During the 1980s and 1990s, over 14 million peoplea€”mainly from Latin America and Asiaa€”immigrated to the United States.
Like today, the years before World War I were characterized by high rates of immigration to the United States. Between 1900 and the beginning of World War I in 1914, New York schools experienced a 60 percent jump in enrollment. Before Maxwell became superintendent, all immigrant children who entered school speaking no English were automatically placed in the first grade regardless of age. Along with Julia Richman, a school administrator in the immigrant Lower East Side, Maxwell organized special remedial classes.
In 1913, a committee of education experts issued a report on the effectiveness of the New York City school system. The committee blamed the school bureaucracy as well as Superintendent Maxwell for the deplorable condition of education in the city. The 1913 report also missed the fact that some ethnic groups proved more successful in school than others. One reason for the greater success of Jewish students in school was the long tradition of literacy and learning that formed such an important part of Jewish religious life in Europe.
Along withA  Julia Richman, a school administrator in the immigrant Lower East Side, Maxwell organized special remedial classes. Immigration Commission reported that almost 60 percent of students in large cities were children of immigrants. The majority of these new students were Russian Jews and Italians, either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants. Maxwell was appointed superintendent of the newly consolidated New York City school system. Maxwell established a special program to teach English to newly arrived immigrant children as soon as they enrolled in school.
Even though the special English classes were apparently successful, only a small number of immigrant children actually attended them because of overcrowding, lack of funds, and some opposition from educators.
Maxwell, believing that immigrant children would do better in school if they started earlier, opened kindergartens.
In 1904, he introduced classes for students held back below the fifth grade level who were nevertheless approaching age 14 and about to leave school. But, did the schools succeed in giving these children an "opportunity for success in life," as Superintendent Maxwell had hoped? Many of the programs recommended by the committee had been in operation for decades, but reached relatively few students. On the whole, Jewish children were less truant, less likely to be held back a grade, more likely to earn high grades, and more apt to remain in school through the eighth grade than children of other immigrant groups. Also, Jewish immigrants more often came from cities where schooling was an accepted part of growing up.
Those coming mainly from a rural peasant culture, had parents who valued physical labor (especially for males) more than book learning. The public schools in the great port-of-entry cities like New York were flooded with European children speaking little English. An Irish immigrant himself, Maxwell was a visionary advocate of improving education for the immigrant children then flooding into New York's schools. He fought to shift the curriculum away from classical subjects like Latin in favor of practical subjects such as science, drawing, physical education, manual training for boys, and domestic arts for girls.
The committee also underestimated the many innovations introduced during Maxwell's superintendency.


Some families also resented attempts by the schools to Americanize their children by stripping them of their heritage and language. Maxwell, New York schools did provide opportunities for some immigrant young people before World War I. Maxwell first fought and defeated the old corrupt system that permitted political bosses to hire teachers. Those children who could already read and write in their own native language seemed to learn English the fastest. He tried to steer teachers away from old methods of instruction which emphasized repetition, recitation, and memorization. Maxwell also established other special classes and schools for handicapped, ill, blind, speech-impaired, and mentally retarded students as well as an accelerated program for bright immigrant children who entered school late. Finally, the committee failed to seriously address the chronic lack of funding for new schools and special programs for immigrant children. The pressure to help support the family, as well as the availability of many unskilled jobs, made work, not school, the route to success in America for most Jewish immigrants at this time. Today, up to 5 million immigrant children speaking 150 languages attend public schools in this country. He then sought better-trained, professional teachers and selected them based on their qualifications. Less than 10 percent of all school-age children in the city entered high school and nearly a third of those youngsters dropped out before completing the four-year program. In spite of the New York state compulsory education law requiring children to remain in school until age 14 or upon completing the eighth grade, the majority of immigrant students were out of school and working after grade six. During some years, as many as 30,000 new students, mostly immigrants, were simply turned away at overcrowded New York schools. The committee went on to criticize the high schools for being too few, too large, and too academic. It would take one or two more generations before most of the descendants of these immigrants would be economically able to graduate from public high schools. Some schools in cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are heavily populated by the children of foreign-born parents.
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Admission to the academy is highly selective requiring prospective students to be prepared with college preparatory courses and a well-rounded resume of extra-curricular activities and service. There are many facets of the fashion industry; if you do not want to design and make clothing, you can instead learn how to market it. By taking art classes, home economics classes and business classes, you will be prepared to make a more educated decision regarding your future in the fashion industry. Advanced placement, honors or international baccalaureate courses in English literature and composition will better prepare you for the rigor of college level coursework. Consider taking additional courses in public speaking, research or creative writing to enhance your communication skills.
As you move into your junior and senior year, your schedule will usually allow for a number of elective courses.
Be sure to take studio art classes in order to learn the basic skills of drawing, painting and sculpting.


Photography classes will allow you to use light and chemicals to either copy or manipulate subject matter. If you have the opportunity, take an art history class, which will give you an understanding of different art movements in history. Additional coursework in biology and earth science will provide a foundation for understanding environmental concerns. A home economics class will generally devote a portion of the year to the teaching of sewing. Prepare for the rigorous level of study by studying algebra, geometry and pre-calculus while still in high school. In addition, courses in statistics and trigonometry will prepare you for studies in engineering and science. These courses will also prepare you for achieving the high scores on the SAT and ACT standardized admissions tests required for academy admission. If you are an avid sewing student, ask your teacher for additional lessons and projects to master your skills. In addition to pursuing appropriate coursework, be sure to participate in extracurricular activities that enhance your leadership skills.
Scouting programs, civil air patrol and the junior reserve officers training corps are excellent programs providing opportunities for building teamwork skills. Fashion merchandisers market fashion and help to turn artistic vision into profit and success. Volunteering, participating in sports and keeping a part-time job will help you develop skills in problem solving, communication and leadership. In order to prepare for this field, be sure to take business and math courses in high school. Classes such as Business Law and Economics and Marketing will help you recognize how the fashion industry meets the needs and desires of its consumers. If you are interested in merchandising, speak with local boutiques about donating clothes for the cause. If you are interested in design, have student models wear the clothing you designed or created for the school fashion show. View Article See What's Trending this Fashion Season Explore a range of cool greys with the year's top colors. View Article Style Your Pink Wardrobe With Ease See how the colors in your closet help determine your mood. She has experience in restaurant management and is educated in school district business administration. View Article Explore Angelina Jolie's Favorite Color See if her signature black pairs well with your personal style.
Schroeder is currently teaching business and family and consumer science in New York State.
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