History of Education in the United States

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In History
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    History of American Education

  • Settlement of Jamestown

    Settlement of Jamestown
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) Jamestown was a settlement in Virginia. It was the first permanent settlement of the colonists. It was settled by the Virginia Company of London, which was chartered by King James I. This was the start of American life (and essentially education) in the New World. (Edmund Sass)
  • Latin Grammar Schools Established

    Latin Grammar Schools Established
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) The first Latin grammar school--the Boston Latin School--was established. It was designed for males of higher social classes. These males would be educated in order to perform leadership roles in the church, state, or courts. (Edmund Sass)
  • Establishment of Harvard

    Establishment of Harvard
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) Harvard was the first college estabilshed by the Purians. It was founded just six years after the settlement of Boston. The establishment of the college was one of the first indicators of the importance of education in the New World, although the importance relied heavily on preparing religious leaders. (Edmund Sass)
  • First Printing Press set up in the Colonies

    First Printing Press set up in the Colonies
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) The first printing press was set up in the colonies at Harvard. It was a significant event for education because it made the circulation of literature easier. With this easier circulation, more and more people became literate. (Edmund Sass)
  • Legalization of Slavery in Massachusetts

    Legalization of Slavery in Massachusetts
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) Massachusetts was the first colony to establish slavery. This would set a precedent for other colonies, and began the change from indentured servants to actual slavery. This created divisions of class, which eventually affected the educational system of the United States for centuries. (Edmund Sass)
  • Old Deluder Satan Act

    Old Deluder Satan Act
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) The Old Deluder Satan Act was a law enacted in Massachusetts. It required that towns of 50 households or more to provide an elementary school. This was one of the first educational acts passed in the United States. (Edmund Sass)
  • The New England Primer

    The New England Primer
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) The New England Primer became the first school book for the American colonies. It also became one of the most successful school books published in the 17th century. The book included the alphabet, vowels, religious, and moral lessons. (Edmund Sass)
  • Establishment of William and Mary

    Establishment of William and Mary
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline) The college of William and Mary was the second college founded by King William III and Queen Mary II, who also chartered the school. The college was founded on the basis of Anglicanism. To attend or work there, you must have been a member of the Church of England. (Edmund Sass)
  • English Academy founded by Benjamin Franklin

    English Academy founded by Benjamin Franklin
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline)Benjamin Franklin helps estabilsh the first "English Academy" in Philadelphia. The curriculum consistend of classical and modern pedagogy, including history, geography, navigation, surveying, and modern as well as classical languages. The academy ultimately becomes the University of Pennsylvania and is a hub for English Enlightenment thinkingt. (Edmund Sass)
  • Quakers Open First School for Blacks

    Quakers Open First School for Blacks
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline)The Quakers, in 1770, opened the first school for enslaved and free blacks of all ages. The school gave basic instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and Christian doctrine. (Edmund Sass)
  • Bill for General Diffusion of Knowledge

    Bill for General Diffusion of Knowledge
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline)Thomas Jefferson proposed the Bill for General Diffusion of Knowledge which would allow for everyone to get 3 years of education, and then the best or the brightest would go on to secondary education at the expense of the public. The bill was rejected because it was judged by aristocrats and also because it would cost money. (Edmund Sass)
  • Jefferson Proposes Two Tracks of Education

    Jefferson Proposes Two Tracks of Education
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in the US.In this year, Thomas Jefferson proposed a two-track educational system. In his words, for "the laboring and the learned." Scholarship would allow only a small fraction of the laboring class to advance. To paraphrase Jefferson, this was done in order to find a few intellectual human beings out of the working class. These two tracks affected labor and class divisions and were implict in education. (Applied Research Center).
  • Webster Writes A Grammatical Institute of the English Language

    Webster Writes A Grammatical Institute of the English Language
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline)Started in 1783 and finished in 1785, A Grammatical Institute of the English Language was a series of dictionaries that changed the way textbooks were written. Webster put in more patriotic words and stories, and changed the language from British English to an "American" one. (Edmund Sass)
  • Bill of Rights Passes-Making Education a Function of the State

    Bill of Rights Passes-Making Education a Function of the State
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline)In 1791, the first 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights were passed in order to assure that the rights of citizens would not be abused by the government. Included were the right to religious freedom, free speech, and to bear arms; however, the Bill of Rights did not include education, which left it to the responsibility of the states. (Edmund Sass)
  • New York Public School Society Formed

