Timeline 1821 to 1896 1 638

Visual Timeline of US Education

  • Boston Latin School becomes first public school in US1635

    Boston Latin School becomes the first public school in the United States. This school is still open today, making it the oldest school in the country.
  • Harvard was established as the first college in 1636

    Harvard was founded 16 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock; the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to establish the university that was the first and oldest university in the country and one of the most prestigious private colleges in the world.
  • Old Deluder Satan Act in 1647

    The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony decrees that every town with at least fifty families should have a teacher to teach all children to read and write & every town with at least 100 families should have a Latin school. They wanted to ensure that Puritan children could read the Bible & learn about their Calvinist religion.
  • Thomas Jefferson proposes two educational tracks; one for working class and the other for upper class 1779

    Thomas Jefferson proposes a two-track educational system, with different tracks for the working class and elite class. Scholarships were available to a few chosen exceptional poor children.
  • Young Ladies’ Academy of Philadelphia in 1787

    First academy for girls recognized by the state was established in 1787 in Philadelphia.
  • Pennsylvania constitution requires free public education for poor children 1790

    Pennsylvania state constitution calls for free public education for poor children. Rich people are still expected to pay for their children’s schooling.
  • Massachusetts Department of Education is created 1837

    Massachusetts State Board of Education is established.
  • First Compulsory Education Laws passed in Massachusetts 1851

    State of Massachusetts passes its first compulsory education law. The goal is to make sure that the children of poor immigrants get “civilized” so they make good citizens and workers.
  • The Freedmen’s Bureau was established in 1865

    The Freedmen's Bureau helped African Americans mobilize to bring public education to the South for the first time. After the Civil War, African Americans in the South push for the inclusion of free public education in the constitution. White students ended up benefiting more than Black children.
  • California reinforces segregation by creating separate schools based on racial identity 1870

    California had devised a formula of ten. "Separate schools for the "inferior races". When African Americans, Asian Americans, or American Indians numbered ten students, a school district was empowered to create separate schools for whites and non-white children.
  • Government education of Native American children - stripping them of their cultural identity 1870

    The United States government forced Native American students to attend Christian-run government (often run by the military) residential boarding schools, where they were stripped of their culture, language, long hair. They changed their names to European names, were taught Christianity, European grooming standards and dress,
  • California School Law (Political Code 1662) amended to allow for exclusion of students of color, those with behavior issues, and those will illnesses 1921

    "The governing body of a school district shall have power to exclude children of filthy or vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, & also to establish separate schools for Indian children & for children of Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian parentage. When such schools are established, Indian children, children of Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian parentage must not be admitted into any other school.”
  • NAACP lawsuits over unequal teachers' pay for Blacks and whites in southern states 1930-1950

    1930-1950 - The NAACP brings a series of suits over unequal teachers’ pay for Blacks and whites in southern states. At the same time, southern states realize they are losing African American labor to the northern cities. These two sources of pressure resulted in some increase of spending on Black schools in the South.
  • Brown vs. The Board of Education of Topeka 1954

    Landmark ruling that desegregated schools; The Supreme Court unanimously agrees that segregated schools are “inherently unequal” and must be abolished. Almost 45 years later in 1998, schools, especially in the north, are as segregated as ever.
  • National Defense Education Act (NDEA) 1957

    President Eisenhower signed into law the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), in response to the Russian launch of Sputnik, which provided funding to improve science, technology and foreign language education in American schools. This was the first large-scale involvement of the U.S. federal government in education and the first endorsement of foreign language being seen as an asset.
  • Training of Professional Personnel Act 1959

    Required program admins & teachers of students w/ {mental retardation} to have special preparation.
  • Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) & State Schools Act 1965

    Provided funding for programs for students w/ disabilities; part of Pres. LBJ's Great Society program. Defined the role of the federal government in K-12 policy, offered more than $1 billion/yr in aid under Title I section (& Head Start) for educating disadvantaged students. It has been reauthorized & updated/expanded several times (with different names), each new version has increased the federal role in education.
  • The Bilingual Education Act (BEA) 1968

    Provided funding for bilingual education w/ competitive grants. Discouraged native language instruction, it encouraged the development of new & creative prgrms to teach in English, prioritized low income students learning English. It conflicted w/ certain states that had English-only laws for schools & it also ran the risk of violating de-segregation laws by separating these students into bilingual classes.
  • Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) 1970

    Amendment to the ESEA 1970, Title VI. Expanded in1974 to include FAPE & Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which gives parents and students over 18 the right to see their education records.
  • Title IX of the education amendments of 1972

    Prohibits discrimination of students or employees based on sex. “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.” Schools receiving federal money, elem. to university, must provide fair & equal treatment of all sexes in all areas, incl. athletics.
  • Rehabilitation Act 1973

    Section 504 provides individuals with disabilities protection from discrimination in all government entities including education.
  • Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA) 1975

    Landmark civil rights law (Pres. Ford) - Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), now Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Gave access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) to every child w/ a disability, made public school accessible for millions of children w/ disabilities, so children w/ disabilities have equal access & opportunity to benefit from education.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 1990

    ADA signed by Pres. GWB; guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities (defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment) & prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in all aspects of government & public institutions.
  • Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) 1990

    {Reauthorization}(https://www.ed.gov/essa?src=rn) of EAHCA 1975, 6 requirements when serving students w/ disabilities:
    1. Every child is entitled to (FAPE).
    2. Thorough evaluation in all areas.
    3. Creation of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to lay out specific actions & steps to support the child's stated goals.
    4. LRE, and whenever possible in inclusive settings.
    5. Input of the child and their parents must be taken into account in the education process.
    6. Parent right to due process.
  • IDEA 1997

    IDEA 1997 added requirements of local school districts to provide services to parentally placed private school students with disabilities; creation of the Office of Special Education Programs; services for birth-2yrs; and funding for programs that improve the educational and transitional services provided to students with disabilities.
  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) 2001

    Reauthorization of ESEA 1965, signed into law by Pres. GWB; accountability via testing (CHSPE). The NCLB law grew out of concern that our ED system wasn't internationally competitive, it greatly increased the federal role in holding schools responsible for the academic progress of all students & put a special focus on ensuring that states (via Title I federal money) & schools boost the performance of certain groups of students e.g. EL, SPED, poor & minority children.
  • Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act (IDEA) 2004

    called IDEA 2004, not IDEIA. Requires that special education teachers are "highly qualified", specific guidelines for identifying students with learning disabilities, clarified members of the IEP team and excusal procedure, and summary of performance when a student exits special education.
  • Every Student Succeeds Act 2015

    ESSA was signed by Pres. Obama, reauthorization of ESEA 1965 & previous version NCLB 2002. Upholds protections for disadvantaged & high needs students, college and career readiness standards, and accountability for improvement in low-performing schools.