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Windows to the Past, Pt. II

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NEW FACES. Immigrants poured into New York City at the turn of the century. Many--like this class of Chinese boys--learned their new country's language and customs in the classroom. (June 3, 1935)

MAKING ROOM. Portable and temporary classrooms went up around the city to house a student body that grew from 553,000 in 1900 to 1,064,000 in 1930. The rise in the compulsory age for school attendance--along with immigration and the system's expanding palate of schools and services--contributed to enrollment jumps. From 1910 to 1920, high school enrollment nearly doubled, forcing many students into special shortened schedules. At the elementary level, the average class size in 1920 was 40, with enrollment in more than half of New York's elementary classrooms exceeding that number. (April 6, 1934)

GOOD CITIZENS. Citizenship classes attracted many adults to the classroom whether they had children or not. As late as 1940, 65 percent of white heads of households in the city were foreign-born or first-generation Americans. (Dec. 18, 1950)

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