    New York Public School Society Formed
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in USNew York Public School Society was formed by wealthy businessmen to provide education for poor children. Schools were run on the "Lancasterian" model, where one teacher (also known as master) was able to teach hundreds of students at once in a single room. These schools emphasized qualities that factory owners would want in their employees. (Applied Research Center)
  • Civilization Act is Passed

    Civilization Act is Passed
    • The Civilization Act of 1819 was intended to civilize Native Americans and assimilate them into U.S society. The government allocated money to fund missionaries for the Native Americans and was intended to expand the presence of Protestant sects, however, the missionaries never caught on and the act was soon ended.
  • First Public High School Opens

    First Public High School Opens
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in USThe first public high school in the United States opened in Boston; named the Boston High School. This was an important step in creating the ladder of education by establishing a high school between common schools and universities. (Applied Research Center)
  • Massachusetts Law

    Massachusetts Law
    Hisorical Timeline of Public Education in USIn 1827, Massachusetts passed a law concerning public education. The law stated made all grades of public school open to all pupils free of charge. (Applied Research Center)
  • Oberlin College Admits Women

    Oberlin College Admits Women
    Oberlin HistoryIn 1833, Oberlin College was the first to admit women, however, these women were not allowed to earn bachelor degrees, but instead received diplomas from what was called the Ladies Course. Oberlin College also regularly admitted students of color.
  • Horace Mann accepts position as Secretary of Massachusetts newly created Board of Education

    Horace Mann accepts position as Secretary of Massachusetts newly created Board of Education
    An early 19th century lawyer, legislator and social activitist, Mann became Massachusett's first Secretary of Education because he believed that schools could effect societal change saying "I have faith in the improvability of the race,--in their accelerating improvability." ["Horace Mann's thoughts on being chosen Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education" from Life of Horace Mann by Mary P. Mann, Boston, 1865, quoted in Cohen, S., Education in the United States, NY: Random House 1974.
  • First Women's Seminary

    First Women's Seminary
    American Educational HIstory: A Hypertext TimelineEighty women arrive at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837. This was the first college for women in the United States. This significant event showed the rising interest for women to gain an education. (Edmund Sass).
  • Teacher Education

    Teacher Education
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe first school for teacher education opened in 1839, in Lexington, Mass. These schools were then known as "normal schools." This event shows the importance and significance on teachers being able to teach content and manage students. (Edmund Sass)
  • First Mandatory Attendance Law

    First Mandatory Attendance Law
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1852, Massachusetts passed the first mandatory attendance law. This law required students to attend school for a certain amount of time. By 1855, 16 states have compulsary laws, but they were sporadic and hardly enforced. By 1918, All states have them. (Edmund Sass)
  • National Teachers Association Founded

    National Teachers Association Founded
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1857, National Teachers Association was founded. It was created by forty-three educators in Philadelphia. Eventually, NTA became National Education Association. This put an emphasis on the teachers to educate students. (Edmund Sass)
  • Abraham Lincoln Elected

    Abraham Lincoln Elected
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineAbraham Lincoln was elected in the year 1860. This marked the first time an anti-slavery president was elected. His inaguration led, eventually, to the freedom of slaves. (Edmund Sass)
  • Civil War Begins

    Civil War Begins
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1861, the Civil War begins between the Northern and Southern states. Essentially, education is put on hold (besides the passage of the First Morrill Act)--especially in the South. (Edmund Sass)
  • First Morrill Act Passed

    First Morrill Act Passed
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe First Morrill Act--"Land Grant Act--passed. It donated public lands to states, the sale of which was used for the, "endowment, support, and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes." (Edmund Sass)
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineOn January 1, 1863, President Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation. The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Despite the wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union; it exempted part of the Confederacy; and it depended on Union victory. (Edmund Sass)
  • Law Prohibiting Teaching Native American Languages

    Law Prohibiting Teaching Native American Languages
    Rethinking Schools OnlineIn 1864 Congress banned Native Americans from being taught in their native languages. It would take 70 years for the U.S government to overturn the law. This law forced Native Americans to assimilate into U.S. society and was enforced by the education system.
  • 13th Amendment Passed

