Education Policy: Research: Historical Overview:

Key Topics in Education Policy

These topics form the primary focus of the States' Impact on Federal Education Policy Project (SIFEPP). Researchers may wish to use these topics to frame their own research.

State advocacy on federal education policy(a theme across all topics)

  • State actions
  • Council of Chief State School Officers, which represents state education departments
  • Learning First Alliance and other coalitions

Standards, assessments, and accountability

  • Hawkins Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Act (1988)
  • National Education Summit (National Goals for Education) 1989
  • ESEA 1994
  • Goals 2000
  • ESEA - No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB 2002)

Economically disadvantaged students-Title I

  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title I (ESEA 1965) and reauthorizations through No Child Left Behind Act (2002)

Students with disabilities

  • State actions prior to federal action, PL 94-142 (1975)
  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 1990) and reauthorizations
  • Workforce Investment Act (1998) and reauthorizations

Bilingual education

  • Bilingual Education Act of 1968 (Title VII, ESEA), amended 1978, 1994
  • Supreme Court (Lau v. Nichols, 1974)
  • California Proposition 227 (1998)
  • English Language Acquisition Act (in NCLB 2002)

Equal educational opportunities for women and girls

  • Civil Rights Act, Title IX (1972)
  • Court cases

School desegregation

  • Brown v. Topeka Board of Education (1954)
  • Civil Rights Act (1964)
  • Other court cases

Early childhood education

  • Head Start (1965)
  • Even Start Family Literacy Program (1988)

Workforce preparation

  • Vocational Education Act (1963)
  • Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA 1963)
  • Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA 1982)
  • School to Work Opportunities Act (STW 1994)
  • Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (1998)
  • Workforce Investment Act (1998)

Learning technologies

  • Learning technologies funding acts
  • Universal Service Program (Telecommunications Act of 1996)
  • Museum and Library Services Act (1996, amended 1997)

School financing: court cases

  • Serrano in California (1976-89) re inequity in funding of school districts statewide
  • Similar cases since in 25 states, including New York

Governance and organization

  • Administration of federal programs
  • Charter schools (federal funding and advocacy)
  • Federal support for education of students in nonpublic schools

International dimensions

  • National Defense Education Act (NDEA 1958)
  • Establishing national goals vis-à-vis other nations (1989)
  • International assessment comparisons