You are here

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

ESSA in Colorado: A conversation on the implementation of the every student succeeds act

Colorado's ESSA State Plan 

In December of 2015, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law. The title of the reauthorized legislation, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The passage of ESSA provides a much anticipated opportunity to improve outcomes for all students and gives states more flexibility and decision-making power at the local level. This law also requires states to develop plans that address standards, assessments, school and district accountability and special help for struggling schools. You can read the Every Student Succeeds Act here.

As part of ESSA, each state had to conduct significant outreach to collect input for their plans. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) engaged with thousands of Coloradans in the development of the plan through 2016 and the early part of 2017. This process provided Coloradans a chance to closely examine the state’s education system, adjust some priorities and gather feedback about what is working and what should be changed. Please visit our Hub and Spoke Committees pages and the ESSA Feedback page to read about the process and comments received throughout stakeholder engagement. CDE also  releases an overview of Colorado’s ESSA state plan. This ESSA summary report is intended to provide a clear explanation of the issues addressed in Colorado’s plan.

On May 9, 2017, CDE submitted Colorado’s ESSA state plan and went through a number of revisions as state officials worked with federal reviewers to clarify how the state plans met with ESSA’s statutory requirements. Colorado's state plan was approved by USDE on May 7, 2018.

In January 2023, CDE submitted a plan amendment to the U.S. Department of Education to revise its ESSA identification methodology to address the impact of the pandemic years on availability of data. The proposed changes were approved by the USDE on June 22, 2023, for implementation beginning with the fall 2023 ESSA identifications.

News and Updates


New: June 22, 2023 - U.S. Department of Education approves Colorado’s Amended ESSA State Plan. 

Due to the impact of the pandemic on the availability of longitudinal state assessments, revisions are required to the ESSA State Plan, which outlines the methodology that Colorado uses to identify schools for support and improvement under ESSA. On January 31, 2023, Colorado submitted proposed changes to its ESSA State Plan, which have been approved.

Archive of News and Updates


Archive of Spoke Committee Webpages

Archive of Resources

You can e-mail your questions and comments to