It is hard to beat Boston when it comes to providing quality education, starting with primary schools all the way up higher education institutions. The city has been at the forefront of great achievements when it comes to offering learning opportunities not just in terms of the USA, but the rest of the world as well. What lead this city to becoming the heart of education system? What sort of institutions have the most prestigious names and the highest quality of learning opportunities? Let’s find out!
The answer to Boston’s ultimate success on the end of education can be easily traced back to the fact that it is home to the first public school in America. Boston Latin School, started as early as 1635, was founded by Puritan settlers and knowing their emphasis on enlightened mind and education, it’s no surprise that the wish to be knowledgeable spread fast. In fact, the entirety of New England colonies made it mandatory for towns to found schools and reinforced compulsory formal education as early as the 17th century.
In 1821, the first public high school – the concept was still somewhat fresh – was opened. And yes, once again that happened in Boston! All of that was happening on top of one thing – the famous Harvard University. The name is familiar to literally everyone – it is the oldest and certainly one of the greatest institutions of higher education in the USA – and it was opened in Boston in 1638, only a few years after the city itself was officially founded. It is easy to see how Boston snowballed from there to become the hub of education.
Boston regularly ranks as one of the top five city school systems of the USA and is known for it’s flexible, open-minded and innovative approach to education, starting as early as kindergarten. They have a thing in place called home-based school assignment plan, where parents of those attending kindergarten all the way up to grade eight get to choose schools they prefer within their geographical area. An algorithm then determines the placement; there is the random factor to it so the parents cannot be certain that their offspring will get into the school of their choice, no matter the grades. It might seem somewhat unfair – but it works! And it’s only applicable up to high school – from there on out, the children can go to any school of their choice based on their performance.
In fact, Boston actively encourages students to seek for educational achievements with all its charter and pilot schools. Those are publicly funded, thus theoretically accessible to everyone, however, due to the special status they have, they are allowed a lot more flexibility in terms of curriculum and teaching methods. Thus, they are seen as schools of the gifted and the competition to get into one is fierce and purely based on intellectual merit.