This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: S IN AMERICA WERE TO PROVIDE A CURRICULUM TO TEACH CHILDREN THE COMMON CORE OF VALUES. Nina J. Crimm, Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law, Fall 1999. Core Societal Values Deserve Federal Aid: Schools, Tax Credits, and the Establishment Clause, Georgia Law Review, p. 1819. In the nineteenth century, for those states that had financially supported primarily private schools, the American common (or public) school became a new institution. In large measure, the public school systems were a response to the influx of Catholic immigrants to this country and their creation of parochial schools in the 1840s. Where previously states had supported sectarian private schools (primarily Protestant), pressure mounted to no longer provide nonpreferential financial assistance to private schools. The architects of these common schools clearly incorporated Jefferson's and Plato's notions that schooling contributes to and preserves a republican, democratic government and its institutions. The common school was structured in part to forge a unified nation and an American identity, albeit built on a Protestant image, among its citizens. As one legal scholar has commented: The school was [intended] to prepare the children of all religions, classes, and ethnic backgrounds (particularly the foreign-born) for the intelligent and responsible exercise of citizenship. The communal isolation of newly arrived immigrants, their low economic status, and their high rates of illiteracy posed a threat to the vitality of the republic. The school would teach the newcomers the proper attitudes and values of American democracy and foster an understanding and appreciation for American social institutions. The school would be common in the sense that it would be open to all free of charge, and it would inculcate a common core of values, a "public philosophy" which intermingled religion, politics, and economics in a vision of a "redeemer nation." . . .The goals of the common school included moral training, discipline, patriotism, mutual understanding, formal equality and cultural assimilation. I...
View Full Document
- Fall '13