THE GROWTH OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Before and especially after the Civil War, Americans wanted a good education in order to be successful economically and socially. The demand for education resulted in the creation of public schools. Although children only attended school for a short period of time to learn basic skills, public schools were vital for success. Laws were created in 31 states to ensure kids went to school providing them with an opportunity for a better future.
In the early 1900s, children attended one room schools where they learned many lessons by rote. Teachers often used physical punishment to discipline their students. This caused many children to dread going to school, and only some found school enjoyable.
Like many Americans, immigrants found that public education was a way for their children to ecome successful. The emphasis on literacy skills helped immigrants ecome qualified for citizenship in America. Eduacation also played a role in assimilating immigrants into American society. Due to public school teachers mainly focusing on American culutural values, many immigrant children became Americanized which brought fear to their families. Assimilation was not all bad, it helped people to become open to different cultural traditions.
Polly Murray, civil rights activist, was constantly reminded about what African Americans had and what the white children had because of the inequality in the public school system. Whites and African Americans attended separate schools, an the schools for African Americans recieved a lot less money, along with Mexicans, Asians, and Native Americans.