The comprehensive high school is a unique U.S. concept, developed in the 20th century to meet the challenges of a changing society by designing programs to correspond to the educational needs of all youth. A confluence of forces influenced the rethinking of U.S. secondary education: industrialization, immigration, progressive educational theory, and the rise of vocational education. To provide for equal opportunity and status of U.S. youth, public schools needed to provide general education for all citizens to help them contribute to and be part of the growing democracy; integrate new immigrants into the wider U.S. culture; ensure that students, upon graduation, were employable in an industrial age; and to provide for those students with abilities and talents to continue their education in the colleges ...

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