I found this timeline of education in America from a very helpful book ; The How and Why of Home Schooling by Ray E. Ballman. Dr. Ballmann, homeschooling father of six, makes a careful and convincing case for homeschooling. This list alone is enough to convince me to avoid the government schools.
1620-Christian education. Schools taught the Bible and Colleges like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale were founded so train young men to preach the gospel.
1837-Public education begins. The first public school was established. Horace Mann, a Unitarian, worked for a state-controlled educational system. The Bible was still taught in the public schools.
1905-Progressive education. John Dewey, the father of progressive education, introduced Socialistic, anti-Christian philosophy in the schools. The Bible was separated from academic studies.
1925-Supreme Court rules on home schooling. In Pierce v. Society of Sisters it says Oregon parents can’t be denied their own schools. noting, “The child is not the mere creature of the state.”
1933-Humanistic education. The Humanist Manifesto, written by John Dewey and thirty-three other signers enunciates the doctrines of secular humanism. God and the supernatural are rejected and replaced with man’s reason and science.
1963-Anti-Christian education. Bible reading in public schools is declared unconstitutional. The vacuum is quickly filled with curriculum materials that promote immorality, rebellion against parents, the occult, and other teachings contrary to Scripture.
1960s-Rise of Christian education. There are now over ten thousand Christian schools to combat the destructive education of religious humanism. A Christian school is started every seven hours.
1980s-Rise of home education. Desiring to return to the biblical model, concerned parents all across America begin reclaiming their right and responsibility for the education of their children. Number of home schoolers rises from 60,000 in 1983 to 244,00 by 1988.
1983-A Nation At Risk. Education Department releases study critical of U.S. education, A Nation At Risk. Formation of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
1990s-Home schooling flourishes. There are between five hundred thousand and one million school-age, home-schooled children nationwide. Home schooling is now active in all fifty states. Home schoolers have become a political force.