ESSA’s Well-Rounded Education


By Jones, S.D., Workman, E.

Education Commission of the States

Publication June, 2016
ESSA Report

Throughout ESSA, states are encouraged to emphasize the need for every child to receive a “well-rounded education” when providing support to districts and schools. The intention is to underscore the newfound flexibility states have to support student learning in subjects beyond English language arts and mathematics. State education leaders want to know what constitutes a well-rounded education, how can they ensure students across their state have access to it, and how, if at all, the U.S. Department of Education plans to hold their state accountable to it.

This paper from the Education Commission of the States provides a brief overview of what is included in a well-rounded education and the opportunities that ESSA opens for states and districts to provide such an education to their students.

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