Leveraging ESSA to Increase College Readiness and Completion

The new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a tremendous opportunity for states to deepen and catalyze the partnerships between their K–12 and higher education systems. This new legislation explicitly focuses on improving the college and career readiness of all students, including requiring states to set high standards that are aligned to state higher education entrance requirements.

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Leveraging ESSA to Increase College Readiness and Completion
This document is the first of a series designed to support K–12 and higher education partnerships on ESSA plans.
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This document provides a roadmap for upcoming releases in which we will focus more in depth on several of the issues, outlined here:

  • Validation of standards and assessments,
  • Strategies to support student transitions,
  • Alignment of k–12 and higher education goals
  • Strengthening of educator preparation programs and professional development

Over the past several years, K–12 and higher education leaders across the country have partnered to make college and career readiness a priority and build seamless secondary to postsecondary transitions. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have an invaluable opportunity to double down on alignment for student success.

Working together, K–12 and higher education can deliver an education system that closes equity gaps, improves the earning potential of our citizens, and allows our states to cultivate a robust workforce that is capable of sustaining and building a 21st century economy.

With the passage of ESSA, states have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to reset policies and supports to prepare all students for both college and careers.