The first public school was established for boys from ages 8 to 15 to prepare them for college. Only boys from certain social classes were allowed to attend. Schools main purpose was to prepare them for leadership within the court system, the state, and the church (Sass). These schools were based on religion. “Protestantism believed in education was needed so that individuals could interpret the bible,” (Major Events).
Founding of Harvard
It was the first college in the United States. It was established in Newtowne, Massachusetts. The school was named after John Harvard who later left his library and half his estate to the institution (History of Harvard University). The type of students Harvard accepts is undergraduates, graduates, and professionals. Students are required to know the languages of Greek and Latin for admittance (Major Events).
The Massachusetts Bay School Law
“…Massachusetts Bay Colony passed the first law in the New World requiring that children be taught to read and write,” (Massachusetts Passes). This law had a lot of influence based on the Puritan lifestyle. The Puritans believed that their colony would only be successful with people who were literate so that they can read both the Bible and the laws (Massachusetts Passes).
First American Academy
It was founded by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia. The main purpose was to prepare students for employment. The curriculum was both classical and modern and provided courses such as geography, navigation, surveying, and different languages (Sass). “Academies eventually replaced the Latin Grammar Schools and some admitted Women,” (Major Events). This academy eventually became the University of Pennsylvani
First Monitorial School System
This system was created by British educators Joseph Lancaster and Andrew Bell. The purpose was to create schools for the masses. The students met in one room sometimes in facilities that were extremely limited on their resources. “The monitors, older and better students, were instructed directly by the teacher and in turn instructed the other pupils,” (Monitorial System). This system got the poor interested in education.
First College for Women Established
This was a big step for women because society showed that they saw a need for women to be educated as well. “Societal trends such as an increase in labor-saving devices in the home, a shortage of teachers due to the growth of common schools, a proliferation of reading materials for women, and more philanthropic and some limited employment opportunities for women due to the Civil War led to an increased demand for higher education for women,” (Harwarth).
First High School Developed
High schools were created to replace the academies and Latin grammar schools. Students who have graduated have gone on to do well in society. They “have provided the nation with business, scientific and cultural leaders,” (School History). In 1827, “the state of Massachusetts passes a law requiring towns of more than 500 families to have a public high school open to all students,” (Sass).
Horace Mann Joins the Board of Education
Mann became the Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education. “He is a visionary educator and proponent of public (or “free”) schools. [He] works tirelessly for increased funding of public schools and better training for teachers,” (Sass). He eventually resigns and becomes the first president of Antioch College.
The first kindergarten opened up in Watertown, Wisconsin by Margarethe Schurz. She carried Friedrich Froebel’s ideas with her into these schools. She would lead “them in games and songs and group activities that channeled their energy while preparing them for school at the same time,” (Margarethe). It was not until four years later that Elizabeth Peabody opened up the first “formal” kindergarten in Boston.
Vocational education gets federal funding with this Act. “Big manufacturing corporations push this, because they want to remove job skill training from the apprenticeship programs of trade unions and bring it under their own control,” (Sass). Vocational classes are a major part in high school curriculum especially for those who do not wish to pursue college. These classes provide great hands-on experience for future employees.
Brown Vs. Topeka
This case forced the Board of Education to reverse the doctrine to create a law stating that separate facilities are unequal. Blacks were integrated but they were still segregated. “Even though African Americans started attending white schools, they had separate teams and separate prom courts,” (Alvarez). This was a very big step towards equality within the races.
The launching of Sputnik by the Soviet Union caused an educational reform in the United States towards a more scientific focus. The pride of the United States was hurt and sought the need to be back on top so putting more attention towards science and mathematics was the first step. The National Defense Education Act (NDEA) was created as a “path-breaking effort by the federal government to improve the mathematical and scientific preparation of American youth,” (Gaither).
Civil Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act is passed as a law. “It prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin,” (Sass). The purpose of the law was to desegregate schools but it has done so much more. A title in the law created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) which opened the door for minorities in more than just the school system. “Congress has gradually extended EEOC powers to include investigatory authority, creating conciliation programs, filing lawsuits, and
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
“ESEA emphasizes equal access to education and establishes high standards and accountability,” (Elementary). This had a big impact on the public school system. Some of the benefits were “increased federalization of education included head start, free lunches, special education students,” (Sass). This allowed for students of all socioeconomic statuses to be provided with education.
Immigration Reform and Control Act
This Act “changed who immigrated to the United States and had a huge impact on the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States, specifically California,” (Major Events). Classrooms became more diverse with “unprecedented numbers of Asians and Latin Americans immigrating to the United States,” (Sass).
Serrano Vs. Priest
This case which settled in the Supreme Court of California brought awareness to the spending the schools are doing. “The same court affirmed the lower court's finding that the wealth-related disparities in per-pupil spending generated by the state's education finance system violated the equal protection clause of the California constitution,” (California). Property taxes were no longer going to be where school financing comes from but now the state will take over that responsibility. “Districts
Title 9 was added to the ESEA to ensure there was not any discrimination against women in all aspects. “With this act, the role of women and girls in education and the work force began to change significantly. Title IX ensures legal protection against discrimination for students and employees, which includes protection against sexual harassment,” (Valentin).
Education for All Handicapped Children Act
“It requires that a free, appropriate public education, suited to the student's individual needs, and offered in the least restrictive setting be provided for all ‘handicapped’ children. States are given until 1978 (later extended to 1981) to fully implement the law,” (Sass). This resulted in an increase of more special education classes.
The passing of this proposition impacted school funding tremendously by reducing state income drastically. It put a cap on the amount of taxes that were covered by property taxes and the rest of school funding is provided by the state. With the effect of the recession we rely even more “on the state for our money and the state relies on income taxes and sales tax, and we have high unemployment and we have this recession going on, they have less money. So in turn they give the schools less money,
No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB)
“The law, which reauthorizes the ESEA of 1965 and replaces the Bilingual Education Act of 1968, mandates high-stakes student testing, holds schools accountable for student achievement levels, and provides penalties for schools that do not make adequate yearly progress toward meeting the goals of NCLB,” (Sass). This law is extremely controversial in that poor academic progress from students can cause schools to shutdown.