Monthly Archive for April, 2008

First School Laws in North America

At the National Conference on Parent Involvement in 1976 in San Anselmo, California we all received a bookmark in our kits with the following inscription:

The First School Laws in America (Massachusetts, 1642) embodied all the basic principles which underlie the American School System today. These are:

  1. Universal education of youth is essential to the well-being of the State.
  2. The obligation to furnish this education rests primarily upon the parents.
  3. The State has a right to enforce this obligation.
  4. The State may fix a standard which shall determine the kind of education, and the minimum amount.
  5. Public money, raised by a general tax, may be used to provide such education as the State requires. The tax may be general although the school attendance is not.
  6. Education higher than the rudiments may be supplied by the State. Opportunity must be provided at public expense for youths to be fitted for the university.