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The National Defense Education Act of 1958 (NDEA), enacted by the 85th Congress as Public Law 85–864 on September 2, 1958, was the principal federal support program for public education in the 1950s. This legislation, like federal policy at the time, was based on the belief that because education at all levels was directly linked with military research, it was an essential component of cold war strategies. The law provided federal funds in targeted areas. This entry summarizes the law's historical background, its content, and its impact.

Historical Background

With the start of the cold war at the end of World War II, members of scientific organizations were concerned with the lack of science, engineering, and mathematics majors in American universities. Insofar as these individuals placed ...

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