How Public Education Is The Fundamental Nature Of Public Schooling

921 Words Sep 14th, 2016 4 Pages
In Tinkering toward Utopia (1995), Tyack and Cuban correctly argue that the fundamental nature of public schooling has not changed in the 20th century. The way schooling is organized, or the “grammar” of public schools, is relatively the same as when our parents and grandparents attended. The subjects studied, appearance of the buildings, start and end times, organization of leadership and staff, and length of the classes remains essentially unchanged. (Tyack and Cuban, 1995, p. 85) Tyack and Cuban describe the reforms that created this “real schooling”, and analyze why they stayed and became part of our culture, while so many others did not.
Two reforms that that Tyack and Cuban highlight as critical in shaping our idea of public education are the separation of students into age-leveled grades, and the creation and adoption of the Carnegie Units for a standard high school. The movement from the one room schoolhouse to the graded schools was an attempt by administrative progressives to “tidy up” the school systems to make them more organized, standardized and efficient (Tyack and Cuban, 1995, p.89, 93). These schools separated students into grades by age and at the end of a given year if students preformed proficiently they would progress to the next grade; if they did not, they would stay where they were. The teacher would be in change of teaching students in one grade and the administration of the building would supervise the teachers and students of all grades. (Tyack…

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