Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this study was to historically trace three American educational developments through five specific time periods from 1700 to 1978 and to determine how these developments were related to the origins of the concepts of egalitarianism and a universal guarantee of minimum competence in American public schools.

The developments examined were: the societal expectations for the schools; the make-up of the school population; and the emphasis placed on, and the methods used in, assessing student learning. The specific time periods and their titles were: "The Beginning: 1700-1889"; The Age of Standard: 1890-1915"; "The Age of Testing: 1916-1953"; "The Age of Egalitarianism: 1954-1971"; and "The Age of Universal Guarantee of Minimum Competence: 1972-1978."

Three categories of questions were answered relative to each time period.

1. What were the societal expectations for the schools during this time period?

2. What was the make-up of the school population during this time period?

3. What emphasis was placed on, and what methods were used for, assessing student learning during this time period?

A number of conclusions were drawn as a result of the study.