All posts tagged: early efforts

Public Schools Were Not Inevitable

Public Schools Were Not Inevitable

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here. America’s public schools owe a great deal to the efforts of 19th-century abolitionists and reformers. In a new story for The Atlantic’s special issue on Reconstruction, my colleague Adam Harris wrote about how Reconstruction shaped America’s modern public-education system. Reformers in the South such as Mary Brice worked to realize the then-radical notion that free, universal schools should serve all students. I called Adam this week to discuss the backlash faced by early efforts to build public schools, and how that opposition is still embedded in discussions about public education today. First, here are four new stories from The Atlantic: An Antagonism That Lingers Lora Kelley: I think a lot of people today take public schools for granted. I certainly consider them a stable constant in American life. So I was really struck by your reporting on how much …