Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John Pitney

Rights Information

© 2022 TatianaV.Amaya


According to research by the National Working Group on Foster Care and Education, foster youth are at a tremendous educational disadvantage. More specifically, compared to their non-foster peers, they are less likely to graduate high school, score proficient or advanced on standardized tests, and attend college. The Obama Administration created and implemented the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to shift this narrative. The act replaced the federal 2002 No Child Left Behind Act and currently serves as the United States leading educational policy. This thesis analyzes the implementation of ESSA in two states - Pennsylvania and California - primarily focusing on each state’s success in employing specific provisions targeted at foster youth. I found that neither state aligns with the act’s provisions and fails to include direct strategies to improve the educational outcomes for this subgroup. Recommendations were made to improve Pennsylvania’s and California’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan to achieve higher academic and life success for children in foster care.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.