The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed in 1965 and has been reauthorized several times since then. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the latest reauthorization. It was signed into law in December 2015. The United State Department of Education lists the following provisions of ESSA:
Advances equity by upholding critical protections for America's disadvantaged and high-need students.
Requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers.
Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
Helps to support and grow local innovations—including evidence-based and place-based interventions developed by local leaders and educators—consistent with our Investing in Innovation and Promise Neighborhoods
Sustains and expands this administration's historic investments in increasing access to high-quality preschool.
Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Education Accountability Act (EAA) both include testing, rating, and reporting requirements. South Carolina Succeeds is the consolidated plan to meet written to meet the requirements of both the federal and state legislation. The original version of the plan was submitted to the United States Department of Education in October of 2017 and approved in March of 2018.
In a press release on October 16, 2017, South Carolina Department of Education said that this plan would do the following:
Reduce high stakes testing and commit to measuring schools on a multiple measure accountability system
Supports all students as they seek to achieve the knowledge, skills, and characteristics identified by the Profile of the SC Graduate
Ensure that all students, not just those in high income, high capacity school districts, have access to career and technical education, virtual options, world languages, the arts, advanced credit in middle school, Advanced Placement, International baccalaureate, and dual credit course work
Provide a tiered system of support for under performing schools through direct support and guidance based on a portfolio of evidence-based school turnaround strategies and expert transformation coaches
The South Carolina Succeeds plan includes two main goals; (1) by 2035, 90 percent of students will graduate “college, career, and citizenship ready” as outlined in the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate; and (2) beginning with the 2020 graduating class, the state, each district, and each high school should increase by five percent annually the percentage of students who graduate ready to enter postsecondary education to pursue a degree or national industry credential without the need for remediation in mathematics or English.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Education Accountability Act (EAA) both include testing, rating, and reporting requirements. The South Carolina School Report Card Portal serves as the reporting tool to publics the test results and ratings earned by the state’s public schools.
Each year the South Carolina Department of Education and the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee publish a manual that specifies the sources of the data and the methods of calculating the ratings and other values reported on the school report cards. Unfortunately, the manual for each school year is not usually provided until well into the following school year.