Jul 03 2011 08:44 pm

Posted by under July 5 Assignment

Public Schools in the 1920s in the New York City and Virginia.

Twentieth-century New York City public schools were characterized by their ability to educate the “whole child” and they had to act as parents, psychologists, doctors, and social workers in order to adjust to the changes of the city. The influx of immigrants in the late nineteenth-century introduced a class of the “immigrant child” – a child who was of the lower class, who did not exhibit the proper health etiquette, and who was certainly not American. Progressive reformers quickly saw the potential of delinquency that these children possessed and through their efforts, public school education became “a fostering, a nurturing, and a cultivating process”. The main purpose of the beneficial changes to the school system was to counter-act the poor living conditions of these children and to ultimately turn immigrant children into American citizens.(www.fordham.edu)

                              On the other hand in the South of Boston around this time School attendance, particularly in rural areas, tended to be erratic, and Virginia had one of the lowest rates of attendance in the nation in the years before World War II. Black schools, however, were so underfunded that most of them were overcrowded.Many whites did not want blacks to become educated, fearing they would challenge white supremacy and not be content with jobs working in the fields or in domestic service. Black schools therefore received far less financial support than did white schools. Black schools had fewer books, worse buildings, and less well paid teachers. Ramshackle, segregated schools marked black Virginians with a stigma of inferiority and the status of second-class citizenship that they would have to endure throughout their lives. (www.vahistorical.org)                                                                       Courtesy Library of Congress.

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