A Brief History of the US Educational System

  • Jan 1, 1436

    Invention of the printing press

    Invention of the printing press
    Invented by J. Gutenberg. Allowed for the printing of Bibles and books that could be available to the common man.
  • New England Primer

    New England Primer
    One of the earliest school books in the United States. The book taught students reading and the Protestant cathacism. Published until 1690.
  • Thomas Jefferson

    Thomas Jefferson
    Birth date of one of the founders of the US Constituation, statesman, and president. Founded the idea of the "common school" that would allow for the education of the masses to read and write to better enable them to wisely choose their elected officials. Those who excelled in the common school would be allowed to pursue a higher education. Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826.
  • Blue Back Speller

    Blue Back Speller
    Authored by Noah Webster. It was used to replace the British textbooks and aid in creating a new American language. It was also the forerunner to the dictionary
  • Horace Mann

    Horace Mann
    Birth date of the first Secretary of Education in Massachusetts. Visited over 1,000 schools on horseback in 6 years. Also an advocate for common schools supported by tax dollars. Schools would be constructed and provided with the materials necessary to educate. Died on August 2, 1859.
  • Bishop John Hughes

    Bishop John Hughes
    Birthdate of Catholic priest who fought against the negative sentiment of the Protestant teaching being taught within the public schools toward Catholics. Requested that public money also be used to fund Catholic schools. Created the Catholic school system within the US. Died on January 3, 1864.
  • Catherine Beecher

    Catherine Beecher
    Birth date of Catherine Beecher. Catherine worked to create an atmosphere where women could pursue education as a respectable profession. She saw women as a civilizing force on society and better suited, due to temperment, to work as teachers. She died on May 12, 1878.
  • McGuffey Reader

    McGuffey Reader
    Used as a reader by teaching morality through tales. Once value taught through the reader was to work hard and aquire wealth in order to please God. Printed until 1960.
  • Philadelphia Bible Riots

    Philadelphia Bible Riots
    Riots occurred on May 6-8 and July 6-7, 1844. Riots occurred because of the negative sentiment against the Irish Catholics.
  • Roberts vs. Boston

    Roberts vs. Boston
    Lawsuit brought to the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 1850 that in turn caused the Massachusetts legislature in 1855 to pass a bill providing that no distinction based on color, race or religion should be made for any student applying for admission to any public school in the state.
  • William Wert

    William Wert
    Born in 1874, William Wert was the superintendant of the Gary, Indiana school district. He developed the "Work, Study, Play" system that became the model for many modern school systems. Students were kept active and allowed to develop and pursue interests. His motto was " Make every workingman a scholar and every scholar a workingman." He died in 1938.
  • Plessey vs Ferguson

    Plessey vs Ferguson
    Upheld constitutionality of segregation by state law if it was "separate but equal".
  • President Lyndon Johnson

    President Lyndon Johnson
    Birth date of President Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was instrumental in passing both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. He died on January 22, 1973.
  • Fair Labor Standards Act

    Fair Labor Standards Act
    President Roosevelt initiated into law the Fair Labor Standards Act which finally outlawed child labor and allowed for enforcement of compulsory school attendance for children
  • Brown vs. Board of Education

    Brown vs. Board of Education
    Supreme court rules that segregation is unconstitional across the nation.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    Nine black students are escorted into a public school by Federal troops. The school was guarded by National Guard troops deployed by the Arkansas govenor.
  • National Education Defense Act

    National Education Defense Act
    President Eisenhower reacting to the USSR launching Sputnik infuses the public education system with billions of dollars to aid in better educating students and promote the sciences.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Outlawed discrimination and segregation based on ethnicity or gender.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    President Johnson with his elementary school teacher at the signing of the act.
  • Title XI

    Title XI
    No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...
  • A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform

    A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform
    A report authored by a committee appointed by President Reagan to look into the US Educational system. The report was very negative. Some terminology such as "unilateral educational disarmament" were used throughout the report and reflect a common terminology used during the Cold War Era.
  • Americans with Disabilites Act

    Americans with Disabilites Act
    Could not discriminate against people of disabilites.
  • Media coverage of escalating school violence

    Media coverage of escalating school violence
    Kip Kinkel born on August 30, 1982 kills his parent on May 20, 1998 and then, on May 21, goes to school at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon and kills two students and wounds 11 others.
  • No Child Left Behind Act

    No Child Left Behind Act
    Act by President G.W. Bush to increase the educational standards of the US public education system