History of the American Educational System

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    Education

  • Association of American Universities

    Association of American Universities
    The Association of American Universities is founded to promote higher standards and put U.S. universities on an equal footing with their European counterparts.
  • Carnegie

    Carnegie
    The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is founded. It is charted by an act of Congress in 1906, the same year the Foundation encouraged the adoption of a standard system for equation "seat time" to high school credits. The system is called the "Carnegie Unit".
  • Ella Flagg Young

    Ella Flagg Young
    Educational reformer Ella Flagg Young becomes superintendent of the Chicago Public Schools. She is the first female superintendent of a large city school system. One year later she is elected president of the National Education Association.
  • Montessori

    Montessori
    The first Montessori school in the U.S. opens in Tarrytown, New York. Two years later, Maria Montessori visits the U.S., and Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel found the Montessori Educational Association at their Washington, DC, home.
  • Smith-Lever Act

    The Smith-Lever Act establishes a system of cooperative extension services connected to land grant universities and provides federal funds for extension activities.
  • A F T

    A F T
    The American Federation of Teachers is founded.
  • John Dewey

    John Dewey
    John Dewey's Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education is published. His views help advance the ideas of the progressive education movement.
  • Smith-Hughes Act

    Smith-Hughes Act
    The Smith-Hughes Act passes, providing federal funding for agricultural and vocational education. It is repealed in 1997.
  • WWI

    WWI
    World War One Ends
  • Progressive Education Association

    The Progressive Education Association is founded with the goal of reforming American education.
  • Transportation

    Transportation
    All states have laws providing funds for transporting children to school.
  • 19th Amendment

    19th Amendment
    The 19th Amendment is ratified, giving women the right to vote.
  • TN vs. Scopes

    TN vs. Scopes
    Tennessee vs. John Scopes captures national attention as John Scopes, a high school biology teacher, is charged with the crime of teaching evolution. The trial ends in Scopes' conviction.
  • SAT

    SAT
    The Scholastic Aptitude Test is first administered.
  • Great Depression Begins

    Great Depression Begins
    The Great Depression begins with the stock market crash. The US economy is devastated and public schools suffer greatly. This results in school closings, teacher layoffs, and lower salaries.
  • National School Buses

    National School Buses
    Frank W. Cyr, a professor at Columbia University's Teachers College, organizes a national conference on student transportation. It results in the adoption of standards for the nation's school buses, including the shade of yellow.
  • IQ Testing

    IQ Testing
    The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale is developed by David Wechsler. It introduces the concept of the "deviation IQ", which calculates IQ scores based on how far subjects' scores deviat from the average score of others who are the same age. These tests are still widely used in US schools to help identify students needing special education.
  • WWII

    WWII
    The US enters World War II after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor on December 7. During the next four years, most of the country's resources go to the war effort. Education is put on the back burner as many young men quit school to enlist. Teachers and other employees also enlist, are drafted, or leave to work in defense plants.
  • WWII Ends

    WWII Ends
    World War II ends on August 15, VJ Day, with a victory over Japan.
  • The Baby Boom Begins

    The Baby Boom Begins
    At one minute after midnight on January !st, Kathleen Casey-Kirschling is born, the first of nearly 78 million baby boomers, beginning a generation that results in unprecedented school population growth and massive social change. She grows up to become a teacher!
  • National School Lunch Act

    National School Lunch Act
    Recognizing the "need for a permanent legislative basis for a school lunch program," the 79th Congress approves the National School Lunch Act.
  • Brown vs. Board of Ed

    Brown vs. Board of Ed
    The US Supreme Court announces its decision in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal", thus overturning its previous ruling from 1896. This was actually a combination of five cases from different parts of the country. It is a historic first step in the long and still unfinished journey toward equality.
  • Rosa Parks

    Rosa Parks
    Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white passenger and is subsequently aressted and fined.
  • Bloom's Taxonomy

    Bloom's Taxonomy
    Bloom's Taxonomy is published. It divides the cognitive domain into six levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • Civil Rights Act

