The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 was passed as the largest education civil rights law to better support low-income, minority, and disadvantaged students. From 2001 to 2015, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) iteration of the ESEA dictated how public schools served students nationally. NCLB emphasized a high-stakes testing culture and tied teacher performance to student outcomes. The reauthorization of the ESEA, in December 2015, named the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) fundamentally changes public education by shifting the power and autonomy from the federal to state governments. Under ESSA, states and local districts have greater flexibility in educating their students.

The ESSA law places emphasis on state and local innovation and highlights a new era, providing a great deal of flexibility to our states and local districts. NIEA has fought for greater tribal participation in educating Native students. Through ten plus years of advocacy, the ESSA includes several Native specific provisions that will better support Native students.

ESSA Consultation Guides

A brief introduction to best practice for tribal consultation for states and advocates. To read and download NIEA’s new tribal consultation guide, “Building Relationships With Tribes: A Native Process for ESSA Consultation,” please click here.

An introduction for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to meet the tribal consultation requirements in ESSA. To read or download NIEA’s local consultation guide, “Building Relationships With Tribes: A Native Process for Local Consultation Under ESSA,” please click here.

Understanding how to evaluate state and local plans is critical to meeting the needs of Native communities. To read and download NIEA’s evaluation guide, “A Native Process For Evaluation of State and Local Plans For Native Education Under ESSA,” please click here.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Title VII in NCLB to the Current Law: Title VI in ESSA

NIEA has developed two Side-by-Side documents which compare Title VII under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Title VI in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Both side-by-sides are organized in tables that outline legislation that affect Native education.

The shorter version summarizes the major changes that impact Native education from No Child Left Behind’s Title VII to the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Title VI. To view the shorter version of the changes and similarities within Native education, please click here.

The longer version is a line-by-line comparison of both laws. To view the more detailed version of the differences in the Native education titles of NCLB and ESSA, please click here.

Webinar on the Basics of ESSA for Native Students 

To view NIEA’s webinar on ESSA and its impact on Native students, please click here.

Fact Sheets on Specific Aspects of ESSA

NIEA, in partnership with the Alliance for Excellent Education, has created informational fact sheets outlining major changes to ESSA as well as information on the major wins for Indian County that are included in this bill. These documents are provided free of charge below and are copyrighted by NIEA. The documents are for instructional and educational purposes and may not be altered without the explicit consent of NIEA. For questions regarding information within the documents, please email