The Americanization of Immigrant Children by Public and Parochial Schools in Baltimore, 1897-1917

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This is a study of the ways in which the school systems of the city of Baltimore received immigrant children and prepared them to live in the urban American community in the generation before World War I. It includes comparison of the public and parochial school systems in the areas of administration, attendance, curriculum and instruction, as well as an examination of the institutions within the ethnic communities used to become American. While there were remarkable parallels between the development of public and parochial school systems during the Progressive era, the evidence indicates that public schools were overwhelmed by the influx of immigrants and generally failed to accommodate the newcomers in a positive way. Because of their history of bilingual education and their cultural proximity to the immigrant communities, parochial schools were generally more successful in helping immigrants to make the transition to American life.