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HOW EDUCATION HAS SHAPED THE STATE

Learning in the Land of Lakes: Minnesota’s Education History

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Teacher and students, Morris Indian School, ca. 1895. Included are B. LeVivash, Joe Northrup, and Joe Siehy. Photograph by R. E. Brandmo.

Teacher and students, Morris Indian School, ca. 1895. Included are B. LeVivash, Joe Northrup, and Joe Siehy. Photograph by R. E. Brandmo.

The founders of the United States—anxious about the fragile republican experiment they’d embarked on—knew that the nation needed an educated citizenry. They did not know, however, how to get there. The American decision to educate its citizens at public expense was an idea as radical as the revolution itself. The story of public education in Minnesota, then, tells about the aspiration, invention, and development of a great national idea into a state-wide practice and about women’s key role in carrying out that great idea.

Local school districts have historically funded and operated schools, within increasing state laws and standards. Parochial schools, privately funded and operated, have grown up alongside public ones. The definition of “citizenry” has steadily widened. The definition of education has similarly expanded and changed. The role of the federal government has gradually increased. Teachers, parents, citizens, politicians, reformers, and unions have all contributed to changes that have lengthened Minnesota’s school year from ninety to 174 days and expanded the definition of “educable.” Public alternatives—magnet and charter schools, for example—have emerged to respond to public education deficiencies. Inequalities plague the public school system nonetheless. Especially troubling are racial disparities in achievement.

WHY PUBLIC EDUCATION?

Even before the Constitution’s ratification, the 1787 and 1789 Northwest Ordinances declared: “being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” They allocated public lands for school support. Beyond these basics, the federal government gave education to the states to invent and develop. Like the federal ordinances, the 1849 Minnesota Territorial School Code and the 1857 state constitution declared public schools necessary for “good government” and for “the stability of a republican government.”

State law established a “general and uniform system of public schools.” It also banned state support of schools that taught any “particular Christian or other religious sect.” It offered (limited) funding from public lands, general tax funds, and proceeds from liquor-license fees and criminal fines. Legislators gave to county/township commissioners authority to establish school districts, hire and fire teachers, set the school calendar, and hold meetings of the school board. They also put funding responsibility on the local governments.

The state kept—and has increased—supervisory responsibility through oversight officers and groups: the Superintendent of Public Instruction (appointed in 1858), the High School Board (created in 1878), the Public School Commission (1914), the Department of Education (1919), the Board of Teaching (1973), and the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (2017). The 1858 statutes governing state schools ran to about four pages. The 1953 statutes weighed in at 152 pages and in 1996 at nearly 500. The 2018 statutes took up more still.

Schools reflect the values, interests, fears, and hopes of the communities that create and sustain them. Therefore, as communities—and the larger society—change, so do their schools. Early communities asked schools to create good citizens. Later they asked schools to prepare children for an industrializing society, for a more technological one, and, more recently, for a more diverse one. Schools are asked to socialize students, to teach sex and driver’s and vocational ed, to show how to resist drugs, and to demonstrate how to duck and cover to avoid shooters. Duluth’s Denfield High School currently defines its job as making students “leaders for life.” Stewartville schools aspire “to develop the full potential of all learners.” The St. Cloud schools want to help students “to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s society.” Each school writes its own statement.

Both state and federal governments ask—and fund—schools to be agents of social change. The state offered special funding to desegregate (St. Paul in 1869), to lengthen the school year (1885, 1898), to consolidate (1911, 1947), to educate students with special needs (1915, 1957, etc.), to encourage gifted and talented children (2006), and to reach preschoolers (2017). When variations in property taxes, taxable property, and local decisions resulted in grossly unequal schools (not the constitutionally mandated “uniform” school system), the state revamped funding through Governor Wendell Anderson’s 1971 “Minnesota Miracle.” By 2018, the state provided 67 percent of school funding.

By 2019, the federal government’s funding share had increased to 5 percent. The Hatch Act (1887) and the Smith-Lever Act (1914) funded agricultural education and home economics. Following the 1957 USSR Sputnik launch, the National Defense Education Act supported education in languages, mathematics, and science. Lyndon Johnson’s 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act and its amended “titles” target funds for schools with low income students, for breakfast and lunch programs, for the Headstart program, and for bilingual education. They also set aside money to satisfy requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (2002) and the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), an extension of 1965’s Strengthening Career and Technical Education Act.

