Timeline: Education in America

1951- The Brown vs. Board of Education hearing takes place on June 25th and 26th.  The U.S. Supreme court ruled that the “separate but equal” doctrine was unconstitutional.

1779-Thomas Jefferson proposed a plan for education that could have sustained cost-free education for all children in the state of Virginia for three years.

1852-Massachussetts passed the first compulsory school attendance laws.   Compulsory school revolves around the idea that all children must, according to the laws of the state, receive and education.

1918-All states in the United States passed a law that children must attend at least elementary school level education.

1944-GI bill was an effort made by the federal office to offer financial assistance so military veterans could attend college.

1965-Primary and Secondary Act goes into play. It is a law that provides funds for primary and secondary education in the U.S.  Its initial goal is to give low-income schools funds in an effort to make all education and every school equal.

1983-Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education issued a report titled A Nation at Risk. Also, T.H. Bell, the Secretary of Education, declared that education in the U.S. was not meeting the country’s need for aggressive and competitive workforce.

1994- The Goals 2000: Educate America Act was signed into law on March 31ist. Goals 2000 provided.  If more is expected of the student, they will reach higher levels of achievement.

2002-The No Child Left Behind Act was enacted.  Bush signed it into law on January 8th.  For a state to receive federal funding for school, the Act requires that state to create a standard test that will be given to all students in particular grades.

2009-The American Recovery and Reinvestment act was signed by newly elected president Barack Obama.  It includes spending for healthcare and infrastructure, and most importantly education.


5 links to use:


This is an encyclopedia article that goes in depth about the history of education, higher education, state involvement, equality, and contemporary issues.


This assessment report contains nearly everything one needs to know about the history of the No Child Left Behind Act.  It discusses the shift to standard-based assessments, the Act’s regulations, and how it is improving America’s schools.


This New York Times article debriefs the No Child Left Behind Act and discusses how many of the negative connotations of this act are associated with the time when President Bush was losing popularity.


On this website, there is an abundance of information and links that explain exactly what The American Recover and Reinvestment Act of 2009 entails, how it will benefit education, and what type of funding will be given to public education.


One of the most important steps towards education reform was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  This website explains the importance of this act, its history, and what it  has done to improve our public school system in the United States.


The articles I chose all represent the efforts that have been made by the United States government, past and present, to reform education.  Every president in the history of this country all understand the importance of education and the effect it has on the future of America.  We are constantly struggling as a society to set what the standard for primary and secondary education should be because of the strong diversity we possess from state to state.  The issue of equal education for all dates all the way back to the infamous Brown vs. Board of Education trial and there have been countless attempts at reform ever since.  Newly elected president Obama developed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, partially in hopes to increase funding for education and create a more effective learning environment for the youth of the United States.


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