The more things change….

February 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm 3 comments

Just for fun, I found this in a 1909 Chicago Guidebook:

The public school system of Chicago consists of graded schools, high schools, evening schools, corporate or county schools (industrial schools, reformatories, orphan asylums, etc,) the Chicago Normal School, Yale Practice, and the Parental Schools.  In the list of High Schools in Chicago those offering special instruction are the Crane Manual Training School, the Hoyne Manual Training School, South Division Manual Training School and the Lane Technical High School, the latter just completed in 1908.  The total number of high schools in the city is 19 and of graded schools 281.   New school buildings constantly are being added to the large number in the city yet complaint frequently is heard of the inadequacy of the accommodations. (What? Chicago parents complaining they want more schools?!) The total enrollment of pupils in the schools for the year 1906-7 was 286,766.  Public school instruction, as already noted is also provided for the blind, deaf, crippled, and delinquent.

The entire system is under control of the Board of Education whose headquarters are in the Tribune Building, Dearborn and Madison Sts.   It embraces every phase of  school life, from kindergartens and truant schools to high schools, academies, and institutions for advanced training in the arts and sciences.

A compulsory school law is enforced by a corps of truant officers.  All children under 14 are compelled to attend school, except in special cases where permits are issued to allow them to work.  Free evening and vacation schools are maintained by the city which are largely attended by young men and girls employed during the day.  The total number of teachers employed is more than 6,000.  The annual expenditure for the maintenance of the Chicago Public school system is approximately $8,000,000.

(If the $8 million seems low, as a point of reference, the guide book says that a room at the Palmer House hotel went for $1.50 a night.  The price for a ride in a 1-horse vehicle was 1-2 people for 50 cents/mile, and a streetcar ride was 5-10 cents.)

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“Lies, damned lies, and statistics.” And charter schools. Nettelshort screens Lunch Line movie

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LR  |  February 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I loved reading this. My grandpa, who was born in 1902, graduated from Lane Tech. I often think how cool it would be if my kids end up going there, too.

    My father also attended CPS. He started in 1943 and graduated from Amundsen in 1956. One thing he told me that I thought was interesting was that there was no Sept.1st kindergarten deadline. Instead, kids started either in the fall or spring and then were promoted bi-annually. I thought that was an interesting piece of CPS history.

  • 2. cps Mom  |  February 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    The cut off for entry was Dec 3 at least until 1970’s (so that means that kids were a little bit younger by comparison to today. Having a January birthday I was always the oldest in class and had my drivers license first. The other thing that was probably stopped around 1970 is that they would double promote if the student was ahead of the material. They don’t really do that anymore.

  • 3. LR  |  February 23, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    CPS mom – yeah that’s so true! I am born in December and I was the oldest in my class. I started school in 1979. They moved it back sometime in the early 80’s.

    There actually was a bill that passed the IL House of Reps last year to move the deadline to December 31st in Chicago, for students that have attended certified Pre-K. It fell apart in the Senate. I know CPS was opposed because it will cost them money in the short-term. Wish it would have passed the Senate, too, because my fall b-day kids really could have benefited from starting Kindergarten when turning 5, rather than 6. Oh well…too late to make a difference now!

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