NON-PUBLIC EDUCATION

The state was never the sole educator. Long before a state of Minnesota existed, Native people established a system of education that passed ceremonies, values, and oral history from one generation to the next. The doctor and writer Ohiyesa (Charles Eastman) recounted in his autobiography that his elders taught him to listen, to honor the earth, and to be a Dakota man during his childhood in the 1860s. In her book Night Flying Woman, Ignatia Broker told of how her Oona (great-great-grandmother) learned from her elders in the same decade how to read her dreams, to listen to nature, and to be an Ojibwe woman.

The Euro-Americans who arrived in Minnesota in the mid-nineteenth century brought with them a more formal definition of education centered around Christianity. The missionaries Samuel and Gideon Pond, for example, Connecticut-born and then born-again into evangelical Christianity, arrived at St. Peter’s (St. Paul) in 1834. They learned Dakota, invented an alphabet, wrote a catechism, translated the Bible into Dakota, built a school at Bde Maka Ska, and set to educating native people in European and Christian ways. From 1871 through the 1960s, Native American children were sent to boarding schools, including those at White Earth, Red Lake, Cross Lake, Morris, Vermilion Lake, Cass/Leech Lake, Pipestone, St. John’s and St. Mary’s, and Flandreau (in South Dakota). Though these schools offered students food and training in Euro-American skills, they also suppressed Native languages and lifeways and separated children from their parents. They broke the chain of traditional, intergenerational Native education—and many families’ hearts.

Many ethnic and social and religious groups have been willing to forgo government to protect their languages and culture. The St. Paul Lutheran Elementary School (1861–2018) was designed to strengthen religious commitments. New Ulm German Americans founded Dr. Martin Luther College (1884) to train teachers, and Norwegian Americans created the Lutheran Normal School (1898) to train theirs. The Danebod in Tyler aimed to keep Danish culture alive (1888). Beginning in 1860, Episcopal Bishop Henry Whipple ran Shattuck School (for boys) and St. Mary’s Hall (for daughters of clergy) in Faribault. Also associated with the Episcopal Church was the Breck School, which opened in Wilder in 1886 for the children of farmers and moved to St. Paul in 1916. Much later, in 1972, the American Indian Movement created the Heart of the Earth Survival School in Minneapolis to encourage Native youth to reclaim their identities and cultures.

The Sisters of St. Joseph, a Catholic order, opened St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Paul in 1851. Benedictine sisters opened their St. Joseph’s Academy in German Stearns county in 1880. By then, Archbishop John Ireland had already founded a Catholic Industrial School for Boys in Clontarf (1877). In 1883, the First Vatican Council demanded that parents send their children to Catholic schools and depended on thousands of Catholic sister teachers.

Some of Minnesota’s wealthier families founded private, college-prep, single-sex schools: Blake School for boys (1907), Graham Hall for girls (1900, renamed Northrop Collegiate School in 1914), and High Croft Country Day School (1958). They all merged into Blake Schools in 1974 In St. Paul, too, Summit School and St. Paul Academy founded as single sex schools merged in 1969.Enrollment in all of Minnesota’s private schools peaked in 1960 at about 20 percent. By 2018, enrollment had declined to 7 percent. By operating without public funds, they contributed unintentionally but substantially to the quality of public education in Minnesota.

HIGH SCHOOLS AND ONE-ROOM SCHOOL HOUSES

The original state legislation said nothing about high schools, which aimed at college preparation. But as the United States urbanized and spawned a growing middle class, the state’s interest grew. In 1878, it established a High School Board, then reorganized it in 1881. In 1893 it appointed an inspector of high schools. By 1902, Minnesota boasted of 506 common schools (119 graded, 387 semi-graded and one-room) and 141 high schools.

St. Paul Central High School, in its broad outlines, tells the story of Minnesota’s urban high schools. It opened in 1867 with one teacher and a dozen students, offering natural philosophy, math, Greek, Latin, history, and grammar. The first two students—one male and one female—graduated in 1870. The rat-infested school building prompted a city council proposal to raise money, which the voters rejected. The day before a second referendum in 1881, students played hooky to campaign door to door. They succeeded. Suggesting an expanded vision of high school, the school board put a manual training school in the new building. St. Paul Central moved again in 1911 to a site at Marshall and Lexington avenues.

