Horace Mann wasn't overboard: We need a universal school system


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September is the month that hails the beginning of a new school year across America. From nursery school through universities, young people begin their yearly journey for learning. Horace Mann, who lived in the state of Massachusetts, was the first great advocate for schools and public education for all young people in the 19th century. Some private and religious schools existed but only benefited limited persons. Horace Mann had a greater vision for the importance of learning through formal education.

We live in a country where mainly three types of school systems exist: Private, religious and public schools. Would it not be more effective and less complicated if only one type of school system were to exist? The idea that "there should be no child left behind," could make the learning process duplication of current bureaucracy less prevalent with one type of school system for all students. It would end the current "divide and conquer" status of three school systems, none of which, facts would indicate, are adequately educating enough young people in what is becoming an increasingly competitive world.

Horace Mann was on the right track. Three separate school systems have not served the needs of many young people. Too many of America's young have been left with "dead-end futures" because of schools that have not done well enough to solve their learning needs. It is time for a review of the necessity for three separate school systems, none of which are solving the economic, cultural and social needs of our society.

William Becic
Retired teacher

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