Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who believed that “full educational opportunity” should be “our first national goal.”

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has hearkened back to that goal by calling to replace the outmoded No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) — the most recent reauthorization of the 1965 education law — and to create a new ESEA that moves America closer to the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child.

While NCLB put in place measures that exposed achievement gaps among traditionally underserved and vulnerable students and their peers, and started an important national dialogue on educational improvement, the law is long overdue for reauthorization. Many parents, educators, and elected officials have recognized that a strong, updated law is necessary to expand opportunity for all students in America; to support schools, teachers, and principals; and to strengthen our educational system and economy.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

In 2012, the Obama administration began offering flexibility to states regarding specific requirements of NCLB in exchange for rigorous and comprehensive state-developed plans designed to close achievement gaps, increase equity, improve the quality of instruction, and increase outcomes for all students.

Read more about ESEA Flexibility.

Secretary Duncan has called for replacing NCLB with a new ESEA that takes advantage of the lessons of the last several years and builds on the progress that America’s students and educators have worked hard to achieve.

Read more about the Obama administration’s plan to ensure that all young people are prepared to succeed in college and careers, that historically underserved populations are protected, and that educators have the resources they need to succeed.

Read what people are saying about ESEA Reauthorization.

teacher with students