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Why Did George W. B. Johnson Use ESEA?

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Although George W. Bush passed NCLB, the road to this policy began before he assumed the presidency. Contrary to popular belief, NCLB is a renewal of a much older education initiative, titled the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). President Lyndon B. Johnson implemented ESEA in 1965, during his grand domestic agenda labeled “the Great Society”. During this time Johnson created ESEA, and numerous other social welfare policies, in order to realize his vision of an ideal American society. The 1965 ESEA, “offered new grants to districts serving low-income students, federal grants for text and library books, it created special education centers, and created scholarships for low-income college students.” Most importantly, it provided federal grants to state agencies to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education. Johnson upheld the belief that, “full education opportunity” …show more content…

Anyone invested in the education from parents to policy maker, were focused on the widening achievement gap. At the end of the 2001 school year, 82 percent of whites were performing at or above grade level, while only 59% of Latinos met this standard, and an even smaller 52% of blacks. This 30-percentage point difference became a major source of anxiety for the American public. Researchers also found that, although funding to schools had increased over the years, reading proficiency and other achievement indicators stayed mostly stagnant. In addition to the achievement gap; low graduation rates, and the constant declining of America in world education rankings, made school reform a topic that no candidate running for president could ignore. In a pre-election poll, 86 percent of respondents said that K-12 public education was very important in determining which candidate they would vote for in the presidential

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