Central added athletics in the 1890s, then organized sports teams (including girls’ basketball, 1901–1909; revived in the 1970s), extracurricular clubs, and a student council (1921). By the 1920s, it looked much like a “modern” high school. In 1970, however, it came under a state order to desegregate. Wanting to avoid the bussing solution being attempted elsewhere in the US, Central instead tried to attract a more mixed student body. It remodeled its campus and added a theater, recording studio, and swimming pool. Its remodeled curriculum offered an International Baccalaureate, a strong arts program, and black history. Over the next fifty years enrollment climbed to 1700 students: 35 percent African American or of African-origin, 38 percent white, 22 percent Asian, 5 percent Latino, and 1 percent Native American.

The Mille Lacs County schools tell a story of rural education in Minnesota. Just after World War II, the state had roughly 5,000 one- or two-room schools (more than half with fewer than twenty students). State education officials worried about the quality and the cost of so many schools, as well as a chronic shortage of well-trained teachers. In 1947 they launched a program to improve rural and small-town education by consolidating schools and eliminating one-room schoolhouses.

Many in Mille Lacs resisted, and they defeated the first consolidation proposal. They liked what local schools already offered in terms of local cohesion, identity, and proximity. They feared the loss of local autonomy and perhaps even the towns themselves. Practically, they argued that rural roads were too dangerous to move their children such long distances. They resisted in this way for twenty-four years before crumbling buildings, too-strained budgets, and improved roads resulted in the consolidation of fifty-nine districts into four. Between 1947 and 1990, the state consolidated 8,000 school districts into 435; by 2019, there were 327. In 2020, one-room schoolhouses have disappeared, except the Angle Inlet School on Lake of the Woods in the Warroad School District.

EDUCATIONAL REFORMS

Reformers of many kinds have tried to make schools better, more accountable, more efficient, or some other “more.” The Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program (1985), for example, allowed high schoolers in Minnesota to enroll in college classes. Open enrollment (1987) permitted students to cross district boundaries. Magnet schools have specialized in, for example, language immersion, the arts, STEM, the International Baccalaureate program, and Native American studies. They also aim to attract students of common interests (with the added, hoped-for benefit of voluntary racial integration).

Parents number among the most avid reformers of education in Minnesota, though neither state nor federal legislation specifies a role for parents other than their voting for township-board and school-board members (a vote that women gained in Minnesota in 1875). Women formed “Mothers Clubs”—the first one in St. Paul in 1894, out of which emerged the Minnesota Parent Teachers Association by 1922.

The charter school movement arose in the 1970s in part to give parents more control over their children’s educations. Charter schools are publicly funded but outside of school district control. Minnesota’s first, the City Academy in St. Paul, was founded in 1992. By 2018, more than 150 operated in the state. Their advocates champion the charter schools’ flexibility to innovate and to focus on particular students or outcomes. Their critics—including teachers’ unions and some school boards—fear that they are the backdoor to privatized public education.

TEACHERS

Nineteenth-century New England reformer Horace Mann largely invented the American common school: a free, public, non-sectarian, graded institution for boys and girls (together), with trained teachers. Young, ambitious, single, and coming of age in the bubbling cauldron that was Jacksonian America, young women provided the foundation of the new public-school system throughout the North, including Minnesota. Harriet Bishop, the first to arrive in Minnesota, opened her Mann-ian school in St. Paul in 1847. Nearly 500 other women, recruited through the Board of National Popular Education (run by Catharine Beecher, sister of Harriet Beecher Stowe), helped create Minnesota’s public-school system. Some districts—especially urban ones—hired as many of these trained “outsiders” as possible. Others—especially sparsely populated ones—were happy with young females who could read and write.

America’s audacious plan to educate everybody required a huge labor force. Women’s domination of the teaching corps was not inevitable, but the dynamics of nineteenth-century gender roles, America’s chronic labor shortage, the part-time and seasonal school calendar, and low salaries paved the way for generations of women teachers.