    Civil Rights Act
    The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is voted into law. It is the first civil rights legislation since reconstruction and is a precursor the the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • Sputnik

    Sputnik
    The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the Earth.
  • ACT

    ACT
    The ACT Test is first administered.
  • Ruby Bridges

    Ruby Bridges
    Ruby Bridges is a first grader who is the first African American to attend William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. She becomes a class of one when parents remove all white students from the school.
  • Vygotsky

    Vygotsky
    Lev Vygotsky's book Thought and Language is introduced to the English-speaking world. He is best know for his concept of the "Zone of Proximal Development."
  • First Amendment Violated

    First Amendment Violated
    In the case of Engel vs. Vitale, the US Supreme Court rules that the stae of New York's Regents prayer violates the First Amendment. The ruling specifies that "state officials may not compose an official state prayer and require that it be recited in public schools of the State at the beginning of each school day..."
  • JFK Assassinated

    JFK Assassinated
    President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Schools close as the nation mourns its loss.
  • Civil Rights Act becomes Law

    Civil Rights Act becomes Law
    The Civil Rights Act becomes law and prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
  • MLK Assassinatied

    MLK Assassinatied
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Nobel Prize winner and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • PARC vs. Pennsylvania

    PARC vs. Pennsylvania
    In the case of Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children vs. Pennsylvania, the federal court rules that students with mental retardation are entitled to a free public education.
  • First TX Instruments Hand-Held

    First TX Instruments Hand-Held
    Texas Instruments introduces the first in its line of electronic hand-held calculators, the TI-2500 Data Math. TI goes on to become an industry leader known around the world.
  • Title IX

    Title IX
    Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 becomes law. It prohibits discrimination based on sex in all aspects of education.
  • Apple Inc.

    Apple Inc.
    Apple Computer introduces Apple II, one of the first successful personal computers. These become popular in schools as students begin to learn with computer games such as Oregon Trail and Odell Lake.
  • A Nation at Risk

    A Nation at Risk
    The report of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation At Risk, calls for reforms in public education and teacher training.
  • Challenger Explodes

    Challenger Explodes
    Christa McAuliffe is chosen by NASA from among more that 11,000 applicants to be the first teacher-astronaut, but her mission ends tragically as the Challenger explodes 73 seconds after its launch.
  • University of Phoenix

    University of Phoenix
    The University of Phoenix establishes their "online" campus, which is the first to offer online bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • Whiteboards Introduced

    Whiteboards Introduced
    Whiteboards find their way into US classrooms and begin to replace the chalkboard.
  • Proposition 227

    Proposition 227
    California voters pass Proposition 227, which requires that all public school instruction be in English.
  • Columbine Massacre

    Columbine Massacre
    Two Columbine students go on a killing spree that leaves 15 dead and 23 wounded in Littleton, Colorado. At this point, it was the nation's deadliest school shooting incident.
  • World Trade Center Attacks

    World Trade Center Attacks
    Nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists hijack four commercial jets and crash two into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and another into the Pentagon. The fourth plane crashed in a rural area of Pennsylvania as passengers tried to retake it from the hijackers. There were a total of 2976 victims.
  • NCLB

    NCLB
    The controversial No Child Left Behind Act is approved by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. This law reauthorized the ESEA of 1965 and replaced 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 (AYP) toward meeting the goals of NCLB.
  • Virginia Tech Massacre

    Virginia Tech Massacre
    Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old student, kills two students in a dorm, and then 30 others in a classroom building at Virginia Tech University. Fifteen others are wounded. He then committed suicide, which brought the death toll to 33, the deadliest school shooting incident in US history.
  • Barack Obama

    Barack Obama
    Barack Obama defeats John McCain and is elected the 44th President of the United States.
  • Race to the Top

    Race to the Top
    The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 provides more than 90-billion dollars for education, nearly half of which goes to local school districts. It includes the Race to the Top initiative, which is designed to induce reform in K-12 education.
  • Common Core State Standards

    Common Core State Standards
    The Common Core State Standards Initiative is launched.