Timeline of Literacy Education

Paige Elliott


First school established.


The first public school was the Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1635 and is the oldest existing school in the U.S.

Massachusetts law of 1647


Towns with 50 or more residents should appoint a teacher of reading and writing. The town should provide for wages of the teacher.

First New England Primer newspaper printed in Boston.


This newspaper becomes heavily used as school "text" books in New England.

Navy employed teachers to teach reading and writing to seamen.


State Literacy Fund


The State Literacy Fund was the first bill in Virginia to put money aside for public education. This bill also helped support the education of lower income children.

Boston Public Library


In 1854 the Boston Public Library reading room officially opened. Before other libraries were not open to everyone.

First kindergarten in U.S.


First kindergarten started in Watertown, Wisconsin in a woman's home for her daughter and 4 other children.

Morrill Act a.k.a. Land Grant College Act


This act gave access to higher education being open to a more liberal population and more social classes.

Rebecca Smith Pollard


Mrs. Pollard created a sequential reading program. This program came complete with a teacher's manual and spelling and reading books. This was the first textbook to focus on phonics.

Cora Wilson Stewart


In Kentucky a superintendent of a public school started a program to eliminate adult illiteracy. These schools were run by volunteer teachers. These classes were known as "Moonlight classes", thus where we get the name today.

Why Johnny Can't Read


In 1955 Rudolf Flesch wrote a book called Why Johnny Can't Read. This book is all about going back to the phonics method rather than teaching reading by identifying whole words.

Dr. Seuss


Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat in 1957. Children were learning to read and enjoying this fun book and many more Dr. Seuss books like it.

Instructional Design


Robert Glaser introduced the concept of instructional design. He stated that objectives were needed to determine the outcomes for students.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides Title I money for disadvantaged students.

The Open Classroom


Herbert R. Kohl wrote The Open Classroom creating student-centered classrooms and promoting active, holistic learning.

World Wide Web


A while after the world wide web was up and going, schools began utilizing this tool across the board.

SMART Interactive whiteboard


SMART Technologies created the SMART Interactive whiteboard. Children have been able to interact with the lesson. The are able to learn visually and kinesthetically through the board.

No Child Left Behind


NCLB was approved by Congress. This act held schools accountable for student success. It also provided penalties for schools not making adequate yearly progress.

Common Core State Standards


The Common Core State Standards Initiative is launched. Most states were expected to adopt this initiative.

Indiana withdrew from Core Standards


Indiana Governor Mike Pence signs legislation withdrawing the state from Core Standards. This is the first state to do so.