    13th Amendment Passed
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe 13th amendment passed, abolishing slavery. The amendment states: Section 1:
    Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2:
    Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation." (Edmund Sass)
  • Department of Education Established

    Department of Education Established
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1867, the Department of Education was established. It was created to help states establish effective school systems. (Edmund Sass)
  • Establishment of Howard University

    Establishment of Howard University
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1867, Howard University opened its doors in Washington D.C. It was established to provide an education for African Americans in "the liberal arts and sciences." In its early years, it was funded by the Freedmen's Bureau. (Edmund Sass)
  • 14th Amendment Ratified

    14th Amendment Ratified
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe 14th Amendment was ratified in the year 1868. This amendment essentially gave all born or naturalized citizens of the United States citizenship, along with equal protection under the law. (Edmund Sass)
  • 15th Amendment Ratified

    15th Amendment Ratified
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe 15th Amendment was ratified in the early part of 1870. This amendment protect the rights of (male) citizens to vote. It prohibited states from denying any male citizen (even freed slaved) over the age of 21 the right to vote. (Edmund Sass)
  • Michigan Law Passed Concerning Taxes

    Michigan Law Passed Concerning Taxes
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline In 1874, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in the Kalamazoo case occurred. In this case, the court ruled that taxes may be levied in order to support public high schools. This act set precident for many following court cases. (Edmund Sass)
  • Civl Rights Act Passed

    Civl Rights Act Passed
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe Civil Rights Act of 1875, promised that all persons, regardless of race, color, or previous condition, was entitled to full and equal employment of accommodation in "inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement." In 1883 the Supreme Court declared the act as unconstitutional and asserted that Congress did not have the power to regulate the conduct and transactions of individuals. (Edmund Sass)
  • End of Reconstruction

    End of Reconstruction
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineReconstruction ended in the year 1877. President Rutherford B. Hayes deemed it necessary to move troops out of the South. Soon after the removal of troops, segregation and discrimination were established in the South. (Edmund Sass)
  • First Indian Boarding School

    First Indian Boarding School
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe first Indian boarding school was established in Pennsylvania. The schools took Native Americans to off-reservation sites and taught them. It required assimilation of the Native Americans into the dominant culture. (Edmund Sass)
  • Second Morrill Act Passed

    Second Morrill Act Passed
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline The Second Morrill Act was passed in 1890. The act gave more money and support for the colleges established or subsidized by the First Morrill Act. It also benefitted African Americans. It eventually led to 16 African American land grant colleges. (Edmund Sass)
  • Committee of Ten

    Committee of Ten
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1892, the Committee of Ten was established to create a standardized curriculum for high schools. This was done in order to help students in their future college careers. (Edmund Suss)
  • Plessy v. Ferguson

    Plessy v. Ferguson
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineOn May 18, 1896, the court case of Plessy v. Ferguson was decided. It uphelp the consitutionality of state segregation in public facilities. It is famous for the "seperate but equal" phrase, meaning that racial segregation was allowed, as long as the public facilities were equal. (Edmund Sass)
  • American Association of Universities Promotes Higher Standards

    American Association of Universities Promotes Higher Standards
    American Educational HistoryAt the turn of the century, the American Association of Universitites promoted higher standards. This was done in order to put American universitites on the same playing field as European univiersities. (Edmund Sass)
  • Smith-Hughes Act

    Smith-Hughes Act
    Historical Timeline of Public Education in the USThe Smith-Hughes Act was passed, providing federal funding for vocational education. This act promoted emphasis on vocational education and the isolation of it from the common curriculum. This act worked in favor for big manufacturers. (Applied Research Center)
  • United Staes Enters World War I

    United Staes Enters World War I
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn 1917, the United Staes entered World War I. It's effect on education was important. Before this time, there was no way to test the intellectul ability of recruits. Robert Yerkes became the Chairman of the Committee on Psychological Examination of Recruits. The committee had the task of creating a group intelligence test. Although these tests had little effect on the war, they set a precedent for standardized test. (Edmund Sass)
  • Progressive Education Association Founded

    Progressive Education Association Founded
    American Educational History: A Hypertext Timeline In 1919, led by John Dewey, the Progressive Education Association was founded. The aim was to reform the entire school system of America. It was based on the ideas pertaining to separate acadmeic education for few and vocational studies for the masses. (Edmund Sass)
  • Pierce v. Society of Sister

