An Education Law that Ensures Opportunity for All Students

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Nearly 50 years ago, President Johnson signed the first major piece of legislation to support disadvantaged students in America’s public schools: the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The passage of that law was significant in that it focused, in President Johnson’s words, on both the “quality and equality in schooling that we offer our young people.” For 50 years, the law has persistently focused on expanding and protecting educational opportunity.

As Congress readies itself to rewrite that law — which is today the No Child Left Behind Act — it is critical to ensure that this landmark education law maintains its core mandates of quality and equality, while taking on new challenges facing America’s students. Earlier this week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan put forward a set of principles for this law’s reauthorization that celebrate the progress we have made as a country while recognizing that we have room for further improvement.

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