Cultural Implications

The BEA was a significant piece of legislation that reflected attitudes towards diversity and education in the country.
To begin with, the BEA demonstrated "a shift from the notion that students should be afforded equal educational opportunity to the idea that educational policy should work to equalize academic outcomes, even if such equity demanded providing different learning environments."

Additionally, it reflected changes in cultural perspectives towards diversity and immigration. The BEA was an important shift away from the late 1950s anticommunist sentiment where anything foreign was suspect, which had destroyed many earlier local and state attempts at bilingual education. Furthermore, it recognized that the federal government was responsible for educating immigrants to the US and opened doors for bilingual education projects on local, state, and federal levels.

The BEA also became an important part of the "polemic between assimilation and multiculturalism" and the role that language education in our society. Because the BEA in its original form promoted celebrating linguistic and cultural differences and diversity in the U.S., it in many ways challenged assimilationist theories and the "melting pot" concept of the U.S. And yet, in its final form when passed, it did not mention the important link between language and culture, leaving the language vague.

The BEA additionally opened up a larger need for teachers who could teach language and other content within a language besides English. This placed a strain on the teaching pool available in 1968 and even today there is a shortage of teachers for these highly specialized positions. Culturally, it was argued in this time period that by teaching in a certain language it also taught specific values instead of just a way of communication.