McDermott is co-editor of RSF journal issue

Kathryn A. McDermott, professor, education policy, is the co-editor with David A Gamson, The Pennsylvania State University, and Douglass S. Reed, Georgetown University, of a new issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences focused on the “Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 at Fifty and Beyond.” The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, a key component of President Johnson’s War on Poverty, was designed to aid low-income students and to combat racial segregation in schools.

Over the last several decades, the ESEA has become the federal government’s main source of leverage on states and school districts to enact its preferred reforms, including measures such as standardized testing. In this issue of RSF, an esteemed group of education scholars examine the historical evolution of the ESEA, its successes and pitfalls, and what they portend for the future of education policies.

Bringing together research on the successes and shortcomings of the ESEA, this issue offers new insights into federal education policy and demonstrates that this landmark legislation remains a powerful force in the lives of educators and students fifty years after its initial implementation.

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