Warren hails civil rights legacy of education law

Says it’s crucial that Every Student Succeeds Act maintain the federal commitment to vulnerable children

Sen. Warren2

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren addresses the crowd as she gives the the 2016 Lee Gurel Lecture at Daniels Theater, Atwood Hall on the campus of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 14, 2016. Photo Credit: Matthew Healey for Clark University

WHILE IT’S EASY to get caught up in the details and debates over mandated testing regimens and teacher evaluation policies,the federal education law that stirred such backlash for more than a decade until it was replaced last year is one of the legislative pillars of the civil rights gains of the 1960s.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whose first job after college was as a special needs instructor for young children and who went on to teach aspiring lawyers at Harvard Law School, was in full history lesson mode today as she drew connections between the federal government’s main education law and the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s.

In a speech Monday morning at an education symposium at Clark University, Warren praised the recent passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the deeply unpopular No Child Left Behind law of 2002. But she used the powerful history behind the law to explain, in the most detailed remarks she has offered to date, why she was part of an effort last year in Congress to insist on provisions in the new law designed to protect the interests of poor and minority children.

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Michael Jonas

Executive Editor, CommonWealth Beacon

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