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The Every Student Succeeds Act and Multicultural Education: A Critical Race Theory Analysis

by Floyd D. Beachum - 2018

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is now the educational law of the land. It replaced and revised what was known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). ESSA represents a movement from more federal oversight to more state and local control. Although this transitional time period is one of great potential and excitement, educators and policy makers might also want to remain cautious. This next educational era of ESSA is still plagued by the problems of the past era. Teachers and administrators are still struggling to turn around low-performing schools in many U.S. urban areas; many urban educational issues, like high-dropout rates, gang influence, and low student engagement, are still inextricably linked to the socioeconomic problems that exist in local communities. This analysis first seeks to explain the purpose of ESSA. It then outlines the current plight of many students of color in the United States. Next, critical race theory is used to contextualize and categorize persistent problems that face the implementation of ESSA for these students of color. Finally, the author proposes ways to address the stated problems for school leaders and policy makers.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 120 Number 13, 2018, p. 1-18
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22339, Date Accessed: 1/17/2021 5:02:43 PM

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About the Author
  • Floyd Beachum
    Lehigh University
    E-mail Author
    FLOYD D. BEACHUM is the Bennett Professor of Urban School Leadership at Lehigh University, where he is also an associate professor and program director for educational leadership in the College of Education. He received his doctorate in leadership studies from Bowling Green State University, with an emphasis in educational administration. Dr. Beachum has a total of 22 years in education (K–12 and higher education). Before becoming a faculty member, he worked as a substitute teacher, student teacher, classroom teacher, and lead teacher for social studies. His research interests are leadership in urban education, moral and ethical leadership, and social justice issues in K–12 schools. Dr. Beachum has authored several peer-reviewed articles on these topics in several journals. In addition, his most recent books include Educational Leadership and Music: Lessons for Tomorrow’s School Leaders (2017) and Improving Educational Outcomes of Vulnerable Children (2018).
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