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Every Student Succeeds Act: Let's Make it a Tool to Help Kids

No Child Left Behind—the misguided federal law that greatly increased standardized testing in our schools—has itself been left behind.

The new version of this cornerstone federal program is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which is now headed to schools across America. Thanks in great part to the work of you and your Association colleagues, ESSA represents a great leap ahead from the flawed provisions of No Child Left Behind. For one thing, it makes sure that the assessment and accountability systems in the states are developed by states and localities with involvement of stakeholders—including Association members.

That’s why it’s so critical that Association members lead the changes that are coming under ESSA.

VEA has created a statewide ESSA implementation team and supports the development of local ESSA teams. The team has produced the following ESSA Digital Toolkit with resources to help you in your journey leading to the best possible ESSA implementation in Virginia. What follows are the Toolkit components. For more information about VEA and ESSA, contact VEA’s Sandra Barnstead (

ESSA Digital Toolkit

  • Creating Your ESSA Team. Guidance on forming an effective local ESSA implementation team. (PDF)
  • Getting Members on Board. Letter inviting members to join your team. (Word)
  • Getting Local Stakeholders on Board. Letter inviting key educators, officials and community members to participate in the ESSA discussion. (Word)
  • Sample School Board Speech. What to say publicly to school board members. (Word)
  • Sample School Board Resolution. One way your board can support your ESSA efforts. (Word)
  • 10-Minute Meeting. Materials for educating your members. Includes additional information for presenter. (PowerPoint, additional information as PDF)
  • Let’s Make a Plan. Choosing areas in which you can have the greatest impact. To help you, VEA has identified four major areas. (PDF)
  • Community Connections.  List of places where you know people. (Word)
  • Statewide Implementation Team. Member leaders and staff (PDF)

Additional Resources


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