While traveling around looking for interesting historical sites, a one room school house came into view. The sign nearly as large as the building itself was a testament to an era of no nonsense lessons and learning.
The wood siding painted red for the tourists was once white wash. The bell hung from a hook attached to the rafter. A well worn rope attached to the clapper swayed in the breeze.
Through a dusty window beside the door four desks stood. The four could accommodate up to eight students. The front of the class was a one step podium for the teacher who with a blackboard, lectern and a stove was charged with the education of the area's student population. Only the essentials could be toted to and from school were required. The rest of the process was between the students and the teacher.
McGuffy's readers were standard material, passed down through each family fortunate enough to allow school time to their children. The readers were primary material from pre-reader to college level material. Arithmetic and handwriting practice were primarily on hand held chalk boards.
The day was a great success with discussions of the era of increased literacy as well as the implementation of new educational testing systems which documents the decline of US student achievement. Perhaps the solution to the budgetary short fall as well as declining scores is in relationships rather than testing material.