The ESEA: A Pivotal Civil Rights Milestone

Publication date: May 11, 2015

Posted by Sherrilyn Ifill on May 11, 2015.

This year, we are commemorating significant milestones in our civil rights history, including the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the 61st anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, and the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into law.

Although the ESEA is not often mentioned in the context of these other civil rights milestones, I believe that it is very much a pivotal piece of civil rights legislation: It opened doors to educational opportunities for many low-income students who had been relegated to substandard education. In fact, I echo the sentiments of our country’s first lady and others who have called education the civil rights issue of our time.

Read the full article in Education Week.

Related Content