10 Historical Events that shaped Public Education

  • 1830's Common Schools

    1830's Common Schools
    Common schools were funded by local property taxes, charged no tuition, were open to all white children. Beginning in the 1820's, Horace Mann, the "great Equalizer",convinced a nation to create a system of common schools - good schools were good business and the future of the economy and the democracy depended upon providing a "common" education to all children, no matter where they were born or the whom. The Common School is the precursor to today's public school. * Date is not exact.
  • 1862 Homestead Act

    1862 Homestead Act
    President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Homestead Act, a program designed to grant public land to small farmers at low cost. The act gave 160 acres of land to the head of a household who was and 21 years or older.They had to live there for five years.
    This wave of immigration forced changes in the nation's schools.
  • 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson

    1896 Plessy v. Ferguson
    The Supreme Court's ruling in Plessy effectively established the rule that "separate" facilities for blacks and whites were constitutional as long as they were "equal". This ushered in an era of legally sanctioned racial segregation.
  • The Feminization of Teaching

    The Suffrage Movement established equality between men and women and allowed women to take up the position of teaching. This influenced our profession's history because women are able to take on the role of teaching without discrimmination or being looked down upon.
  • Civil Rights Movement

    The Civil Rights Movement enlisted the federal government in the effort to equalize educational opportunities for children of color. Brown vs. Board of Education led to segregation in schools, which was later accompanied by protests.
    This has influenced our profession's history because we have equal opportunities for all children no matter the color or culture. We welcome equality in our schools and we welcome a variety of cultures in our classrooms.
  • 1954 Brown v. Board of Education

    1954 Brown v. Board of Education
    The decision reverses Plessy v. Ferguson, ruling that separate is not equal, and outlaws segregation. The decision held that the racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Although the decision did not succeed in fully desegregating public education in the United States, it put the Constitution on the side of racial equality.
  • 1957 Sputnik

    1957 Sputnik
    The Soviets make history be being the first to launch a satellite into orbit, the Sputnik. More than $1 billion was poured into public schools for new science and math curriculums.
    For more information: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/sputnik-impact-on-america.html
  • The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    As Part of President Johnson's war on poverty, the ESEA started Head Start, gave free lunches to those and need, and gave greater attention to special education. This allowed continued opportunity for education.
  • Title lX

    Title 9 stated that no person can be excluded from a school program on the basis of their sex. This gave rise to more women athletics and other opportunities which previously were not granted. For more information:
  • 2002 No Child Left Behind Act

    This Act set new government test standards that students must reach or the school district may face federal assistance money. This program was set in to help disadvantaged students reach the same goals as advanted students. Some people believe teachers are now teaching to strictly meet those standards.