Ten year olds dating
But the reality was that soon the number of students aged 14–17 attending high school soared, rising from 359,949, less than 6 percent of the age group, to 4,804,255, almost 51 percent of the age group, between 18 (see Figure 1).In the middle of this demographic revolution, in 1918, another NEA group, this one called the Commission on the Reorganization of Secondary Education, issued a manifesto that turned the fundamental belief of the Committee of Ten on its head.The reality is that, quite some time ago, our high schools were set on a course of diversification.And the questions today are whether and how much this “comprehensive high school” has contributed to the declining quality of secondary education in this country. Appointed by the National Education Association (NEA), the committee, composed mainly of presidents of leading colleges, was charged with establishing curriculum standardization for public-high-school students who intended to go to college.It called for expanded and differentiated high-school programs, which it believed would more effectively serve the new and diverse high-school student population.
While enrollments were still small by today’s standards (probably less than 5 percent of American teenagers attended public high school in the post-Civil War era), by the 1870s and 1880s the number of public secondary schools was increasing fast enough to occasion some attention.
For more than a century, American educators and education policymakers have chosen sides in a great debate about the nature and function of American high schools.
The origins of this long-running argument can be traced to 1893, when the influential Committee of Ten, a blue-chip panel of educators, issued a report proposing that all public high-school students receive a strong, liberal-arts education.
And the Committee of Ten was convened to bring some order to the varied curricula that were growing with them.
Under the leadership of Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University, the committee undertook a broad and comprehensive exploration of the role of the high school in American life, concluding, significantly, that public-high-school students should follow a college preparatory curriculum, regardless of their backgrounds, their intention to stay in school through graduation, or their plans to pursue higher education.