National Initiative
for Transforming Student
and Learning Supports
Equity of opportunity is fundamental to enabling civil rights;
transforming student and learning supports is fundamental to
enabling equity of opportunity and promoting whole child development.


ESSA and Learning Supports:
Addressing Barriers to Learning and Teaching
to Enhance Equity of Opportunity

    ESSA planning provides a renewed opportunity for innovation in revisiting school improvement policy and practice. And from the communications we have received, there is considerable interest in using the opportunity to move forward with unifying and then developing a comprehensive and equitable system for addressing barriers to learning and teaching.

    To build on this interest, we will host a summit at UCLA in January for a select group of about 75 state and district superintendents and other key leaders for school improvement. If you think this fits your state/district mission, let us know. Contact: Ltaylor@ucla.edu

2016 -- Student and learning supports have long been marginalized in school improvement policy and practice. As a result, such supports are developed in an ad hoc and piecemeal manner. Implementation is fragmented and at times redundant. Those involved often are counterproductively competitive, especially when funding is sparse (and when isn’t it?).

All this needs to change. Yet, most of the widely circulated reports about improving schools pay little or no attention to the role of school student and learning support staff.


And while the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) offers opportunities, it also continues the piecemeal approach to addressing barriers to learning and teaching and re-engaging disconnected students and families. See our analysis:

Interested? Let us hear your views about direct action to end the marginalization and transform student and learning supports. Also, let us know if you are ready to move forward to develop a Learning Supports Component to better address barriers to learning and teaching and re-engage disconnected students. Send to Ltaylor@ucla.edu or to adelman@psych.ucla.edu