The State Superintendent of Education in 1861 reported that 74 percent of the state’s public school teachers were female. They received thirteen dollars per month, men twenty-one dollars. A few women advanced. By 1910 they held 24 percent of county superintendencies. In 2017–2018, female teachers made up 76 percent of the teaching corps; women superintendents had dropped to about 15 percent.

UNIONS

Unions emerged in the late nineteenth century to increase the standing of teachers in a system that devalued them. Federal and state legislation viewed teachers as hired hands, local authorities as temporary laborers. They often fired women teachers when they married. Beecher’s view—and a commonly held idea—of teaching as a natural extension of women’s domestic roles further disempowered them.

In 1916, Chicago teachers founded the American Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, under the leadership of Samuel Gompers. Within it, they focused on salaries, working conditions, and workplace control. Widespread American distrust of unions, state prohibitions, and the active opposition of school boards kept membership low until after World War II.

In 1946, when the St Paul School Board proposed a teacher pay cut, a shorter school year, and elimination of kindergarten, about two thirds of St. Paul teachers walked out in the nation’s first teachers’ strike (which was illegal). Led by Irish-born Mary McGough (a forty-six-year-old veteran teacher/principal), by the St. Paul Federation of Women Teachers, Local 23, and by the Federation of Men Teachers, Local 43, the teachers stayed out for over a month. Mayor Hubert Humphrey averted a similar strike in Minneapolis when he helped orchestrate a pay raise. Another Minneapolis strike in 1970—still illegal—led to the passage of the Public Employees Labor Relations Act in 1971. The resulting law upheld the rights of public employees, including teachers, to bargain collectively.

The two St. Paul federations merged in 1957 to become the Minnesota Federation of Teachers. In 1998, that group joined with the older Minnesota Education Association (founded in 1861) to form Education Minnesota.

In 2019, teachers of color made up only 4 percent of the state’s teaching staff. The in-school population of people of color, meanwhile, increased to 31 percent between 2018 and 2019. The Coalition to Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers in Minnesota (founded in 2015) is working hard to increase that to 8 percent teachers of color. The need for an increased pool of teachers of color is indicated in part by the achievement gap in Minnesota’s public schools, which remains remarkably stubborn and resistant to change.

TEACHER TRAINING

Concern about teacher training led the 1858 Minnesota legislature to fund Normal (teacher training) Schools in Winona, Mankato, and St. Cloud. It added schools in Moorhead, Duluth, and Bemidji by 1913. The funding was irregular and the normal schools educated only some teachers. In response, St. Cloud Normal School head David Kiehle (also the State Superintendent of Education, 1881–1893, and the holder of a University of Minnesota chair in pedagogy) developed summer training institutes. The University of Minnesota added a Department of Education in 1905. In 1904, 40 percent of elementary school teachers had a high school diploma; by 1926, that figure had risen to over 90 percent.

Concern about teacher qualifications and inconsistency across school districts led to the standardization of teacher licensure. Early legislation required teachers be qualified in “Reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic, grammar, United States history, composition, geography, physiology, civil government . . . .” It put the judging of the teachers’ abilities, however, into the hands of district examiners “who could not themselves procure a certificate of ability,” according to the 1860 State Superintendent of Education. Since then, licensure has gradually tightened. The state introduced a county-level examiner, then a common examination, then a more rigorous exam, then state certification, then specific educational experiences, then greater scrutiny (and reporting) on those experiences, more specificity, and revised examinations. Contemporary licensure is the province of the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board.

Legislation did allow exemptions from the board’s certification, but a systematic push for alternate forms of licensure was mounted in the 2010s. Teach for America, for example, which started up in Minnesota in 1990, aimed to fast-track aspiring teachers—especially teachers of color—into under-resourced schools. About 4 percent of teachers qualify for these exceptions.

SCHOOL DAYS

Nineteenth-century teachers presided over twelve-week school terms. Then, in 1899, the state offered additional funds to urban schools whose terms ran to eighteen weeks and to rural schools for sixteen. In 1913, a few of Florence Weber’s’ forty-two fourth-grade students in Sauk Rapids attended for all eighteen weeks of the fall term. More attended only half that time. To help offset familial pressure to pull kids out of school, the state passed both compulsory attendance and truancy laws starting in 1919. By 2019, the state required 425 hours of education for kindergarten students and 1,020 for high school students (with a special provision for e-learning days to offset snow days).

