Making the Most of ESSA: Opportunities to Advance STEM Education

This resource from Education First, with support from the Overdeck Family Foundation, provides an analysis of the first 17 submitted state plans and an additional eight draft plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and summarizes trends, innovations and exemplars focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. The resource demonstrates how opportunities under ESSA such as Title I, Title II and Title IV can be leveraged to support and expand STEM education. The authors find that: 

  • Seventeen states included or are strongly considering including performance on state science assessments in their accountability systems 
  • Seventeen states included or are strongly considering including CTE indicators in their accountability systems
  • Nineteen states included or are strongly considering including Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate indicators in their accountability sysetms
  • Ten states are requiring or encouraging STEM activities in their 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants 

The resource concludes with strategies for looking beyond ESSA plan requirements to leverage other opportunities to advance STEM education through ESSA implementation. The report urges states to think outside of the classroom, draw on data to guarantee equitable access, identify low-hanging fruit, and finding opportunities to bring in outside resources. 

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July 2017