1840 The School
For All Movement

Horace Mann and Henry Barnard helped create statewide common school systems. Common-school advocates worked to establish a free elementary education accessible to everyone and financed by public funds. This has had a tremendous impact on education today because every child in United States has access to a free education.

1865 Jim Crow Laws Edit

Numerous states and cities passed laws that led to unequal treatment of the races. Jim Crow Laws had the most dramatic and negative impact on keeping the races separate.

Jim Crow laws started in 1865  and focused on separating the races in many different aspects of life from schools, housing to jobs. The separating of the races led to a dramatic decrease in quality of life for Blacks .  Currently, in education today there are still claims of segregation happening, just inside of the school. That students are being tracked and placed in classes by ability level, but there are high percentages of minorities in low performing classes.   

1896 Plessy v. Ferguson = Separate, But Equal Edit

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated intrastate public transportation was constitutional. This ruling meant that blacks and whites could not sit together on trains and street cars. There had to be separate sections for each race. Sadly, this ruling also solidified for many people the need to segregate all aspects of life. Many states started severely limiting public amenities. It became common place in the South to have different waiting rooms, hotel entrances, public restrooms, and even drinking fountains. This had led some modern day educators to believe that separate classes for students are suitable. Students are still  regularly tracked by performance.

1900 Compulsory Laws for EducationEdit

 By 1900, 34 states had compulsory schooling laws.  As a result, by 1910, 72 percent of American children attended school. Half the nation's children attended one-room schools. In 1918, every state required students to complete elementary school. This has effecting modern day education by giving every student the opportunity to learn in a school setting. It has opened doors and caused educators to work for ways to meet the needs of all the students.

1954 Brown vs Board of EducationEdit

There are few cases in the twentieth century that have had as much impact as Oliver Brown et al. v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1954. This unanimous Supreme Court decision ended segregated schools. Chief Justice Warren stated, "We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."  These actions and many others have led to modern day discussions about equity and how to meet the need of all students.

1944 GI BillEdit


Congress decides to provide financial aid to returning war veterans. 


This has greatly impacted today and then the access veterans had to higher education.

1975 Education for All Handicapped Children ActEdit


Congress passed Public Law 94-142. This determined that every child needed not only a free education, but an appropriate education.  The law was amended in 1986 to extend its coverage to include younger children. In 1990 the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) extended its definitions and changed the label "handicap" to "disabilities".  Today, this greatly improved the quality of education provided to students with special needs.'

2002 No Child Left BehindEdit

In exchange for more federal aid, the states were required to measure the  progress of schools. Individual schools were given goals that there were to achieve on their standardized state exams in math and language skills. By 2012, half the states were given waivers because the original goal that 100% students will be proficient  by 2014 was proven unrealistic.

This has shifted education to be most focused on end of level testing. It has brought an intense focus on accoutability.