In Modern Day America, We Have A Compulsory, Universal

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In modern day America, we have a compulsory, universal school system; however, it has not always been this way. As the importance of education increased due to economic, political, demographic and cultural change in America, schools eventually became the right of every citizen of the republic, and with this change came the debate about how to control and systemize schooling. The amount of control that local areas versus how much the state should have has been up for debate since the republican and common school eras. Today, the new U.S. Education Secretary, Betsy Devos, controversially believes that local communities should have a greater say over schooling than the state. While hearing the concerns of local communities is important for…show more content…
One issue with this system was that it was not mandatory and could only last as long as local patrons could afford it. Capitalism and waves of immigration increased the amount of citizens that were lower class and consequently, we had more poor students to educate. The common school movement offered a solution to the burden of funding: they would be able to support common schools through state tax and give students of all different classes the same educational opportunities. However, with state taxes and centralized schooling came the question of who would oversee and maintain it. Horace Mann answered with a Board of Education which was met with much opposition by those that feared the bureaucratic measures that would have to be taken to implement it. In the 1840 debate to abolish the Board of Education, Allen Dodge voiced these concerns that as it’s power grew, less improvement would be accomplished as each suggestion was mulled over by the Board. However, the goal of those in favor of centralized schooling was to improve all schools by establishing minimum curriculum standards and requirements for teaching certifications. During the republican and common school era, teaching was not seen as a profession and they were paid a small salary. Additionally, Low wages attracted less qualified individuals, but with centralized state tax funded systems, wages could be raised for
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