Humans tend to romanticize the past. In many ways, it helps us see the good in what has been and what is now, but in other ways, it disguises the truth.
The history of American public schooling is a notable example of viewing history through rose-colored glasses. In my college and graduate school education classes, I read books and articles about how American public schooling was intended to be a great equalizer, to provide opportunity and social mobility to every child regardless of background. But I also learned that the rosy stories I had been taught about American history, from Christopher Columbus to Thomas Jefferson, had a darker side not often revealed. Did the origin of American schooling have a similar shadow?…. Read More