Education Reform

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  • I am not sure how I should teach these kids.
  • Yes, I agree. The children are the future of this fine country.
  • It is important to change the schools in America for the better.
  • In the early 1800s, many children did not attend school. They were lucky to go for a limited time. Even when they could attend, the teachers were under-educated and the school rooms were crowded.
  • We can't go to school!
  • Horace Mann saw the need for reform. As a child, he experienced limited education because he had to work on his family's farm. Later, he became Massachusetts supervisor of education and he made speeches on the importance of public schools.
  • The people of Massachusetts understood how important public schools were, so they voted to increase teacher's education and pay, as well as building better schools.
  • However, school was not available to everyone. For women and African Americans, school options were very limited. Women were not allowed to go to later schools and African Americans were often forced to attend separate schools that received less money.
  • Progress was made in 1837, when Oberlin college was the first to allow female students. Later when other public colleges opened, many accepted females. However, few changes to African American schooling were made.
  • Even though many African Americans and women could not attend school, many strides were made. Horace Mann spoke on their behalf, and the foundation that would lead these movements later was laid. Today, everyone can attend quality public schools.
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