Horace Mann And The Common School Essay
Horace Mann was a Massachusetts state senator during a time when many changes were taking place due to urbanization, industrialization and immigration. One change he saw was the division of society between the educated wealthy and the working lower class. Mann saw this division as a reason for the moral decay of society and the hatred between the two classes. The fact that the wealthy abandoned the common schools for private schools led to the demise of the education for the lower class. Mann saw education as the cure for the moral decay of society and the hatred between the two classes, so he set out to transform the common school system into the best schools for everyone which we strive for today but come up short.
Common schools or what we call today public schools that Mann worked to transform were centralized systems of education that were “open and attractive to all” (p. 85). Local control was taken out of the system and put in the hands of the state under the supervision of a board of education. The schools were supported by taxes to insure that everyone was able to attend no matter what socio-economic status they were in. This allowed for a level playing field that did not discriminate between the wealthy and the poor. Everyone who attended received the same basic skills of education, reading, writing and math, which allowed for the opportunity to go further in their quest for a career in something other than labor.
Mann saw that…