"In 1800 schoolchildren (ages 5-19) spent an average of only fourteen days in school each year. By 1850 this figure had nearly doubled, going to twenty-six days, and by 1860 it had risen to forty days per year, almost triple the figure for 1800. By 1860 the literacy rate at the age of twenty had attained modern levels, exceeding ninety percent among Whites."
This passage describes results brought chiefly through
state and local efforts on behalf of public schools