At the 2016 Content in Context session Power to the States - What's Next After ESSA? Robert Pondiscio, Sr. Fellow and VP for External Affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, discussed his views on ESSA and how it could impact student learning. He explained how previous education policy had broken reading instruction by fixating on testing reading over everything else. Reading is not a skill, he emphasized, but a reflection of how well and broadly educated children are. Optimistic about ESSA, Pondiscio commented that the law provides the conditions necessary for states to address the problem if they have learned the lesson of how blunt force accountability negatively affects reading instruction.