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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Education leader proposes junior highs

From our archives, 100 years ago

The president of the Spokane School Board proposed a startling new idea: building “junior high schools” in Spokane.

It would be, the board said, “something entirely new” for Spokane.

Spokane had grade schools (elementary schools) and two high schools. Under this proposal two junior high schools would be built.

However, they would not be like today’s junior high or middle schools. They were to be considered “prevocational schools” for students who were not going on to high school.

“For instance, the 15-year-old boy who cannot learn physiology will not be kept in sixth grade until he can, but will be put in the ‘junior high school’ and will be allowed to take a course in manual training … along with other 15-year-old boys of the city.”

The sixth-graders who pass their examinations would continue to go directly into the high schools. The new junior highs would be “purely auxiliary institutions.”

This plan was in line with “various advanced ideas of education now in use at different points throughout the country.”

Officials pointed out that they would take no action until the plan was thoroughly investigated – and that the plans might change.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1794: Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

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