During the progressive period American business and industry rapidly expanded. Along with the increase in business and industry came an increase in the amount of immigrants entering the United States. Mr. Friedrich Winslow Taylor helped the expansion of industry with the "efficiency movement." This movement was basically concerned with making the factories more efficient in producing more with less cost, effort and material.

The schools were influenced by this efficiency movement. The school was viewed essentially as a workplace and learning was perceived in terms of productivity. The amount of children that were immigrating to the United States with their families increased as well. Elwood Cubberly, a turn-of the century historian, stated that schools should be like factories. Referring to the teachers as the factory workers and the students as the raw material to be turned into the product which was to meet the specifications of the needs of the 20th century.

Cubberly believed that the public schools' mission was to assimilate the new immigrants into a nation that would remain English speaking and thinking. He was quoted as saying that Public Schooling would implant "The Anglo Saxon conception of righteousness, law and order, and popular government" into the immigrant children. The children who could not be processed to completion were considered as scraps. Therefore they were considered to be dropped out of the production line which is where we get our most accurate definition of "drop outs."

Due to the large family size of the immigrant families most parents wanted to send children into the work force instead of school. These families wanted to benefit from the income they would receive if more of the family worked. This lead to the Compulsory Attendance and the Child Labor Laws. The Compulsory Attendance laws were mandated by each individual state to ensure that the immigrant children were in school receiving an education and not working in industry.

The schools were now concerned with deportment, diet, hygiene and cleanliness. They were also a social mechanism for changing the behaviors of immigrant children who were, like their parents, rudely transported from farm villages to the ghetto's and crowed areas of America's larger cities such as Chicago and New York.

Prepared by Tonjia Miller