSAI-developed and CSAI-reviewed, that are designed to support states and local education agencies with planning for . These resources can be found in this curated collection, with sections for resources related to: accountability, assessment, college and career readiness, data use, and special populations. 


State ESSA Websites

In this section are links to state pages devoted to ESSA, along with a summary of the information that can be found on each state's page. Each state has included information on ESSA and its stipulations; with some states also linking to resources from the U.S. Department of Education or other external organizations. Some states have also included information on the progress of their ESSA state plan, with some also including a timeline for the plan's development. 

To access each state's ESSA page, please click on the section title. Each state's ESSA page will open in a new tab. 

State ESSA Communication Tools 

Other communication tools used by states to provide ESSA information are featured in this section. Some states have produced and published documents and presentations for stakeholders to provide an overview of ESSA requirements. Many of these state-developed documents provide further information on how ESSA is expected to impact states' accountability systems. Other states have elected to create videos as a tool to share information and answer questions about the law and its impact. Selected examples of states' communication tools are highlighted in this section.     

To access each state's media, please click on the section title. The links beneath each state's name will open in a new tab. 

ESSA Stakeholder Engagement

As part of developing an ESSA state plan, states have set up mechanisms to collect stakeholder feedback and comments on how states can respond to ESSA requirements. Some states have set up online surveys and feedback forms to collect feedback from a variety of stakeholders. Other states have held forums that provide opportunities for state Department of Education staff to meet with community members and discuss the implications of ESSA. Listed here are selected examples of ways states have engaged stakeholders in ESSA-related work. Tools for stakeholder engagement around ESSA can also be found in this section. 

To learn more about state efforts to engage stakeholders in the ESSA state plan development process, please click on the section title and select a state's name to learn more about their stakeholder engagement efforts.