STUDENTS

One radical aspect of American education has been its definition of who’s entitled to it. When most schools in western Europe were gender-segregated and -typed or closed to girls entirely, American public schools included both boys and girls.

Minnesota early on included students with special needs: it created the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (1863), for the Blind (1866), for Dependent and Neglected Children (1886). Then it added special services for children with speech impairments or mental limitations. In 1915, twenty-five teachers worked in “special education,” and by 1955, thirty Minnesota counties had special education programs. Legislation in 1957 then directed school districts to educate “educable” children. By 1965, every county had instituted some form of special education, employing over 4,000 teachers. In 2018, over 10,000 teachers worked in special education. After 2013 public schools increasingly integrated—mainstreamed—special-education students into regular classrooms.

In 1776, Americans could anticipate three months of formal education in their lifetimes. Contemporary Americans can expect twelve years. The enormity of this transformation—the vision it required, the constant work it demanded, and the investment it represented—has been one of the great accomplishments of the United States, of the states, and of Minnesota. It remains, however, a revolution in progress.

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Annual and biennial reports, 1860–[ongoing]
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State Archives Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
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Related Images

Teacher and students, Morris Indian School, ca. 1895. Included are B. LeVivash, Joe Northrup, and Joe Siehy. Photograph by R. E. Brandmo.
Teacher and students, Morris Indian School, ca. 1895. Included are B. LeVivash, Joe Northrup, and Joe Siehy. Photograph by R. E. Brandmo.
Desk used in School District 43 in Watonwan between 1889 and 1919.
Desk used in School District 43 in Watonwan between 1889 and 1919.
Rural one-room schoolhouse, students, and teacher, ca. 1910. Photograph by John Runk.
Rural one-room schoolhouse, students, and teacher, ca. 1910. Photograph by John Runk.
The faculty of Plainview High School, Wabasha County, Minnesota, 1914.
The faculty of Plainview High School, Wabasha County, Minnesota, 1914.
Report card issued to eight-grade student Rosalie [sic] Weiss by the Gordon School in St. Paul for the 1918–1919 school year.
Report card issued to eight-grade student Rosalie [sic] Weiss by the Gordon School in St. Paul for the 1918–1919 school year.
Members of the Board of Education in Hastings (Dakota County), 1927. Photograph by A. F. Raymond.
Members of the Board of Education in Hastings (Dakota County), 1927. Photograph by A. F. Raymond.
State Teachers College, Mankato, 1939. Photograph by the Minneapolis Star- Journal.
State Teachers College, Mankato, 1939. Photograph by the Minneapolis Star- Journal.
Teachers strike, St. Paul, 1946. Photograph by Philip C. Dittes.
Teachers strike, St. Paul, 1946. Photograph by Philip C. Dittes.
Classroom in Redby Elementary School, Red Lake Reservation, ca. 1953. Photograph by Hakkerup Studio.
Classroom in Redby Elementary School, Red Lake Reservation, ca. 1953. Photograph by Hakkerup Studio.
Bookmobiles funded and managed by the Minnesota State Department of Education, ca. 1960.
Bookmobiles funded and managed by the Minnesota State Department of Education, ca. 1960.
Sister Mary Giovanni Gourhan, 1972. Gourhan founded the Guadalupetrea Project Alternative School in 1962.
Sister Mary Giovanni Gourhan, 1972. Gourhan founded the Guadalupetrea Project Alternative School in 1962.
Central School, Grand Rapids. Photograph by Steve Murray, ca. 1970.
Central School, Grand Rapids. Photograph by Steve Murray, ca. 1970.
Duane Dunkley, director of Indian education for Minneapolis Public Schools, 1975. Dunkley wrote a grant proposal for the American Indian Cultural Center.
Duane Dunkley, director of Indian education for Minneapolis Public Schools, 1975. Dunkley wrote a grant proposal for the American Indian Cultural Center.
Page about a physical education program from the 1977 edition of Hawkeye, the annual yearbook of the Cooperative School Rehabilitation Center, Minnetonka.
Page about a physical education program from the 1977 edition of Hawkeye, the annual yearbook of the Cooperative School Rehabilitation Center, Minnetonka.
Pitaro (Peter) Khouth, a Cambodian Minnesotan, in his classroom at Centennial School in Richfield, ca. 1980.
Pitaro (Peter) Khouth, a Cambodian Minnesotan, in his classroom at Centennial School in Richfield, ca. 1980.
Heart of the Earth Survival School yearbook, 1983. The school was located at 1209 Fourth Street in southeast Minneapolis.
Heart of the Earth Survival School yearbook, 1983. The school was located at 1209 Fourth Street in southeast Minneapolis.
Summer reading program at Hosmer Library, Minneapolis, 1990.
Summer reading program at Hosmer Library, Minneapolis, 1990.
St. Paul School Board candidate Choua Lee with her husband, 1991.
St. Paul School Board candidate Choua Lee with her husband, 1991.
"Music for Creepers & Toddlers" class. Photograph by George Byron Griffiths, April 24, 1999. The early childhood music education class for parents and their nine-to-twenty-three-month-old children was held at the MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis.
"Music for Creepers & Toddlers" class. Photograph by George Byron Griffiths, April 24, 1999. The early childhood music education class for parents and their nine-to-twenty-three-month-old children was held at the MacPhail Center for the Arts in Minneapolis.
Third grader training for the Special Olympics bowling competition with her adaptive physical education teacher, Joe Mangini, at Cuyuna Range Elementary School in Crosby, Minnesota, 1998.
Third grader training for the Special Olympics bowling competition with her adaptive physical education teacher, Joe Mangini, at Cuyuna Range Elementary School in Crosby, Minnesota, 1998.
Sign made by student Isabel Dobier and used during the Minnesota High School Walkout and March For Our Lives (organized to draw attention to gun violence in schools) at the Minnesota State Capitol on March 7, 2018.
Sign made by student Isabel Dobier and used during the Minnesota High School Walkout and March For Our Lives (organized to draw attention to gun violence in schools) at the Minnesota State Capitol on March 7, 2018.

