NASP Urges Congress to Pass the Every Student Succeeds Act

  Tuesday, December 1, 2015 

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CONTACT: Kathy Cowan 301-347-1665

Bethesda, MD—The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) urges Congress to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the bipartisan legislation intended to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, before the end of the year. NASP has encouraged reauthorization efforts to ensure that all students have access to a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum, high-quality instruction, and comprehensive learning supports that are essential to successful learning.

“We are pleased that ESSA recognizes the importance of comprehensive learning supports and services that create safe and respectful school environments while also meeting the needs of individual students,” says NASP President Todd A. Savage. “The investments authorized by ESSA will help states and local districts implement and scale up efforts to prepare students for college or career while meeting the unique needs of their local communities.”

NASP is especially supportive of the provisions that:

  • Create comprehensive accountability systems that include indicators of school quality, such as school climate and safety, in state accountability systems;
  • Maintain requirements that schools assess the needs of all students and subgroups of students, and provide comprehensive learning supports to students who are most at risk of school failure;
  • Acknowledge the critical role of other specialized instructional support personnel in the design and implementation of comprehensive school improvement efforts;
  • Authorize funds to improve access to and the quality of comprehensive school-based mental health and behavioral health services;
  • Improve collaboration between families, schools, and the community to improve school and student outcomes.

Importantly, ESSA moves our nation away from the narrow focus on high stakes test scores as a primary metric of school success. Instead, it promotes a comprehensive system that values school climate and safety; positive mental, behavioral, and physical health; and equitable access to resources and learning supports, as well as academic achievement. Importantly, this legislation maintains critical accountability provisions that require states and districts to demonstrate that all students make significant progress in academic achievement. “The reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind act is long overdue,” notes Savage. “As a result, states have been operating under a waiver system that has prevented schools and districts from engaging in meaningful long-term reform efforts.”

In passing ESSA, Congress will empower educators, families, and state and local leaders to create schools that give all children the genuine opportunity to succeed, and in doing so will be putting America’s children first. NASP, along with state school psychology associations, is committed to working with state and district leaders to implement systems to ensure meet the academic, social, emotional, mental, and behavioral health needs of all students, and it urges Congress to send this bipartisan bill to the President before the end the year.


For additional information, contact:
Katherine Cowan, Director of Communications, (301) 347-1665,
Kelly Vaillancourt-Strobach, Director of Government Relations, (301) 347-1652,