The DeHavilland Blog

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Origin of public education

At a time when some hold corporate involvement in education with such disdain, it may be helpful to remind people where the support first came for an organized system of public education in this country. From "Frontiers of Change" by Thomas Cochran:

That free elementary schooling advanced more rapidly just before and after mid-century is partly due to the business boom from 1843 to 1854, but also to the persuasive abilities of the Boston lawyer, Horace Mann. Mann left his law practice to help create a Massachusetts board of education in 1837 and as its secretary to persuade businessmen that "education has a market value; that it is so far an article of merchandise, that it may be turned into a pecuniary account; it may be minted and will yield a larger amount of statutable coin than common bullion." In report after report, including the widely read Fifth Report (1842), Mann kept emphasizing the value to business of free education. And gradually he persuaded businessmen, starting with those in Massachusetts, of the truth of his argument. By 1850 the northeastern United States had joined the world's leaders in free elementary education.

3 Comments:

  • Please remember public education was forced upon the citizens because the capitalists needed worker bees. They could not have other equally bright people come along and compete with them for capital or workers. When forced schooling started the vast majority of people were literate, the teachers facilitated learning and kids only stayed in school a short period of time. When a child was in 8th grade they were learning far more complex things than most high school seniors and even college kids today!!

    Business does NOT necessariliy have good motives for partnering with schools. They still want non-thinking drones.

    I don't think this is what you want, do you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:01 AM  

  • I think what you're saying may have been true 150 years ago - at a time when we needed semi-skilled workers and had a predominantly unskilled labor pool, the focus was on getting the masses to a set level and pushing them into the factory. There was certainly an elite track not made accessible to the common man.

    But don't you think things have changed quite a bit in 150 years? I think it's patently false that businesses want non-thinking drones. I would challenge you to provide some examples.

    There are certainly some companies, such as those in the service industry, that have a low barrier to entry in terms of required skills. However, those employers, like every other, are desperate to find smart people with initiative to move up the ladder into management roles. The man's not trying to keep anyone down; in fact, he's now sending jobs overseas because he can't find people here who are capable of stepping up.

    Can you specifically tell me which businesses want unthinking drones?

    And before I'm through - let's turn the focus back on the kids, which is something we overlook far too often in this debate. If businesses want to work with schools to create a capable and prepared workforce - isn't that in the best interest of the kids? Shouldn't we prepare them to have the best shot possible at landing a good job? Or is it better to insulate them from the evils of the corporate world, and let them live on welfare so they don't have to suffer as mindless drones?

    By Blogger Brett, at 9:05 AM  

  • Another normal for the understudy advance: the advance is conceded until the end of your studies. All through the length of these, you have a deductible. You pay month to month premiums that the protection of the credit. On the off chance that you settle on a complete exception, you don't pay anything else. Check Cashing San-diego

    By Blogger Paulo, at 9:09 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home