This is a story of the great American education reformer, John Jay Cooke. He wrote about the need for a new kind of education that would involve more than the teaching of grammar and spelling. He knew his public school system was failing and was passionate about making it better. He proposed to the New York State legislature that a new system of education would be implemented.
The bill was passed, but it was so poorly drafted that it wasn’t enacted until 1871. Cooke’s bill was the precursor to the great New York State Education Reform Act. It was a bill that would have provided teachers with more than just a teaching license. It would have provided teachers with the ability to teach in various subjects and classes. It would have empowered teachers to teach anything from cooking to history.
The education act was not passed. It was vetoed by Governor Andrew Cuomo. It was a bill that had a lot of flaws, but it was clearly something that was needed to get the state’s education system to where it needed to be. It still was not enacted until 1871.
It does not appear that it ever got passed. It was not even ratified. So when we say that the education act was a huge step forward, we’re only really half-joking.
The first piece of legislation that actually did improve education in the US was a bill that would have put a lot of teachers’ union members to work. It was called the New Education Act. Teachers unions were already very interested in education and wanted to make a lot of money. It would have established a lot of teachers’ unions and had a lot of benefits for them. It also established that a teacher could get a pension if they were ever laid off.
Many people (including me) thought this was a good idea because it would make it more likely that teachers would stay in the profession even if they lost their jobs. It would also make it easier to unionize teachers unions because they would have a pension fund to fall back on.
When the law was passed, teachers had a pension fund. In 1870, the teachers in our school district had a very small pension fund after their retirement. The fund was only enough for them to live on, and that included food and clothing. As a result, most teachers who got new jobs before they retired had to start from scratch.
Teachers pensions were very small back in 1870, and it was even harder for them to survive as a professional. There was no union pension fund, so the teachers weren’t protected. They did have a union, however, called the Teacher’s College Fund, but that was for workers who didn’t want to work for the union. That union was a very small one and almost all teachers who wanted to work had to join it. Teachers unions still exist though.
While we have no idea how many teachers were employed before 1900, when it was announced in June, 1900 it was almost all teachers. Even though they were still working for the Union, it was still a very small class of teachers, and even though this was a very small class of teachers, it was still a very small class of workers. It was only one of many changes that took place in the 1900s.