The adoption of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was billed as a watershed moment in education policy. Yet, NCLB did not mark the federal government's first major foray into education policy; in fact, it was just the most recent incarnation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Enacted at the height of the civil rights movement and as part of America's "War on Poverty," the ESEA is a federal civil rights statute at its core, designed to level the playing field and expand educational opportunity for poor children and children of color.
Damon T. Hewitt,
Reauthorize, Revise, and Remember: Refocusing the No Child Left Behind Act To Fulfill Brown's Promise,
Yale L. & Pol'y Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol30/iss1/5