Timelines
Education Policy

  • 1635
    First Public School Opens In Boston

  • 1639
    First Public Elementary School Opens

  • 1647
    Boston Establishes First Public School System

  • 1751
    First College Not Affiliated With A Church Opens

  • 1779
    Jefferson Proposes Funding Va. Public Schools

  • 1812
    N.Y. Creates First Schools Superintendent's Office

  • 1816
    Indiana's Constitution Calls For Free Public Schools

  • 1817
    First School For The Deaf Opens

  • 1818
    Court Recognizes Autonomy Of Private Schools

  • 1821
    First High School Opens In U.S.

  • 1826
    First High School For Girls Is Opened

  • 1827
    Massachusetts Establishes Public High Schools Statewide

  • 1829
    First School For The Blind Is Founded

  • 1836
    McGuffey Readers, First Modern Textbooks, Are Published

  • 1837
    First Women's College Established
    Horace Mann Creates Common Schools In Mass.

  • 1838
    Massachusetts Establishes Public Teachers' Colleges
    First Coed College Opens

  • 1848
    First Kindergarten Opens In U.S.
    First Municipally Funded High School For Girls Opens

  • 1852
    Mass. Passes Mandatory School Attendance Law

  • 1855
    Law Requires Integration Of Public Schools In Mass.

  • 1857
    National Teachers' Association Is Formed

  • 1860
    First English-Speaking Kindergarten Opens

  • 1861
    First Black Teachers' Organization Forms In Ohio

  • 1862
    Congress Grants Land To Each State For A University

  • 1867
    Federal Government Creates Office Of Education

  • 1868
    College For Newly Freed Slaves Opens
    First Vocational School Opens

  • 1870
    First Public High School For African Americans Established
    National Education Association Forms

  • 1873
    St. Louis Offers First Publicly Funded Kindergarten

  • 1874
    Local Property Taxes Can Be Used To Pay For Public Schools

  • 1892
    Committee Of Ten Develops First National Standards

  • 1894
    Harvard Introduces Elective Courses In College

  • 1895
    Committee On College Entrance Requirements Founded

  • 1897
    National Congress Of Mothers Is Formed
    Dewey Introduces Concept Of Progressive Education

  • 1902
    College Entrance Examination Board Established

  • 1904
    First College For Black Women Opens
    National Colored Teachers Association Is Created

  • 1906
    Standard For High School Credit Developed

  • 1909
    Vocational Education Movement Grows
    Reformer Ellwood Cubberley Advocates Tracking Students
    Education Reformers Open First Middle Schools

  • 1912
    First Montessori School In U.S. Opens

  • 1917
    Federal Law Passed To Aid Vocational Education

  • 1918
    Mississippi Is Last State To Require School Attendance
    NEA Commission Revises Teaching Standards

  • 1921
    NEA Endorses District-Wide Salary Structure

  • 1926
    SAT Is Developed

  • 1935
    Iowa Every-Pupil Tests Created For K-8

  • 1944
    GI Bill Gives Education Aid To WWII Veterans

  • 1946
    Congress Passes National School Lunch Act

  • 1947
    Educational Testing Service Created

  • 1950
    Dick And Jane Readers Feature Whole Language Theory
    Law Provides Federal Aid To Certain Districts

  • 1954
    High Court Strikes Down School Segregation

  • 1955
    'Why Johnny Can't Read' Urges Return To Phonics Method

  • 1958
    National Defense Education Act Targets Math, Science, Foreign Language

  • 1960
    Open School Movement Begins

  • 1962
    Economist Milton Friedman Introduces Idea Of Tuition Vouchers

  • 1963
    Congress Increases Funds For College Expansion

  • 1964
    Johnson Outlines 'Affirmative Action' Approach To Civil Rights
    Civil Rights Act Is Passed

  • 1965
    Law Expands Federal Role In Education To Aid Low-Income Students
    Congress Passes Higher Education Act
    Head Start Is Launched

  • 1967
    Free School Movement Begins

  • 1968
    Congress Passes Bilingual Education Act

  • 1969
    National Assessment Of Educational Progress Begins

  • 1970
    Practice Of Mainstreaming Students Introduced
    First Federally Funded Magnet Schools Open

  • 1971
    Calif. School Funding Based On Property Taxes Rejected
    Schools That Get Federal Funds Cannot Discriminate
    Court Permits Busing To End Segregation

  • 1972
    First Federal Grants Provide College Aid To Lower-Income Students
    Title IX Prohibits Sex Discrimination In Schools

  • 1973
    Rehabilitation Act Requires Schools To Be Handicap Accessible
    Education Is Not A Right Guaranteed In U.S. Constitution
    N.J. High Court Finds Inequity Violates State Constitution

  • 1974
    Congress Passes Equal Educational Opportunities Act
    Schools Required To Help Non-English-Speaking Students Overcome Language Barriers
    First Experiment With School Choice Begins

  • 1975
    U.S. Helps Pay Costs For Students With Disabilities

  • 1977
    Modern Home School Movement Begins

  • 1978
    University's Minority Quotas Struck Down
    Calif. Cuts Property Taxes, Changes School Funding

  • 1979
    W.Va. Court Say Education Is Basic Right

  • 1980
    Department Of Education Given Cabinet-Level Status

  • 1981
    Congress Gives New Aid For Disadvantaged, Disabled Children

  • 1982
    Reagan Calls For Abolishing Education Dept.
    Home Schooling Legal In Most States

  • 1983
    States Can Give Tax Credits For Education Expenses, Including Religious Schools
    'A Nation At Risk' Report Calls For Sweeping Education Changes
    University Of Chicago Project Creates 'Everyday Mathematics'

  • 1986
    Study Indicates Failure Of Merit Pay Systems

  • 1988
    'Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know' Is Published

  • 1989
    Nation's Governors Meet For First Education Summit

  • 1990
    Congress Expands Support For Students With Disabilities
    Colleges Receiving Federal Funds Must Publicize Crime Data

  • 1991
    Afrocentric Schools Reintroduced
    Minnesota Passes First Modern Charter School Law

  • 1992
    New York City Expands Public School Choice
    Nation's Largest Private School Management Firm Founded
    Baltimore District Is First To Try Private Management

  • 1993
    Minneapolis Hires Private Firm To Run All Its Schools

  • 1994
    Goals 2000 Seeks To Set National Standards

  • 1995
    Report Links Smaller Classes In Early Grades To Achievement

  • 1996
    Conn. Court Says Minority Students Denied Equal Education
    Controversy Points To Difficult In Creating National Standards
    Successes Of All-Girls School Touted

  • 1998
    Decision Allowing Tuition Vouchers For Religious Education Stands
    Carl D. Perkins Vocational-Technical Education Act Enacted

  • 1999
    Florida Is First To Pass Statewide Tuition Voucher Law
    PTA Initiative Tries To Boost Parental Involvement In Education

  • 2000
    Florida Ends Affirmative Action In Public Education
    Mich. And Calif. Voters Reject Tuition Vouchers

  • 2002
    Court Says Tuition Vouchers Can Be Used For Religious Schools
    No Child Left Behind Law Introduces Major Education Reforms

  • 2003
    Court Rules On School's Affirmative Action Policies

  • 2004
    Texas A&M University Abolishes 'Legacy' Admissions
    National Assessment Of Educational Progress Exams Include Charter Schools

  • 2010
    Obama Calls For Overhaul Of No Child Left Behind Overhaul