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Policy and Advocacy

Elementary and Secondary Education Act


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Key Information:

  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was last reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 as Public Law 107-110.
  • It was originally scheduled for reauthorization in 2007, but has been delayed numerous times (the program continues under the prior law with congressional funding).
  • The latest updates can be found on the ESEA section of the CTE Policy Watch blog.

ACTE Positions & Statements Other Groups' Positions


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was originally passed 1965. Recent reauthorizations include the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981 and Improving America’s Schools Act of 1994. No Child Left Behind, the current reauthorization, passed in 2002. This Act, which funds primary and secondary education, made significant changes in education policy to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that “no child is left behind.” Key components of the law include increased accountability for states, school districts, and schools; teacher quality provisions; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools; more flexibility for states and local educational agencies in the use of federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on what has been proven to work through scientifically based research. The titles of the Act include:

Title I—Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
Title II—Preparing, Training and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals
Title III—Language Instruction of Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students
Title IV—21st Century Schools
Title V—Promoting Informed Parental Choice and Innovative Programs
Title VI—Flexibility and Accountability
Title VII—Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native Education
Title VIII—Impact Aid Program
Title IX—General Provisions

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act is also tied in closely with Perkins. Specifically, under Perkins, the success of CTE programs is determined by several pieces of the No Child Left Behind adequate yearly progress system. Specific indicators include student attainment of challenging academic content standards and student academic achievement standards, and student graduation rates.

In the years since the Elementary and Secondary Education Act came due for reauthorization, congressional gridlock has prevented Congress from updating the antiquated law. In order to avoid states and schools from falling victim to the unachievable ideals of AYP, the Obama Administration bypassed Congress to relieve states from current ESEA accountability standards. In September 2011, the Department of Education invited states to apply for a waiver of flexibility from certain provisions in ESEA, including AYP. In exchange, states had to submit a rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plan to improve education outcomes for all students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction. Since that time, almost all states have been involved in the waiver process, and each is operating under different plans and parameters.

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Policy and Advocacy

ACTE Policy Agenda

ACTE is currently involved in legislative efforts and broader policy work on a wide range of issues affecting the CTE community. Follow the links below to find out more about these specific issues and how ACTE is involved.

Certification Data Exchange Project

ACTE, in cooperation with a number of national and state partners, is supporting a project to expand and improve data exchange between industry certification organizations and state longitudinal data systems.


ACTE Calendar

Monday, February 29, 2016

National Policy Seminar 2016

Friday, April 08, 2016

Region IV 2016 Conference

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