Though the plans for the proposed college in Henrico were officially endorsed both by the Virginia Company in 1618 and King James, the goal of establishing an institution to educate the "‘Children of the Infidels’" (qtd in Wright 3) was to be ultimate...
Horace Mann's "Seventh Annual Report" to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here.
The goal of Indian education from the 1880s through the 1920s was to assimilate Indian people into the melting pot of America by placing them in institutions where traditional ways could be replaced by those sanctioned by the government. Federal Indian policy called for the removal of children from their families and in many cases enrollment in a government run boarding school. In this way, the policy makers believed, young people would be immersed in the values and practical knowledge of the dominant American society while also being kept away from any influences imparted by their traditionally-minded relatives.
Seeking to educate increasing numbers of Indian children at lower cost, the federal government established two other types of schools: the reservation boarding school and day schools. Reservation boarding schools had the advantage of being closer to Indian communities and as a result had lower transportation costs. Contact between students and their families was somewhat restricted as students remained at the school for eight to nine months of the year. Relatives could visit briefly at prescribed times. School administrators worked constantly to keep the students at school and eradicate all vestiges of their tribal cultures. Day schools, which were the most economical, usually provided only a minimal education. They worked with the boarding schools by transferring students for more advanced studies.
In the Pacific Northwest, treaties negotiated with the Indians during the 1850s included promises of educational support for the tribes. For example, signed by members of the Nisqually, Squaxin, Puyallup and Steilacoom Tribes on December 26, 1854 called for the establishment of an agricultural and industrial school "to be free to the children of said tribes for a period of 20 years." The expenses of the school, its employees and medical personnel were to be defrayed by the federal government and not deducted from annuities. A similar clause appears in the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by representatives of tribes living in the central and northern Puget Sound region.
A standardized curriculum for Indian schools emphasized vocational training. Estelle Reel, who served as Superintendent of Indian Education from 1898 to 1910, was a strong advocate of this curriculum which gave primary importance to learning manual skills. No amount of book learning, she felt, could result in economic independence for Indian people. Others would claim that by limiting education to manual training the educators were condemning Indian people to permanent inequality. A former student at the Fort Spokane boarding school described typical work done by the boys:
And plenty of people throughout the world today find a way to educate themselves without resorting to a system of compulsory secondary schools that all too often resemble prisons.
Mandatory education for Indian children became law in 1893 and thereafter agents on the reservations received instructions on how to enforce the federal regulation. If parents refused to send their children to school the authorities could withhold annuities or rations or send them to jail. Some parents were uncomfortable having their children sent far away from home. The educators had quotas to fill, however, and considerable pressure was exerted on Indian families to send their youngsters to boarding schools beginning when the child was six years old. Fear and loneliness caused by this early separation from family is a common experience shared by all former students. Once their children were enrolled in a distant school, parents lost control over decisions that affected them. For example, requests for holiday leave could be denied by the superintendent for almost any reason. ()
His article, however, goes on to trace the template for our own educational system back to the now vanished, though never to be forgotten, military state of Prussia.
You are right that as far as the reservation in the educational institutions is agreeable to certain extent and your contention that it should be based on economic status of the parents rather than the caste and minority is also correct.
But for the cities as ours still the government thinks that they are not developed I would state that they are already developed with the various welfare measures like reservation in education, government employment opportunities and various other facilities.
The national system of Indian education, including both off reservation boarding schools, reservation boarding schools and day schools, continued to expand at the turn of the century. In the Pacific Northwest, Chemawa Indian School became the largest off reservation boarding school and drew pupils from throughout the region and Alaska. Chemawa had originally been located at Forest Grove, Oregon, but was moved to Salem in 1885 after officials determined that the original site lacked adequate agricultural land. By 1920 Chemawa enrolled 903 students from 90 different tribes, nearly a third coming from Alaska.
Not all experiences at the boarding schools were negative for all students. In hindsight, former students acknowledge benefits they gained from their education, and there were happy moments for some. Sports, games and friendships are examples of experiences remembered in a positive light.