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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 The Evolution of American Education 1600-1776 1950-1960 1776-1840 1929 An organized school system did not exist until the 1840's. Education reformers like Horace Mann and Henry Barnard, working in Massachusetts and Connecticut respectively, helped create statewide common-school systems. These reformers sought to increase opportunities for all children and create common bonds among an increasingly diverse population. They also argued education could preserve social stability and prevent crime and poverty. Common-school advocates worked to establish a free elementary education accessible to everyone and financed by public funds. As such, they advocated public schools should be accountable to local school boards and state governments. They also helped establish compulsory school attendance laws for elementary-age children. By 1918, such laws existed in all states. 1840-1920 Wealthy children had a tutor (always a man) teach them privately. Some boys went to grammar school and sometimes even college but never girls. Girls were given lessons on how to run a home. It wasn't even expected for girls to spend any of their time reading! Instead their mothers taught them how to cook, sew, preserve food, direct servants and serve an elegant meal. Some girls were sent to teachers to learn how to sing, play a musical instrument, sew fancy stitchery, to serve tea properly by learning manners and how to carry on a polite conversation. When boys grew older, they could become apprentices to learning to become shopkeepers or craftsmen by working with and watching an adult. Education was becoming more secular in order to produce socially responsible citizens. The English were the predominant settlers in the New World and as a result education in colonial America was patterned on the English model. It originally developed as a two-track system with people from the lower classes receiving minimal instruction and only learning to read and write, calculate and receive religious instruction. The upper classes were allowed to pursue an education beyond the basics and oftentimes attended Latin grammar or secondary schools where they learned Greek and Latin and studied the classics in preparation for a college education. Religion played an important rule in developing an educational system in the United States. 1980-1990 During the 1980s and 1990s, virtually all states have given unprecedented attention to their role in raising education standards. A federal report published in 1983 indicated very low academic achievement in public schools. This resulted in states taking up more responsibility and involvement. This report, A Nation at Risk, suggested that American students were outperformed on international academic tests by students from other industrial societies. Statistics also suggested that American test scores were declining over time. As a result, most states have implemented reform strategies that emphasize more frequent testing conducted by states, more effective state testing, and more state-mandated curriculum requirements. 1920-1950 The educational focus in the nineties has been primarily directed at school reform. Goals 2000 are an effort by the federal government to set standards for American education. Restructuring schools to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population and greater competition from a world that is rapidly changing in terms of technology has been the focus of most educators. For the most part teachers have risen to the occasion, taking on roles of leadership and leading the way into the 21st century. School attendance was mandatory, education was universal. Public schools did not force parents to use the public schools, so parochial schools and other private schools were viable options. All racial, religious and ethnic groups should have access to the same type of education in the same type of setting. Education in the early preschool years flourished with early childhood development programs and on the other end of the spectrum higher education after high school became more attainable for many. The 1950's were also the beginning of the end of school segregation. In 1954, the Supreme Court heard the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka. This case looked at the issue of segregation and this time ruled that it was illegal to deny entry to a facility based on the race. However, this ruling did not immediately end segregation. Strong opposition arose in many school districts throughout the country and schools were often the scene of violent confrontations when integration was first initiated 1990- Present References:AMERICAN EDUCATION. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2014. Retrieved from History of Education in America. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2014. Retrieved from
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