By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the nation’s first public schools were established, their purpose was to teach basic reading and some writing and arithmetic skills.

However, at the beginning of the 20th century came pressure to aid the assimilation of immigrants and train workers for the new industrial age. With each successive decade, the role of public education expanded.

From 1900 to 1910, schools assumed responsibilities related to nutrition, immunization, and health. Since then phys ed, half day kindergarten, driver’s ed and school lunch programs started. In the 60s, Headstart began as did Title IX mandating equality for girls’ sports, and in the 1980s computer classes and keyboarding.

The 1990’s added distance learning and recently, personal financial literacy was added along with 50 more subject areas in the last six decades.

“… we’ve added responsibilities without adding a single minute to the school calendar.” Jamie Robert Vollmer observes in a blogspot on the increasing burdens for teaching on the Horace Mann League website.

Think about it.

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