Education Policy: Research: Chronology:

Federal-State Education Policy Chronology

This summary lists key events and developments in the history of federal education policy.  You can view the complete version of this publication in PDF format.

1970 Experimental Schools Program (ESP) and the National Institute of Education (NIE) launched by President Nixon to link educational research and practice. (NIE absorbed into OERI in 1985, below.)
1972 Title IX of the Civil Rights Act bans sex discrimination in all education programs and activities receiving federal funds.
1974 Supreme Court on Limited English Proficient education. In Lau v. Nichols the court rules that school districts must provide remedies for non-English-speaking children so that they can have access to meaningful education.
  Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974 provides that no state shall deny equal educational opportunity on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin.
  ASPIRA Consent Decree in New York City requires that limited-English-proficient (LEP) students be taught at least partly in their native language.
1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (PL 94-142) mandates that each handicapped child have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and be educated in the least restrictive environment.
1979-1983 New York Regents Action Plan for Improvement of Elementary and Secondary Education developed and approved. The nation's first comprehensive reform plan based on standards for student achievement and school and teacher accountability.
1979 Department of Education Organization Act, signed by President Carter, established the cabinet-level department. A coalition of national organizations supported this effort, passed by narrow margins in both houses.

Office of Education Research and Improvement (OERI) established, but never attained funding or stature commensurate with research agencies in other fields, such as health, science, and transportation.