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The history of US policy - education policy

Education is necessary for every country as it plays a vital role in its success. The more educated people in the country means, the more prosperous the country. But education policy also affects the education rates. In this article, you will get to know about the history of the education policy of the US.

As per the current population survey of the year 2018, there are 76.8 million students enrolled in the schools from which the age of 3 or more years children was more than 24%.

According to the 2017-18 National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), there are 130,930 schools in the United States Of America. Of which 87,498 are elementary schools, 26,727 are secondary schools, 15,804 are combined schools, and 901 are other schools.

However, the data you have read above are based on the current education system of the US. Therefore, now you will read the history of the US education policy from the following section.

History of education policy

The plan and principles developed for the education and students are known as education policy. The policy has changed based on society and public requirements.


The first education policy was passed in the 17th century by Massachusetts General Court in 1642. According to this policy, Parents or guardians have to make sure their children can read and understand the law of commonwealth and the principle of religion. At that time, most of the children were taught at home.

The Massachusetts law of 1647 passed the old deluder satan act, requiring fifty people in a community to employ a teacher to educate their children to read and write. A hundred families in a small village required the services of a grammar instructor who could prepare students for admission to Harvard University.

Boston Latin School was the first school in America that opened in this era. The Boston Latin School was founded in 1635 in New England. And this school is the oldest and existing school in the United States of America. However, the education in this era was private, focused on reading and understanding religious books like the Bible and new laws for settlement.


In the 17th and 18th centuries, there was a high inequality in the education system policy. Girls were educated in their homes. While students came from low-income families, American Indians and more were educated formally. However, the literacy rate of the USA was at its peak at that time.

The founding era was the era after the revolution when education was more influenced by commerce and agriculture than European topics. During the 17th and 18th centuries, there were many types of private and semi-public arrangements for the children's education that were established to teach them.

19th centuries

Massachusetts and Connecticut passed the law inquiring every town to choose public schools into a unified system in the 1820s. Then, in 1862, the government passed the law, which was the first Morrill Act, that granted the land to set up colleges in agricultural and mechanical arts.

The second Morrill Act was passed in 1890, making the federal office of education responsible for land granting for colleges and universities.

Education in the USA showed massive growth in 1867. The department of education was established in the same year, and Harvard University for African Americans was also founded in the same year.

The first public school in the United States was established in 1821. By 1870, all states of the country have a public school. However, the economic depression of 1873 caused harm to the education system of the US. As a result, the education system of the US shifted from religion or privileged study to standard and states supported education in this era.

20th century

After recovery from the economic depression, the US education system bounced back in the early 20th century. The association of American education was established in the same century, and the Progressive education association was also created.

The 1917 Smith Hugees Acts and the 1946 George Barden act were created to focus federal involvement for agricultural, home economic, and industrial training for the high school student.

In 1958, congress passed the national defense education act, which supports college students' loans. The segregation of public schools in the USA ended after 1954. The segregation case went to the Supreme Court of the USA in 1954, and Supreme Court outlawed the brown vs. education board.

In 1965, the elementary and secondary education act launched comprehensive sets of programs like the title I program aid to assist disadvantaged students, including financial aid programs for needy college students.

Current education policy

School choice and academic performance are becoming the most prominent policy of the US education system. Every parent needs more active and more options for selecting a school for their children. The federal and states government are struggling with the education standard. Both governments have established the following policies to make the education system better-

No child left behind Act was passed in 2001 by the united national congress in which states have to measure progress and punish those schools that are unable to meet goals measured by standardized states in maths and languages.

On 24 June 2009, former president of the US, Barack Obama, and secretary of education announced the fund of $4.35 billion granted competitive fund named race to the top fund. This fund was launched to support innovation and improve educational achievement in the states and local K-12 education.

The national governor association and council of chief states school Officers have set the qualified benchmark in 2008-2009, known as the common core. These benchmarks have been put in English and mathematics at each grade level.

Online learning is also becoming popular throughout the world, including the US. For example, the course taught in a college or schools in England can be attended by students across the globe, and in a covid era, online learning took the place of school and college.


The education policies play an essential part in the literacy of the country's population. The first education policy was developed in the 17th century in America when no one knew about education. In the 21st century, the literacy rate of the united states of America is 88 percent. However, the federal and state governments are still working to bring new policies to promote education.


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