1904

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Helen Keller graduates from Radcliffe College with honors.

1912

Maria Montessori

Montessori Schools

Maria Montessori creates the Montessori method for teaching disadvantaged children reading and self care -- additionally, she is the first woman graduate of Rome University Medical School in Italy. (this inspires a Massachusetts innovation in 1916)

1916

Helen Parkhurst

Dalton Plan

After working with Maria Montessori, Helen Parkhurst starts a system of self-directed, project based learning in Dalton, Massachusetts. The Dalton Plan influences progressive educators around the world.

1920

Urban Population Grows

U.S. census reports U.S. population 117.8 million. For the first time in U.S. history, the urban population exceeds rural population.

1922

Pope Pius XI condemns co-education

"the so-called method of coeducation is false in theory and harmful to Christian training."

1944

GI Bill of Rights

Millions of U.S. war veterans gain access to higher education. Advanced education emerges as an industry and regional engine of innovation in Massachusetts.

1950

Brown v. Board

The US Supreme Court reverses Plessy v. Ferguson concluding that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.

1965

State Desegregation Plan

The Massachusetts Racial Imbalance Law of 1965 requires any district with a school of more than 50% minority students to create a desegregation plan which the state will aid.

1969

Big Bird

Sesame Street

More than 120 million children in 130 nations watch Sesame Street in its first three decades -- making it the largest single educator of young children in the world.

1974

Forced Bussing

Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. rules that the Boston School Committees has deliberately maintained segregation. His court imposes a program of forced bussing to redistribute students, which divides the city and encourages relocation to racially homogeneous suburbs.

1979

US spending on education exceeds 150 Billion

Total education spending rises from 8.3 Billion in 1950, to over 150 billion in 1979. Of this, 126 billion comes from government sources.

1980

Immigration to Massachusetts Grows

Nearly one quarter of Massachusetts growth in the 1980s is from international immigration. Bay State schools become more diverse.

1991

Interdistrict Choice

Parents receive the option of enrolling their child in any district they select, provided the district has voted to receive students under the program. The tuition for that child is deducted from the sending district's state aid and added to the receiving district's.

1992

Education Reform

Bi-partisan support creates increased funding and accountability -- a commitment of 24 billion dollars supports school construction, technology, curriculum frameworks, statewide testing, the introduction of charter schools, increased teacher training standards and recruitment of new teachers.

1995

School Enrollment Swells

In 1989 Mass. Public schools served 817,409 students. A "mini-boom" increases that number to 943,433 by 1999, which causes local districts to build new schools and accelerate teacher recruitment.