    Pierce v. Society of Sister
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationThe Pierce v. Society of Sisters supreme court ruling found that children did not have to attend public schools, and can instead attend private schools.
  • "Monkey Trial"

    "Monkey Trial"
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn Tennessee, in 1925, the John Scopes, "Monkey Trial," occurred. John Scopes was charged with the crime of teaching evolution in his classroom. The trial ended with Scopes's conviction. This marked the beginning of the evolution vs. creationism argument.
  • Stock Market Crashes

    Stock Market Crashes
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineOn Black Tuesday--October 29, 1929--the stock market crashed, resulting in the beginning of the Great Depression. This had an effect on the entire nation, but especially in education. The Depression resulted in the loss of funding for schools, schools closed, teachers' salaries lowered, and layoffs. (Edmund Sass)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scales

    Wechsler Intelligence Scales
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe Wechsler Intelligence Scale was first developed by David Wechsler. It introduced the term "deviation IQ", which means that a students' score is based on how far subjects' scores differ from the average score of others the same age. In particular, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is still used today to identify students with special needs. (Edmund Sass)
  • G.I. Bill Passed

    G.I. Bill Passed
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineThe G.I. Bill was passed, creating educational opportunities for many soldiers (although white soldiers benefitted more than African American soldiers). More than two million attended colleges and universities, nearly doubling the population. (Edmund Sass)
  • National School Lunch Act

    National School Lunch Act
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationPassed by Harry S. Truman, the National School Lunch Act expands access to school lunch by making available low-cost or free lunches for low-income families. This encouraged more kids to attend schools and gave help to lower-income families and school districts.
  • Brown v. Board of Education

    Brown v. Board of Education
    On May 17th, Brown v. Board of Education was passed, ruling over Plessy v. Ferguson. The case ruled that separate but equal schooling was unconstiutional and the desegregation process began.
  • Little Rock Nine

    Little Rock Nine
    The Little Rock 9 were a group of African American students who were prevented from entering their racially segregated high school. President Eisenhower had to send 10,000 federal troops to enforce the integration and protect the students.
  • National Defense Education Act

    National Defense Education Act
    After the Red Scare and Sputnik, the United States realized that they were losing the technology race, and worried that the Soviets had better, more developed weapons. This led to the National Defense Education Act, where students were educated about communism, provided funds for science, math, and prep for teachers and foreign language.
  • Engel v. Vitale

    Engel v. Vitale
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationOn June 25th, the supreme court ruled that it was unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and encourage recitation of it in schools. The following year, reading the Bible in school for religious purposes was banned. This case set precedents for limiting religion in schools.
  • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    Elementary and Secondary Education Act
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationThis act was passed as part of President Johnson's "War on Poverty." This act provided federal funding to elementary and secondary schools. While providing funding, it also forbid a national curriculum.
  • James Coleman publishes “Equality of Educational Opportunity”

    James Coleman publishes “Equality of Educational Opportunity”
    James Coleman was a sociologist who published “Equality of Educational Opportunity,” which stated that socioeconomic status is more important in education then funding, and was also a big proponent of integration. This report would be used in many historic court cases such as San Antonio vs. Rodriguez.
  • National Assessment of Education Progress Established

    National Assessment of Education Progress Established
    In 1968 the National Assessment of Educational Progress was created which is the largest assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas. The NAEP tests math, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S History.
  • Standardized Testing Reported to Government

    Standardized Testing Reported to Government
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationIn 1970, standardized testing began being used to measure school performance with scores being reported to the government and public. This showed the federal government taking a large role in subsidizing schools and wanted them to be held accountable.
  • Title IX is Passed

    Title IX is Passed
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationIn 1972, Title IX was amended in the Education Amendments forbids discrimination in schools based on sex. It stated, "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..." It became used mostly for equality for women in athletics.
  • Keyes vs. Denver School District No. 1

    Keyes vs. Denver School District No. 1
    Essentially, Keyes vs. Denver applied the Brown decision to the northern cities as well. Colorado stated that students should receive instruction in their native language and English until English proficiency is achieved.
  • Lau v. Nichols

    Lau v. Nichols
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationIn 1974, the supreme court expanded the rights of bilingual students with the ruling of this case. This case involved Chinese speaking students. They claimed the schools didn't provide adequate help for them. The supreme court ruled that bilingual students should be treated with equality among schools.
  • Miliken vs. Bradley Case

