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California grew by leaps and bounds during the 1900s. It became a leader in many ways. This was partly because of education. Learning has been very important to the people of California.


The first schools in California opened during the mid-1800s. Like a lot of schools during that time, they were one-room buildings. Students of all ages learned in the same room. All the students learned from one teacher. 

A man named John Swett was put in charge of public education in California. This was during the 1860s. He is the most important person in the history of education in the state. He set up a board of education. He organized the schools. He made sure the teachers had enough education. He also made sure they got paid enough. He set up school libraries.