The Elementary and Secondary Education Act hasn’t been updated since it was renamed “No Child Left Behind” in 2001 by President George W. Bush. The law was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty.
Cross your fingers.
Congress is trying to do something it was supposed to do back in 2007: agree on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It’s not controversial to say the law is in desperate need of an update.
The ESEA is hugely important, not just to our nation’s schools but to the social fabric. It pours billions of federal dollars each year into classrooms that serve low-income students. When President Lyndon Johnson first signed it in 1965, he declared the law “a major new commitment of the federal government to quality and equality in the schooling that we offer our young people.”
The ESEA is supposed to be updated every few years but hasn’t been rewritten since 2001, when another Texan, President George W. Bush, famously renamed it No Child Left Behind. Bush took Johnson’s original vision, to help states level the playing field for students living and learning in poverty, and added teeth.