During the first half of the twentieth century, the United States expanded its secondary educational programs and thus set itself apart from the global community. This dissertation offers new insights on the causes of the Great Transformation in American education by using a newly created data set collected from primary records on high schools, their governance, and student performance for a sample of over 250 Illinois school districts. In the first chapter, it is argued that the increase in teacher education during the early twentieth century led to a large improvement in school quality. Estimations find that the rise of college educated teachers explains one half of the increase in high school enrollments and two thirds of the increase in graduation rates for the period of 1915 to 1935. The second chapter considers if the adoption of vocational education in high schools was a major determinant of the rise in high school graduation. It is found that the adoption of agriculture and home economics courses explain 25% of the rise in graduation rates from 1919 to 1960. Vocational education courses are not the only courses attracting students to high schools, though; advanced math and science courses have a near equal effect on graduation rates during this period as well. However, the rise in secondary education was sometimes met with conflict and resistance, particularly when school consolidation was the issue. As discussed in the third chapter, the largest factor for this resistance was the desire of property wealthy school districts to avoid lowering their tax bases by consolidating with property poor districts. The consequence of this resistance was a much higher cost of high school education due to the unnecessary replication of educational resources. Beyond testing the three main hypotheses, these studies reveal a new perspective on how educational innovation occurred in the early twentieth century. Developments in education were not primarily due to grassroots movements, as has been previously believed, but rather were due to the increasing involvement of state governments in the operation and governance of schools.To test if the modified skilled-based argument is behind the increase in student educational attainment, the effect teacher education had on student educational attainment is estimated. In order to do so, the standard approach in the schoolanbsp;...
|Title||:||The Formation of the Human Capital Century: Essays on Educational Development in the First Half of the Twentieth Century|
|Author||:||Jeremy Richard Meiners|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2008|