What Was School Like in the 1950s?

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School in the 1950s consisted of individual classes for each grade and was the starting point for the end of segregation in schools. Due to a large increase in the number of school-age children in the United States following the post World War II baby boom, more teachers became necessary, and more schools were built.

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched a satellite called Sputnik, leaving the United States behind in technological advances. This prodded United States officials to improve on the nation’s educational situation with the belief that better-educated individuals in math and science would have meant making strides in technology before the Soviet Union. This was the beginning of federally funded educational reform. Although this meant better research, education and higher standards in the school systems, there were other issues facing students at the same time. The end of segregation in schools following the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., did not come easily. Those who opposed the anti-segregation efforts voiced their opinions, often violently, within the various school districts. This made attending school challenging for many students and keeping their mind on their studies difficult with the distractions.