The Story of American Public Education
A 4-part series narrated by Meryl Streep
1 — The Common School (1770 - 1890)
In the aftermath of the Revolution, a newly independent America came
face-to-face with one of its most daunting challenges: how to build
a united nation out of 13 colonies with little in common. Many citizens
believed that education held the key. This episode profiles the passionate
crusade launched by Thomas Jefferson, Horace Mann and others to create
a common system of tax-supported schools that would mix people of different
backgrounds and reinforce the bonds that tie Americans together. Would
the grand experiment, with all of its flaws, succeed?
a video clip
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