The History of the American Education System: A look at the 1900s

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The History of the American Education System: A look at the 1900s

The dawn of the 1900s brought with it progressive education. With a growing

population due to an influx of immigrants, many cities decided to build more schools.

Chicago was one such city.

Before 1889, the city of Chicago had only five high schools. By 1990, the

Chicago Board of Education had developed the Chicago Normal School, 15 high

schools and 234 elementary schools. These schools provided not only education for students but also job opportunities for many individuals. This dramatic change opened up positions for 5,709 teachers (filled by 394 men and 5,315 women), who were paid about $325 per year.

In 1990, there was a total of 255,861 students enrolled in public schools in

Chicago. 244,962 of these were enrolled in elementary schools, 10,241 enrolled in high school, 497 in normal school and 188 in the school for the deaf. Average attendance that year was about 199,821. (School attendance officially became compulsory in every U.S. state in 1918.) In high schools, there was an average of 33.9 students per teacher. An average of 42.7 students per teacher characterized the elementary schools in the district. In June of 1990, 1,249 students graduated from Chicago public

high schools.

Maria Montessori opened the first Montessori school in 1907. She is

credited as being a pioneer in the field of education for developing such tools as “classrooms without walls, manipulative learning materials, teaching toys and

programmed instruction,” (Family Education


In 1921, the National Education Association (together with the American Legion) sponsored the...

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