America 's Public School System Essay

America 's Public School System Essay

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Episode: The Common School 1770-1890
1. Summarize the main point on this episode on The Story of American Public Education.
America’s public school system started off very rough, but through the dedication of many hard-working Americans, it was starting to shape into a system that allowed all children, regardless of race, gender, religion, or nation of origin, to have an education.
2. What political events took place that impacted public education during this era?
The Revolutionary War ended with the creation of a new country. A country where the citizens would need to be educated to become proper citizens. This need for education is one of the first sparks to ignite the fire that was public schools.
Another event that affected the public schools was the Common School Movement. This movement caused many schools to appear that would give all attending children, whether rich or poor, the same high quality education. This movement was very influential in the development of the public school system.

Another event that impacted public education was immigration. When the Irish-Catholics started immigrating to America, the public schools were teaching that the Catholic religion was the wrong religion. This conflict started the push for separate Catholic schools for the Irish-Catholic children to attend. The Philadelphia Bible riots also helped start this push. As a result of these events, Catholic schools starting appearing and public schools removed material that offended the Irish-Catholics.
The abolition of segregation played a major role in changing public education. In 1855, Massachusetts became the first country to start the integration of African-Americans and Caucasians into one school. After the Civil War, even more African-...


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...allowed to receive an education, but, the schools that these children would attend were segregated and had poor conditions. Eventually segregation would end, but for the majority of this era, American schools failed African-American children.
5. How does the meaning and practice of democracy unfold during this era?
This era starts right as the United States of America is formed. Democracy begins and develops during this time period. Thomas Jefferson established that a democracy needs public education to teach its citizens during this era. It was also established that all Americans have the right to be educated. This era was the birth of democracy in America and the time during which all citizens started utilizing their rights. By the end of the era, all American citizens, regardless of color, religion, or gender, had the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution.

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