School Libraries and ESSA
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaces the No Child Left Behind version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act with language that includes “effective school library programs.”
AASL, as the national organization for the school library profession, is examining ESSA, unpacking the provisions for school libraries within the legislation, and communicating how they will impact the school library community.
AASL will continue to work with the ALA Washington Office, the ALA Office of Library Advocacy, and other educational organizations to highlight opportunities within ESSA language for school librarians and school libraries to be addressed in state and local plans.
AASL Position Statements
Definition for an Effective School Library Program
AASL supports the position that an effective school library program has a certified school librarian at the helm, provides personalized learning environments, and offers equitable access to resources to ensure a well-rounded education for every student.
Appropriate Staffing for School Libraries
AASL supports the position that every student in every school, including independent schools and public charter schools, should have access to an updated school library with a certified school librarian.
Instructional Role of the School Librarian
AASL supports the position that school librarians are instructors as well as collaborators with fellow educators in the pursuit of student learning in school libraries, classrooms, learning commons, makerspaces, labs, and virtual learning spaces.
Role of the School Library Program
AASL supports the position that an effective school library program plays a crucial role in preparing students for informed living in an information-rich society.
Preparation of School Librarians
AASL supports the position that, in addition to meeting state certification requirements, school librarians hold a master’s degree or equivalent from a program that combines academic and professional preparation in library and information science, education, and technology.
ESSA Updates on Knowledge Quest
ESSA Updates from the ALA Washington Office: District Dispatch
Rule Making & Guidance
Letter to the USED Providing Recommendations on Implementing Title I (January 21, 2016)
Response to the U.S. Department of Education's Request for Input on Areas of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in which the Department could Provide Non-Regulatory Guidance to Support Inclusion of School Libraries and Librarians (May 25, 2016)
Comments submitted to a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Every Student Succeeds Act: Accountability and State Plans (July 26, 2016)
ESSA State Workshops
AASL, in collaboration with ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) and the ALA Washington Office, is offering a comprehensive workshop on ESSA to AASL Affiliate organizations.