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Turning Four This Month, the Every Student Succeeds Act Is Hailed as a Victory for State Control of Education Policy. And, Critics Say, That’s Part of the Problem

When the Every Student Succeeds Act became law four years ago, it was hailed as a bipartisan example of reasoned policymaking, successfully threading the needle between protecting students’ civil rights and giving states a greater hand in overseeing schools.

Though the bipartisan sheen has long since worn off, an important, and deceptively simple question remains: Is ESSA working? As with so many large-scale federal policies, the answer, well, depends.