Free The Elementary And Secondary Education Act Of 1965 (Esea) Research Paper Sample
Type of paper: Research Paper
Topic: Education, Government, Students, Senate, Criticism, Support, Poor, War
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a piece of legislation that was passed on April 9, 1965 (Schugurensky, 2001) which aimed to provide sufficient financial support to schools for the disadvantaged and underprivileged children (Thomas & Brady, 2005). The ESEA was branded as one of the most expansive among the federal education bills. Up to this day, the ESEA is still the largest fiscal support for the education of underprivileged children, however, evolutions of this federal education bill was deemed necessary, specifically for English-language learners, female students and Native American students. Moreover, the ESEA acted not just as a supplemental support but also as a regulatory law to ensure the improvement of education and the efficiency of appropriate grade-level proficiencies (Thomas & Brady, 2005).
The signing of the legislative bill, ESEA, seemed to end the legislative struggle that is federal education aid. After the World War II, legislation concerning federal education aid exhibited many pitfalls. There were lots of bills proposed but were faced with critics and questions which resulted to a little progress (Galligan, nd).
In 1946, a bill named S 181 was sponsored by Senator Robert Taft. This bill aimed to authorize federal education aid to all but the wealthiest states. This was thought to equalize educational levels throughout the nation. However, the bill was not acted upon by the Senate. Although not successful, it marked the beginning of a long and hard struggle for federal education aid (Galligan, nd).
More bills were seen proposed to the senate, however, each one was deemed failure. The S 472 in 1948 declared to allot $300 million per year for educational costs to the states and the S 246 in 1949 was almost similar. However, although both of them passed a Senate roll-call, they were not cleared in the House Education and Labor Committee. A bill named HR 4643 was proposed by Chairman Graham A. Barden to restrict federal education aids to tax-supported schools, however, it was criticized by religious and private schools, and thus, started a church-state war of words. A major breakthrough was seen in the form of the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA), however, it was criticized for being biased against humanities and social studies. Later on, more bills were proposed, but some of them did not pass the Senate, or the House Education and Labor Committee. Furthermore, those that passed the Senate were faced with criticisms and frustrations (Galligan, nd).
Until, in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson commissioned the Gardner Commission chaired by John Gardner with primary task which is to formulate innovative ideas for federal education aid. Indeed, federal education aids were recommended to be categorical according to specific needs. This approach led to the passing of the ESEA in 1965. Although the ESEA was highly accepted, it was also criticized; hence the need for expansions. Evolutions of the ESEA were later seen as more issues were approached (Galligan, nd).
The relevance of the ESEA were expressed in three major consequences: (1) the shift from general federal aid to categorical aid, which granted more focus to the underprivileged students, (2) addressed the religious conflict in the sense that the bill focused on poor children whether enrolled in parochial schools or not, and (3) the state departments of education was seen as reliable in administering federal funds (Schugurensky, 2001).
In the end, the pursuit for an efficient federal education aid ended with the enactment of the ESEA. Many of the students that were underprivileged were supported financially, which resulted to a shift in educational status per states. Before ESEA, most of the students dropped out because of financial difficulties while the enactment of ESEA not only reduced the number of dropouts but significantly improved the number of graduates. In addition, the quality of education was equalized for all groups. The poor students were financially supported, the bilingual students had curriculum changes, female students were seen equal as the male students, and the bias against Native Americans were reduced. In short, the ESEA prompted advantages for these groups so that equality in education would be achieved. Moreover, the ESEA advanced the educational system such that there would be improvements in the quality of education.
However, in order to attain these achievements, the ESEA had to adjust and evolve. For instance, there were a lot of changes in the Title 1 of the ESEA within the first 15 years it was enacted. In addition, the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act (ECIA) was enacted in 1981 so that there would be reductions in the regulation of Title 1. The two major adjustments that were made were the addition of the Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) and the No Child Left Behind policy. Needless to say, all of these alterations were necessary.
Overall, the ESEA was deemed important because of a number of factors. The need for a bill regarding federal education aid was met by the ESEA, however, the ESEA focused on groups such as the poor, bilingual, female, and Native American students. Of course, it showed relevant results according to assessments. In addition, the ESEA proved the need for general federal aid to shift to categorical aid. Lastly, the evolutions of the ESEA was seen just as important.
Galligan, Joseph M. (nd). “The Most Important Measure I Shall Ever Sign, L.B.J.: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.” Term Project for Politics 364. 1-17.
Schugurensky, Daniel. (2001). “Elementary and Secondary School Act, the 'War on Poverty' and Title 1.” History of Education. From http://schugurensky.faculty.asu.edu/moments/1965elemsec.html
Thomas, J.Y. & Brady, K.P. (2005). “The Elementary and Secondary Education Act at 40: Equity, Accountability, and the Evolving Federal Role in Public Education.” Review of Research in Education, 29: 51-67.