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The Origins of Public High Schools

  • Michael B. Katz, Edward Stevens and Maris A. Vinovskis


The essays below continue a debate that began with the publication of Michael B. Katz, The Irony of Early School Reform: Educational Innovation in Mid-Nineteenth Century Massachusetts (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968). One celebrated part of this important work was a study of the controversy over the public high school in Beverly, Massachusetts, including a close analysis of the vote in 1860 to abolish the school. The occasion for these essays is the publication of Maris A. Vinovskis, The Origins of Public High Schools: A Reexamination of the Beverly High School Controversy (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1985). The first essay is a review of the Vinovskis study by Katz, now professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania; the second is a review by Edward Stevens, Jr., professor of education at Ohio University; the third is a response to these reviews by Vinovskis, professor of history and research scientist at the Center for Political Studies at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.



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1. Vinovskis, Maris A. The Origins of Public High Schools: A Reexamination of the Beverly High School Controversy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985. Pp. xiv, 172. $27.50.

1. Katz, Michael B., “Hardcore Educational Historiography,” Reviews in American History 8 (Dec. 1980): 504–10.

1. Andrews, Frank M. et al., Multiple Classification Analysis: A Report on a Computer Program for Multiple Regression Using Categorical Predictors (Ann Arbor, Mich., 1973).


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