The Origin of the Non-Democratic System In the early beginnings of public education, Horace Mann labored extensively to realize a way for opportunity to come to all those involved. This included Protestants, Catholics, native born Americans, Indians, immigrants, etc. The need for a public education system at this time was influenced greatly by industry, immigration, urbanization, etc, and was focused on redirecting class conflicts into responsible citizenship. He aimed to do this through a standardized curriculum that integrated religion and politics. His belief was that he could eradicate poverty, crime, stupidity, etc. by introducing this encompassing curriculum to the masses. He believed in a democratic education for all, as long as its values shadowed protestant middle class beliefs. The idea of a standardized curriculum is the most obvious way to show that he missed the boat on that one. Horace Mann's work was based on the idea of the growing cities, government and immigration.
As these factors continued to grow, however, there came a point in the early twentieth century where a transformation was once again necessary in the public school system. This was fueled for the most part by booming industry which brought with it production lines, mass immigration, scientific management of business, labor strikes, and new views on intelligence. This transformation led to the differentiated curriculum, scientific management, and non-democratic system we see in our high schools today.