Overview

Dakota and Ojibwe systems of education predate those imported by settler-colonists. Like all forms of education, traditional Native teachings transmit wisdom and cultural values from elders to children.

In the nineteenth century, many ethnic and religious groups created schools outside the state system to preserve their religions and cultures.

Minnesota has increased its supervision of public education over time by creating a Superintendent of Public Instruction (1858), a High School Board (1878), a Public School Commission (1914), a Department of Education (1919), a Board of Teaching (1973), and a Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (2017).

Teachers, parents, citizens, politicians, and unions have contributed to reforms that have lengthened Minnesota’s school year from ninety to 174 days, have dramatically widened the category of the “educable,” and expanded the goals of education from simple citizenship training to life enhancement and social and economic well-being.

Ten years of tax reform led to Governor Wendell Anderson’s “Minnesota Miracle” of 1971, which dramatically changed how the state’s schools were funded and the state continues to reimagine ways to fund increasingly comprehensive education.

The creation of a state-wide public education system has been one of the great republican experiments in the United States and part of the central work of each individual state. It’s one that Minnesota has taken especially seriously.

The education system continues to struggle with how best to educate all students and to live up to the constitutional mandate for a “uniform system of public schools.”

Chronology

1849

The territorial legislature makes Reverend Edward D. Neil the first superintendent of Minnesota schools.

1851

The University of Minnesota is founded.

1858

The Minnesota Legislature authorizes the establishment of Normal Schools in Winona, Mankato, and St. Cloud.

1862

The Morrill Land-Grant Act offers federal funding to state colleges that offer farming education.

1863

The Minnesota School for the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind is established.

1888

Moorhead Normal School is founded.

1905

The University of Minnesota creates a department of education.

1914

The state legislature appoints a Public School Commission (on school appropriations).

1919

Minnesota creates a State Department of Education as well as a Board of Education to manage it.

1921

Normal Schools in Minnesota begin to grant bachelor-of-arts and bachelor-of-science degrees.

1947

The Reorganization Act consolidates schools across the United States, including those in Minnesota.

1948

St Paul schoolteachers go on strike.

1972

The City of Minneapolis begins to provide learning alternatives to students struggling in traditional district programs, marking the beginning of the alternative school movement in Minnesota.

2002

The No Child Left Behind Act requires states to revise their education standards to focus on annual test-score targets, measurable outcomes, and accountability.