Education History


Personal Connections

1600 - 1699

I find it interesting that so much in education early on was based on religion, especially when you look at how separated it can be today. I think education and religion is such a contentious issue today, but some moral values are still present. I think the establishment patterns of education between North and South in the Colonial period is one of the first indicators of sectional differences that are still evident in education today.

Harvard University


Harvard College was founded by the Puritans to provide higher education for ministers (Gutek, 2011, p. 14)

Massachusetts Law of 1642


Massachusetts Bay Colony believed educated people could better resist Satan. The law required parents and guardians to see to children's basic education (Gutek, 2013, p. 10).

"Old Deluder Satan Law"


This Massachusetts law required every town of fifty or more families to provide a teacher (Gutek, 2013, p. 10).

Personal Connections

1700 - 1799

I found the proposals for new forms of schools by Rush, Franklin, and Jefferson rather interesting. Rush, especially, since he advocated for the intellectual equality of women. I think Franklin's idea of utilitarian education is still seen in our technical schools.

Franklin's Grammar School Proposal


Benjamin Franklin developed this English language grammar school as an alternative to the Latin grammar schools. His school would prepare its students for the workforce.

King's College


King's College was founded in New York City. It was later renamed Columbia and became an influential Teachers College (Gutek, 2013, p. 23).

Jefferson's Bill on Education


Thomas Jefferson believed the government needed educated and literate citizens so he introduced his "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge" to help educate the populace. He also believed it was the state's responsibility to provide schools (Gutek, 2013, p. 49).

Northwest Land Ordinance


Provision for education: "the income derived from the sixteenth section in each township was reserved for the support of education..." (Gutek, 2013, p. 37).

Benjamin Rush on Education


Rush believed that the citizenry needed to be educated in order for the new nation to survive. He put forth his ideas in "Thoughts upon the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic". Rush also believed that men and women were intellectually equal (Gutek, 2013, p. 53-54).

Personal Connections

1800 - 1899

There was a lot happening in this century. The new nation was learning how to conduct itself and the importance of education for its citizens. I think it would have been an interesting time to be a woman and a teacher at this time as Beecher, Anthony, and others were making strides for both.

English Classical High School


The first high school in the US was opened in Boston in 1821. The program lasted three years and students had to be twelve years old to apply (Gutek, 2013, p. 125).

Massachusetts School Tax


Massachusetts required support of its schools through taxes. Others would follow, with the South being some of the last to do so (Gutek, 2013, p. 85).

Massachusetts BOE


Massachusetts formed its fist Board of Education in 1837. Horace Mann served as the board's first secretary (Gutek, 2013, p. 86).

Susan B Anthony


Anthony made her famous speech at the New York Teachers Association's annual meeting about the inequality in pay for female and male teachers (Goldstein, 2015, p. 36).

National Teachers Association (NEA)


The National Teachers Association, which later became the NEA, was formed by a group of teachers in Philadelphia in 1857. It became the NEA in 1870 (Gutek, 2013, p. 383).

Morrill Act


This act required the income from public land granted to each state to be used to support at least one college for agricultural and mechanical instruction (Gutek, 2031, p. 175).

Kalamazoo Case of 1874


This case upheld the right of the board of education to tax citizen's for the support of the high school. it encouraged the creation of other high schools (Gutek, 2013, p. 128).

Plessy v. Ferguson


This case ruling established the "separate but equal" precedent that would affect schools until its reversal in 1954. Unfortunately the majority of schools for black students were not "equal". (Gutek, 2013, p. 311-312).

Personal Connections

1900 - 1999

I think one of the most things that stands out to me is the Brown v. Board ruling. I just can't imagine depriving a child of a good education when they are capable of so much. To treat them as if they were less than animals is just heartbreaking. I'm glad we've made strides in that area, but there is still work to do.
I started kindergarten in 1989, just six years after "A Nation at Risk" was published. I remember it being like the description of Froebel's original plan. I see how much it has changed now that my daughter is in school. She does a lot more math!

Ella Flagg Young


Ella Flagg Young was hired by the Chicago BOE as superintendent. She was the "first female leader of a major school system". She believed teachers should not assign homework in order to keep less privileged children from falling further behind, lowered class sizes, and advocated for a more open policy with the public (Goldstein, 2015, p. 79-80).



W. E. B. Du Bois helped to found the NAACP which was created to enforce and challenge civil rights for African Americans (Gutek, 2013, p, 317-318).

American Federation of Teachers


AFT was organized in 1916 and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, which they claim strengthens their bargaining power. Their focus is teacher salaries, working conditions, and teacher status (Gutek, 2013, p. 384-385).

GI Bill


This act, signed by Roosevelt in 1944, provided education benefits for honorably discharged veterans. It opened the door to education for many who had previously been excluded (Gutek, 2013, p. 180-181).

Brown v. Board of Edcuation


This court ruling overturned the "separate but equal" precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson. Brown v. Board found segregation unequal and that it negatively impacted African American students (Gutek, 2013, p. 320-321).

Education for All Handicapped Children Act


This act provided free, appropriate education to all children with disabilities across the country. It mandated the formation and use of IEPs (Gutek, 2013, p. 226).

"A Nation at Risk"


The National Commission on Excellence in Education, formed by secretary of Education Terrel Bell, published this report in 1983. It found education to be lacking and criticized teachers. The report called for reform and gave a boost to standardization and accountability (Gutek, 2013, p. 145-146; Goldstein, 2015, p. 165).

Teach For America


Teach for America was founded by Princeton alum Wendy Kopp in 1989 as a response to the teacher shortage. TFA grads would spend 2 years teaching in high need schools before going on to other careers or becoming lifetime teachers. TFA was founded in hopes of bringing higher status to the teaching profession (Goldstein, 2015, p. 189-191).

Personal Connections

2000 - 2009

I graduated from high school in 2002. right as NCLB was being signed into law. I didn't experience the changes it put in place, but I remember doing testing before it came along. I think testing has just been an easy way to conduct assessments, but I think it has become too much. I believe that accountability needs to exist, but the methods put forth by NCLB, Common Core, and Race to the Top have not done what they need to do. The standards and accountability push have just burned out teachers and students alike. If anyone is capable of improving education it is the US, but they need to take notes from some other top-performing countries, as well as their own teachers, on how to accomplish it.

No Child Left Behind


NCLB was introduced in 2001 by Bush. It restated the concerns from "A Nation at Risk" and pushed for more standardization and accountability. it required states to implement testing to assess student performance in order to receive federal funding (Gutek, 2013, p. 386-387).

Race to the Top


Introduced in 2009 by Obama, Race to the Top required states to implement reform that focused on individual teachers in order to receive federal funding. It also required principals to do annual evaluations of their teachers. There is some evidence that Race to the Top's systems are not distinguishing between teachers effectively (Goldstein, 2015, p. 213, 228).