Newspapers, industrialization, and state-level progressive education reform from 1896 to 1911
Tyler, Matthew Telford
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The turn of the twentieth century marked the rise of many of the institutions we now view as fundamental to American public schooling. The teaching workforce became more professionalized and public secondary education proliferated. In this paper, I apply statistical analyses to the extensive theoretical work on progressive education reform by historians to gain a better understanding of the causal factors behind these changes. Specifically, I look at the increase in the number of normal schools and high schools. I hypothesize that ballot reform, the feminization of teaching, industrialization, and the spread of newspapers were all necessary to education reform. Using a Poisson count model, this paper concludes with evidence for positive effects of newspaper distribution and industrialization on reform.