Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of History


Philip David Dillard

Kevin Hardwick

Evan Friss


Education before the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was inconsistent with the need for quality education in the United States. Extreme poverty and racial issues existed in the South. Texas was no different. Part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society was to reform education across the United States while targeting poverty in the South. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is regarded as the largest education reform program in U.S. history. Its irreversible impact on school systems across the nation led to societal and educational changes—which set new standards for education.

This thesis analyzes the impact of Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in Texas, focusing on four regions, Angelina County, Dallas ISD, Hays County, and Nueces County. By analyzing the political roll-out plan of the ESEA in Washington D.C. and in Texas and exploring data from Texas public schools after the bill was signed, this thesis argues against historians who do not give credit for the success in the education of Johnson’s Education Bill.

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