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American Education Week Timeline


1919 —NEA and the American Legion meet to seek ways to generate public support for education.

1921—NEA and American Legion co-sponsor the first American Education Week.

1926—First SAT tests administered.

1935—Congress creates the Works Progress Administration—resulting in the development of hundreds of new school buildings.

1939—Frank W. Cyr, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College, sets the standard yellow for school buses.

1944—The G.I. Bill is enacted for World War II Veterans and 238,000 become teachers.

1945—Every state now has a pension program for teachers.

1946—The Truman Commission Report is issue in 1947 and recommends sweeping changes in higher education, which doubles college enrollments.

1954  Brown vs Board of Education passed ruling that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal,”overturning Plessy v. Ferguson.

1965— Project Head Start is initiated; the program continues to this day and is the longest-running anti-poverty program in the U.S.

1966 — Making History ATA and NEA merge.

1968—Congress passes the Bilingual Education Act, also known as Title VII, a precursor for No Child Left Behind Act. Accreditation of Teacher education is created to set uniform standards for training America’s teachers.

1958— Congress passes the National Defense Education Act—increasing funding for scientific research and science education.

1959­—The first ACT Test is administered.Wisconsin wins nation’s first statewide collective bargaining law for public employees.

1964Civil Rights Act is passed.The Association for Children with Learning Disabilities, now Learning Disabilities Association of America is formed.

1965—Congress passes NEA-sponsored Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).The Higher Education Act is introduced and includes Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Shirley Chisholms, an African American educator, becomes the first African American woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

1972  Congress passes Title IX—prohibiting discrimination in all aspects of education based on gender.

1974  The Equal Educational Opportunity Act is passed.

1975­­­­­  Congress passes the Education of All Handicapped Act—forerunner of today’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

1980  Congress creates the US Department of Education.

1983  US Department of Education releases “A Nation at Risk”—calling for sweeping reforms in public education

1986 NEA member and teacher Christa McAuliffe —selected to be part of America’s teacher in space program— dies in the Challenger disaster.

1991  The smart board (interactive white board) is introduced.

1994 The Improving America’s Schools Act (IASA) is signed into law by President Clinton. It reauthorizes the ESEA of 1965.

1998 NEA’s Read Across America is created to encourage adults to take an active role in reading to youngsters on a regular basis.

2001 Congress passes the No Child Left Behind Act—a reauthorization of 1965’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act is introduced.

2004 H.R 1350 The Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEA 2004), reauthorizes and modifies IDEA.

2007 ­NEA celebrates its 150th Anniversary. Congress passes the Labor-HHS- Education appropriation bill which includes reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

2011 Wisconsin legislature passes a bill removing most collective-bargaining rights from many public employees, including teachers.