Windows to the Past, Pt. II

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

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)

Vol. 16, Issue 15

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories