The Committee of Ten was convened in 1892 by the National Education Association. The purpose of the committee was to develop recommendations for a standardized high school curriculum. Leading educators of the time were worried that too great a degree of variance existed in basic high school curricula across the country, resulting in a lack of consensus on what an educated person should know and generating confusion in college entrance requirements. Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard University, was appointed chair of the task force. All but one member, William Harris, then U.S. Commissioner of Education, were at the time college/university presidents or secondary school principals or headmasters.

Nine subcommittees were formed, each to study a specific academic area: Latin, Greek, English, other modern languages, mathematics, ...

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