Profile America: The First Public School



Saturday, February 13 — This date marks the anniversary in 1635 of the idea of America’s first public school — the Boston Latin School — long before there was a United States. Established in April that year, among its later students were Benjamin Franklin and Samuel Adams. And this month in 1897, Phoebe Hearst and Alice Birney founded what is today known as the Parent Teacher Association, or PTA. Originally called the National Congress of Mothers, the organization now encourages both mothers and fathers to take part in school activities to improve the quality of their children’s education. Today, there are over 49 million youngsters enrolled in elementary through high school, with an additional 8.7 million attending nursery school or kindergarten.


Sources: U.S. Census Bureau

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