The library at Carl Schurz high school in Chicago is truly magnificent. It has so many pieces of art that I doubt I could ever describe them all. But the portraits of great writers, artists, and thinkers through the ages is something worth sharing here.
When I saw a portrait of Horace Mann on the wall, I was transported back to the baseball team that I played in as a young kid. We were the Horace Mann educators, and I didn’t know who in the world Horace Mann was. I assumed he was a baseball fan, though.
As time went on, I learned more about Horace Mann. He probably never saw a baseball game either, based in when he lived. But he changed education in many ways, beginning with the idea that everyone should be educated in the first place.
Once upon a time, somebody like me didn’t receive an education. The need to teach me how to read and write and work with numbers just wasn’t there. But Mann argued that teachers needed training, schools needed textbooks, and society would be better off if these things were made available to all children, paid for with taxpayer funds.
I’m very glad that Horace Mann fought for these things and brought them to fruition. I wouldn’t be writing this otherwise.