The Great Equalizer: A Five State Study


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Lia Howard's presentation from the

Penn Urban Doctoral Symposium

May 13, 2011

Co-sponsored with Penn’s Urban Studies program, this symposium celebrates the work of graduating urban-focused doctoral candidates. Graduates present and discuss their dissertation findings. Luncheon attended by the students, their families and their committees follows.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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The Great Equalizer: A Five State Study

  1. 1. The Great equalizer<br />A Five State Study of Compulsory School Attendance Age Policy and Administration<br />
  2. 2. The Great Equalizer<br />Horace Mann<br />“Twelfth Annual Report” as Secretary of the Mass. State Board of Education<br />(1848)<br />“Education then beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery…It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility towards the rich: it prevents being poor…The spread of education, by enlarging the cultivated class or caste, will open a wider area over which the social feelings will expand; and, if this education should be universal and complete, it would do more than all things else to obliterate factious distinctions in society.”<br />
  3. 3. CSAA Laws : Case Study Selection <br />By Enactment Date <br />Current Legal and Enforcement Stringency<br />
  4. 4. CSAA Laws: Case Study Selection<br />Graduation Rates<br />Current Legal and <br />Enforcement Stringency<br />
  5. 5. Case Study States<br />States studied inductively in the order listed: <br />Texas (1915)<br />Iowa (1902)<br />Connecticut (1872)<br />Georgia (1916)<br />Illinois (1883)<br />
  6. 6. Political Culture: Daniel Elazar<br />“the particular pattern or orientation to political action in which each political system is embedded”<br />It functions as “the historical source of differences in habits, perspectives and attitudes that influence political life in the various states”<br />Federalism: “independent interdependence”<br />
  7. 7. Urban context<br />Compulsory schooling laws were often passed out of a fear of immigrants and racial minorities <br />Americanize the immigrant<br />Child labor laws/ CSAA laws<br />Citizenship issues<br />
  8. 8. Public Schools and Civic Purposes<br /> “The free institutions belonging to the inhabitants of the United States and the political rights they employ so much, provide a thousand reminders to each citizen that he lives in society. They constantly impress this idea upon his mind, that it is duty as well as self-interest to be useful to ones’ fellows and, as he sees no particular reason to hate others, being neither their slave nor their master, his heart easily inclines towards kindness. Attention is paid in the first instance, to the common interest out of necessity and later out of choice; what started out as calculation becomes instinct; and by working for the advantage of one’s fellow citizens, finally the habit and taste for serving them takes root.” <br /> Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America (1840)<br />