One hundred fifty years later, in 1998, California breaks that treaty, by passing Proposition 227, which would make it illegal for teachers to speak Spanish in public schools. 1851 State of Massachusetts passes first its compulsory education law. It also guarantees the continued use of the Spanish language, including in education. Many do not ponder the purpose of the public education system overlooking that this question lies at the heart of all that is done in school. Under this law, ED's mission is to: Strengthen the Federal commitment to assuring access to … The importance of public education is to ensure that all members of society have a basic set of skills (reading, writing, math, basic social interactions, ability to create and interpret directions and directives, etc.) From kindergarten through their senior year, students in the United States will spend thirteen years in US public education. Congress established the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 4, 1980, in the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88 of October 1979). The earliest schools focused on reading, writing, and mathematics. Public Schools Have a Public Purpose Richard D. Kahlenberg , a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, is the author of several books, including " … While it's important for students to have a firm grasp of each subject, this can sometimes be problematic. The original purpose of the agency was to collect information on individual schools that would help states establish their own effective public school systems. If one does the math, 13 x … In the United States, the first schools began in the 13 original colonies in the 17 th century. Finally, in 1954, the Supreme Court overturned its ruling with the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, and public schools became open to people of all races. Based on that original purpose, it is evident that public education today is, to borrow a metaphor from Jesus, “like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27). Public education was conceived as a way to educate children in order to prepare them to be productive members of society. The 1896 Supreme Court ruling, Plessy v. Ferguson upheld the legality of segregation. The federal Department of Education was established in 1867, according to the U.S. Department of Education. I wondered if the diversity of answers to such a basic question were a road-block to reform in itself. The purpose of education to some teachers is to impart knowledge about the subject matter they are teaching without much thought to other classes. Teach your … For example, Boston Latin School, which was founded in 1635, was the first public school and the oldest existing school in the country. 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