Essay The Founding Of Public Education

1317 Words Oct 17th, 2016 6 Pages
The founding of public education in the United States was a pivotal event in American history. Public education helped merge social classes, helped groom young society for the work force and also helped shape a woman’s role in society. Prior to public education, many children were taught at home by their parents. Some were wealthy enough to hire tutors for their children or send them overseas for further education. The idea of educating children came from the Puritans. The Puritans believed it was important for all children to have the ability to read, which would ensure that they were able to read their bibles, as well as understand capital laws. The idea of having a literate society was recognized by all. Thomas Jefferson truly saw the importance of education and was the first to propose the idea of “public education.” Thomas Jefferson proposed an educational plan in a bill written in 1781. This bill was, “A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge.” In this bill he proposed to create districts of five or six miles. Within each district a school would be built for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. The teacher was to be supported by the people within the district and everyone in the district could send their children to this school for three years. He also proposed that each school be visited by a superintendent. This person would be responsible for choosing the smartest children to be sent on to higher education for free. Unfortunately, this bill was…

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