EDUCATION REFORM TIMELINE
Brown vs. Board of Education requires public schools to educate all children, regardless of race. Previously, schools had segregated students, educating white and African American students in separate facilities. Where segregated schools were not available or inferior to white schools, African American children were often denied admission to public schools.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), signed by President Lyndon Johnson as part of his
War on Poverty, provides guidance and federal funds that target poor children in America's public schools, known as Title I. (Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) [P.L. 103-382].)
A network of 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) are created under ESEA to develop and disseminate – in cooperation with schools, state education agencies and research universities – ideas and programs for improving educational practices throughout the country.
The Comer Process, a comprehensive school reform strategy, is created by Dr. James Comer at Yale University and managed by Yale's School Development Program. It targets grades K-12 with an emphasis on mobilizing the entire community of adult caretakers to support students’ holistic development to bring about academic success.
The U.S. Department of Education is created by combining offices of several federal agencies. Its original mission is to guarantee equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation.
The National Commission on Excellence in Education is created by Terrence Bell, President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Education, to examine the quality of education in the U.S. due to "the widespread public perception that something is seriously remiss in our educational system".
A Nation at Risk, a report by the Education Department’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, warns of a "rising tide of mediocrity" in American schools "that threatens our very future as a Nation." A number of other critiques of the country's educational system were also released around this time.
High Schools That Work, a school reform model targeting grades 9-12, is created by the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, Georgia. It is geared towards increasing the achievement of all students with special emphasis on career-bound students by blending the content of traditional college prep studies with quality vocational and technical studies.
Minnesota is one of the first states to pass public school choice laws, giving students the choice of attending any public school in the state. Previously, students were required to attend schools in their neighborhood and/or district.
President George H. Bush joins forces with Bill Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas, to hold the very first National Education Summit in Charlottesville, Virginia for the country's 50 governors with the intention of establishing education goals for the nation.
National Education Goals are announced by the President and adopted by the Governors. The six goals, later expanded to eight, are to be reached by the year 2000:
1. All children will start school ready to learn.
2. The high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90%.
3. All students will become competent in challenging subject matter.
4. Teachers will have the knowledge and skills that they need.
5. U.S. students will be first in the world in mathematics and science achievement.
6. Every adult American will be literate.
7. Schools will be safe, disciplined, and free of guns, drugs and alcohol.
8. Schools will promote parental involvement and participation.
The National Education Goals Panel is created by President Bush and the states' governors to assess and report on state and national progress towards achieving the National Education Goals. The panel is composed of eight governors, four state legislators, four members of the U.S. Congress and two members appointed by the President.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin establishes a voucher program enabling low-income children to attend a private or religious school of their choice. It is the first school choice program in the U.S. to provide funding to private schools in place of a public education. (At that time Vermont and Maine were already paying for children's private school tuition in towns where no public schools were available.)
David Kerns, former CEO of Xerox, organized the business community in founding New American Schools, a public-private partnership that supported the development and dissemination of research-based school improvement strategies. This marked private industries commitment to and investment in the education of America’s children.
The first charter school – a privately operated public school – opened in Minnesota. Charters are typically run by community leaders, parents, teachers or other groups under a charter agreement with the school district, state, or university.
Success for All, a school reform model for grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, is developed by Robert Slavin, Nancy Madden, and a team of developers from Johns Hopkins University geared to insure that all children learn to read, acquire basic skills in other subjects areas, and build problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg announces the Annenberg Foundation's “Challenge to the Nation” with a $500 million grant to improve public schools. It was the largest single gift ever made to public education. The Challenge generated more than $600 million in matching grants from private and public sources and spent $1.1 billion on initiatives on 18 locally designed projects that targeted 2,400 public schools.
Goals 2000: Educate America Act is signed by President Clinton, supporting states to develop standards for what every child should learn and achieve. The act also provides the necessary resources to states and communities so that all students reach those standards, appropriating $400 million in 1994.
Improving America's Schools Act, a reauthorization of the 1965 ESEA, is passed. In conjunction with Goals 2000, it provides additional funding to improve the way education is delivered, upgrade instructional and professional development to align with high standards, strengthen accountability and promote the coordination of resources to improve education for all children.
Under the Improving America's Schools Act, Congress establishes 15 federally funded comprehensive school assistance centers nationwide to support states, districts and schools with reform aimed at improving the academic performance of all students.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Program, established in 1965 with a network of 10 labs, is reauthorized (Public Law 103-227) with the mission of promoting knowledge-based school improvement to help all students meet high standards and to help the nation meet the National Education Goals.
Teachers Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg launch their Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) for fifth graders in a public school in inner city Houston, Texas. The following year, Feinberg's KIPP Academy in Houston becomes a charter school and Levin establishes KIPP Academy New York in the South Bronx.
The Second National Education Summit is held with 41 Governors in attendance, pledging their support to develop academic standards at the state and local level with the creation of Achieve, a bipartisan organization that serves as a national clearinghouse on standards, assessments and accountability.
The Comprehensive School Reform Program, authored by Congressmen Obey and Porter and part of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriation Act, awards schools in need of improvement at least $50,000 per year (renewable for three years) towards comprehensive and coherent reform. These funds will support technical assistance and start-up costs of selected comprehensive reform models.
In his State of the Union address, President Clinton urges states to take more action and responsibility by challenging them to adopt high national standards and test all fourth graders in reading and all eighth graders in math by 1999 to be sure the standards are met.
Education Week develops an annual state-by-state analysis, Quality Counts: A Report Card on the Condition of Public Education, to measure student achievement, standards and assessment, teaching quality, school climate and resources. This first report claims "despite 15 years of earnest efforts to improve public schools and raise student achievement, states haven't made much progress."
Standards update: 22 of 45 states have adopted standards promoted by Goals 2000 and set forth by A Nation At Risk that require high school students to take at least four years of English, three years of math, three years of science, three years of history (and/or social studies), half a year of computer science and two years of a foreign language (for college bound students); six other states allow more "local control" at the district level in determining curriculum standards. In 1982 only 2% of graduates met these standards. Now, 15 of 51 states have a minimum competency test for graduating; 16 are planning to implement one in the future.
Source: http://www-hoover.stanford.edu (PDF - Adobe Reader Required)
No Child Left Behind Act is signed by President George Bush and calls for greater accountability of student performance by requiring states to issue annual report cards on school performance and statewide results. Among other provisions it also promotes stronger reading programs and pushes for improved teacher quality.
Though the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has been in existence since 1969 with voluntary participation, beginning with the 2002-2003 school year states that want to receive Title I grants from the federal government must participate in the biennial fourth grade and eighth grade NAEP reading and mathematics assessments. Similarly, school districts that receive Title I funds and are selected for the NAEP sample are also required to participate in NAEP reading and mathematics assessments at fourth and eighth grades.
National Education Goals Panel is closed. It was established in 1990 as an outgrowth of the first National Education Summit that identified six goals (later expanded to eight) to be reached by 2000. Many of the goals were not attained.
At the National Education Summit, the nation's governors, executives and education leaders discuss an agenda for high school improvement that includes ways to strengthen graduation requirements, support students in achieving higher standards and improve high school and college data accountability systems.