The Pros And Cons Of Public Education

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From a historical perspective, compulsory public education is a relatively new concept. Prior to establishing public schools, education was reserved for the privileged elite thought to have an innate predisposition for learning. (Office of Education, 1965; Hazlet, 2011, Iorio, 2011, p3, Comer, 1996) Consensus is difficult to achieve within a large and diverse population. Early colonial America was comprised of a variety of cultures and religions. Agreement on the importance of a strong moral education did not equate to agreement on the delivery system. Much of early moral education occurred in the home with the mother serving as the teacher. (McClellan, 29) Not convinced the home environment was ideal due to variations in parenting styles, and in an effort to assure uniform and appropriate moral education, “public schools” were established (McClellan, 30, Hazlet, 2011 p1). Agreement about the role and goals of public education was not forthcoming. The main challenge was to create non-denominational moral education allowing Sunday school to fill in the gaps for specific denominational doctrine (McClellan, 29). In his 1749 writing “Proposals Relating To The Education Of Youth In Pennsylvania”, when speaking of establishing educational institutions for the youth of America, Benjamin Franklin wrote: “For though the American Youth are allow'd not to want Capacity; yet the best Capacities require Cultivation, it being truly with them, as with the best Ground, which unless well
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