What do you know: the same arguments existed in the 1920s, too...
Here is a book review of The Colleges In The War And Afterward (1919) by Parke Rexford Kolbe:
"One obtains a very clear picture of our educational institutions during the war and a definite feeling of the difficulties encountered when agencies which were quite individualistic, quite self-dependent, suddenly found themselves mere sub-departments of the War Department submitting to a command from higher authority as if they had been used to it all their lives..."
When the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, in the Autumn of 1957 it shocked the American people and set in motion an event that was quickly labeled "the Sputnik Crises". Almost at once, school boards all across the fruited plane resolved to improve their math and science programs in order to ensure the blessings of liberty for generations yet unborn.
One of these institutions was Laguna Beach High School in Southern California and the attached article, "Turning Bad Schools into Good Schools", will tell you about the various steps they had taken in order to alter their curriculum and the prevailing campus culture as well.
We were gratified to learn that some fifty-odd years later, Laguna Beach High is still one of the finest schools in the country.
The editors of Pathfinder Magazine were rightfully scandalized to report that the Mississippi State Senate voted in favor of purchasing two sets of civics books for the school children of their state:
"[The] idea behind this, said the Senate Education Committee, was to eliminate instructions for voting from the books to be distributed to Negro pupils".
This 1943 article by the noted American sociologist, Willard Waller (1899 – 1945), reported on the impact that W.W. II was having on the American educational system. Waller pointed out that during the course of 1942-43 school year, as many as 189,000 teachers had left their classrooms in order to work in defense plants. The author argued four distinct points that would halt the mass exodus - among them was the cry that "salaries of teachers must be raised to the point where they match favorably with industry."
- from Amazon:
A 1944 photo-essay on this topic can be read here...
"'The public school system will become a vast political machine.' And this machine, it is charged, 'will give a Federal Administration the opportunity of creating an educational autocracy, really endangering the liberty of thought and information, which is a basic right of the people.'"
This article pertains to a bill that was before the Congress one hundred years ago that proposed the creation of a "Department of Education". The bill was defeated. The proposed legislation was enthusiastically supported by the National Education Association.