    Miliken vs. Bradley Case
    Decided on July 25, this court case dealt with the desegregation by using busing. It caused problems with integration. Essentially, it confirmed that segregation was allowed if it was not an explicit school policy.
  • Equal Education Opportunities Act

    Equal Education Opportunities Act
    American Education Week TimelineIn 1974, the Equal Education Opportunities Act was made effective. It is a federal law of the United States of America. It prohibits discrimination against faculty, staff, and students, including racial segregation of students, and requires school district to take action to overcome barriers to students' equal participation.
  • National Association of Bilingual Education Founded

    National Association of Bilingual Education Founded
    Bilingual EducationAfter the mandation of bilingual education in 1986, the National Association of Bilingual Education was formed in 1975. The National Association of Bilingual Education is the main U.S. organization for bilingual education.
  • Education of All Handicapped Children Act

    Education of All Handicapped Children Act
    Congress passed this act, making schools who received federal funding required to provide education and one free meal to children with mental and/or physical disabilities. It required schools to create an educational plan for children with close parent input to create an atmosphere as close to one of a child with no disability.
  • Deparment of Education Created

    Deparment of Education Created
    American Education Week TimelineCreated by President Jimmy Carter and put into effect in 1980, the Department of Education was put into order. It's main functions are to establish policy for, administer and coordinate most federal assistance to education, collect data on US schools, and to enforce federal educational laws regarding privacy and civil rights.
  • A Nation at Risk

    A Nation at Risk
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationIn 1983, A Nation at Risk is the report given for President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence and Education. It's publication is considered a landmark for American education. Essentially, the report contributed to the ever-growing sense that American schools are failing, and it commented on a wave of local, state, and federal reform.
  • Teach for America

    Teach for America
    Teach for AmericaTeach For America (TFA) is an American non-profit organization whose mission is to "eliminate educational inequity by enlisting high-achieving recent college graduates and professionals to teach" for at least two years in low-income communities throughout the United States.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Ecucation Act

    Individuals with Disabilities Ecucation Act
    American Education Week TimelineThis act was originally enstated and signed in President George. H. W. Bush's administration. It is a federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities. It addresses the educational needs of children with disabilities from birth to age 18 or 21 in cases that involve 14 specified categories of disability.
  • Improving America's Schools Act

    Improving America's Schools Act
    This law was passed during Clinton's administration. Essentially, it was the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
  • No Child Left Behind

    No Child Left Behind
    Timeline: Moments that Changed Public EducationEffective in January of 2002, President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind increased federal funding for education and emphasized standards-based reform. States must give all students at select grades tests which assess their knowledge. Schools will receive federal funding based on the tests.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act

    Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act
    American Education Week Timeline This act was passed during President George W. Bush's administration. It aimed to improve on the original IDEA Act. It emphasized accountability, equity, and excellence in education for children with disabilities.
  • The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009

    The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009
    The Recovery ActCongress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. A direct response to the economic crisis, the Recovery Act has three immediate goals: "Create new jobs and save existing ones, spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth, and foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending." (Recovery Act) Financial aide was given to local school districts.
  • Common Core Standards Initiative

    Common Core Standards Initiative
    Common Core Standards InitiativeThe Common Core Standards Initiative was brought into being in 2009. It was a state led effort and the Mission Statement says, "The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them." It is expected that all states will eventually adopt the CCSS.
  • Race to the Top

    Race to the Top
    Race to the Topis a $4.35 billion United States Department of Education contest created to create competition to reform schools. It is funded by the Recovery Act. States were awarded points for satisfying certain educational policies, such as performance-based standards for teachers and principals, complying with nationwide standards, promoting charter schools and privatization of education, and computerization.
  • President Obama calls for Waivers of NCLB

    President Obama calls for Waivers of NCLB
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineIn the fall of 2011, President Obama invited each state the option of signing a waiver pertaining to No Child Left Behind. The waiver allowed states some flexibility concerning the act's requirements. (Edmund Sass)
  • 26 States Sign Waivers

    26 States Sign Waivers
    American Educational History: A Hypertext TimelineAs of July, Washington and Wisconsin were two of the 26 states granted waivers pertaining to the requirements of NCLB. Many other states were waiting for approval as of July. (Edmund Sass)