Rise and Shine Education Reform

Good morning uneducated Americans, welcome
back to “Rise and Shine America”! Today’s topic is about the educational reform
movement that is currently occurring and has been in action since the mid 1800s. Today’s guest is Horace Mann from Massachusetts,
the mastermind behind it all. How are you? For the viewers not familiar with him, Mr.
Mann here has been a part of the Massachusetts state legislature and now is secretary of
the Massachusetts Board of Education. So, tell us, what made you so interested in
improving education in your home state and throughout the country? In Massachusetts, I observed that there were
very few educational opportunities for children as there weren’t many schools built. I’ve always had a special place in my heart
for children, and I believe that education is a natural right of every child, so I decided
to undertake this challenge and improve literacy in Massachusetts. I also heard that the Workingmen’s Party
of Philadelphia wanted to create free public schools, so we’ve been working together. What actions did you take to start the movement? I proposed that all kids should have the equal
opportunity to attend school. In fact, I sponsored the creation of a state
board of education with me as the leader. With this state board, I promoted the first
state supported “normal-school” with training for teachers and uniform curriculum for a
school year that would span 6 months. That’s incredible Mr. Mann! No we’re going to go see a video clip of Mr. Mann’s incredible work I wish I knew what these letters were saying. Sighs. Hey there kid, don’t worry, I have a plan
to make sure that all kids like you will have access to schools. You’ll soon learn how to read and you’ll
be able to read plenty of books! Really?! Yay, I’m so excited! Aw that was so wholesome seeing how you wanted
to help children. Thank you, I really wanted to take action
and do something for them so that they could become more knowledgeable citizens when they
grow up. Could you describe what some of the first
schools were like? Early schools were known as “common schools”
meaning that the school aimed to help children ages 6-14 from all social classes and religions. Local taxes would help pay for the school,
meaning that there was no tuition which gave the lower classes a chance to become educated
and advance in society. Your educational program seemed like it had
a successful start, was there anyone who criticized or opposed your actions? Err, well yes, I have faced some opposition,
namely from those who say I haven’t done enough about racial exclusion and segregation,
racial bias towards Catholics for “promoting” Protestant Republicanism in my schools, anti-immigrant
discrimination, centralized school boards, and a sense of conformity that makes it seem
as if the school system is built to simulate and prepare students for factory life. But I honestly think my critics don’t know
what they’re talking about, my education system is working great so far! I’m sure it is. Anyway, we’ll be right back after a short
break Can you not read? Are you depressed? Do you have a sense of surging nationalism
about your home country? Well, meet uncle Joey. It’s farmer Joey. Uh, I can’t read, so if you can’t read, you
can come down here. Don’t need to read to work on a farm. Just takes this. This. Welcome back, and to those of you just now
joining us, I am here with Horace Mann and we’ve been discussing the education movement
that he sparked. So Horace, what effects have you seen from
your education reform on the children of America? Well now, half of white children between the
ages of 5 and 19 are enrolled in school – one of the highest percentages in the world! And now, states like North Carolina are leading
the way in state-supported education. However, we are still seeing limited adoption
in the south. If we want our nation to grow up in a culture
of education, we need to focus our efforts on the entirety of the nation. I have heard that the southern region is not
as productive as the north in the education movement. In fact, one of our viewers from the south
contacted us and sent us a video of her stating her thoughts and opinions on the education
movement. It is true that we southerners are still lacking
access to schools despite all of the progress up north. More than 500,000 of us remain illiterate
due to the fact that slavery prevented progress in manufacturing, which allowed for educational
reform in the north. Slaves are prohibited from learning to read
and write, and white children usually rely on private institutions for education, but
this is limited to the wealthy. There are some leaders here who have taken
some action, like John Chavis, a free African American, who taught classes for whites in
the day, and blacks at night. However, this progress is insignificant when
compared to that of the north. I definitely agree with what this viewer said. Although there are some others like me in
the South seeking to reform education, most of the progress being done IS up north. For example, throughout the North, the hardworking
pioneers of women’s education Emma Willard, Catharine Beecher, and Mary Lyon have struggled
a lot to receive an education themselves and to share this privilege with other girls and
women. I think they’re doing wonderfully and I
fully support education for women. I founded Antioch College, the first college
to publicly award women diplomas and hire female professors paid equally to male professors,
you know! That’s great to hear as an educated woman
myself. Well thank you Mr. Mann for visiting us today
and for all your dedication towards the kids of America! Let’s hope we can further the education
in our nation in the near future. Tune in next time as we talk about how the
government refused to recognize the southern states’ right to secede as the division
and tension between the North and the South deepen!

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