As states begin to roll out their plans for school improvement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the National Urban League is launching No Ceilings on Success, a campaign to hold states accountable through parental and community involvement. Derived from the concept of breaking glass ceilings, No Ceilings on Success builds on the work of our EEP project by equipping parents, teachers, students and communities with the knowledge to remove the barriers that prevent every student from achieving academic excellence. Read more on our position on ESSA.

Leveling the Playing Field

Signed into law under President Barack Obama in December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was designed to create an equal opportunity for all students by:

  • Upholding protections for disadvantaged and high-need students.
  • Requiring schools to prepare all students in America for college and careers.
  • Tracking student progress in meeting new academic standards through annual statewide assessments.
  • Investing in and increasing access to high-quality preschool.
  • Holding schools accountable where students aren’t making progress and graduation rates are low through community action.

As state ESSA plans are approved and district plans are developed, read on how you can get involved in making a difference in your community's schools.


In 2010, we launched the Equity and Excellence project to bring famiies and educators into the conversation about education reform. All too often, communities of color are “left outside” of education reform efforts, just as students of color are “left behind” in their education. Through our seven focus areas we hope to expand and deepen opportunities, upend inequity, accelerate progress, and deliver more fully on the promise of education.


At the National urban League we believe advocacy should be paired with transparency. Check out our latest news and events, including webinars, to learn more about equity in education and ways you can get involved.