Public Schooling History From 17th Century Till 21st Century

A book shelf filled with books

Public schooling history enjoys a long and illustrious history in the United States of America, where the first school in the country was around the time when Puritans arrived on U.S shores. Since that time the purpose and goals of public education have been examined deeply. It has been a topic of debate for the development of the public school system that is still in existence at present time. 

How well the government is managing education in public schools at the current point, we need to look back centuries of public schooling history right from the first school built in the 17th century. 

Public Schooling History Started When Puritans Recognizes The Need Of Schools

A school bus that is parked on the side of a road

In the early 17th century, the American living on the shores recognised the necessity of public education. They believed that education is an important part of both teaching fundamental educational skills and core religious faith. The first public school established was Boston Latin School in 1635. 

Public Schooling History Dis-balanced When Religion Dominance Occurred

A row of wooden benches sitting on top of a chair

Around the 18th century, the main focus of education was on private and religious values. During this era, many public schools were replaced by private educational institutes. Some of them are Phillips Exeter Academy, Phillips Andover Academy and many others. Many of these educational institutions became co-educational in the 1970s and are still in progress today. 

Public Education Expands in the 19th Century

In the 9th century, public education evolved as the evolution in today’s scenario, several public schools were cut off in the 1840s. Learning equipment includes chalk, slate and books.  There were oral examinations and recitation of poems or verses were common. There was only a single teacher who tutored children of all ages and skills.  

Segregation Key Issue in 20th Century Schools

In the 19th century, racial segregation in public educational institution became so mandatory as per the court’s order. In this rule, the white communities get more funding than the black school. 

In 1954 the U.S court stated that segregation is not right and should be eliminated. And in today’s era public schools are now not permitted to discriminate between students based on their caste and gender.  

Situation Of Public Schools in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, the school’s conditions are different from the school’s conditions in the 19th century. Schools are well equipped with various classrooms and technology is used to teach students. The education system is perfect now. Now nobody discriminates based on caste, colour and gender. The rules are so strict in this era.


This was the information about public schooling history right from the time when the very first school was introduced in the U.S. Education has always been in the debate since the very beginning and finally, now we are in a century where people understand the value of it. Hopefully, this article gave you enough information about how public schooling history is surrounded by debates.

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