On April 23, 1635, the first public
school in what would become the United States was established in Boston, Massachusetts. Known as the Boston Latin
School, this boys-only public secondary school was led by schoolmaster Philemon Pormont, a Puritan
settler. The Boston Latin School was strictly for college preparation. It was modeled after the Free Grammar School of Boston, England. The English school taught Latin and Greek and was centered on the humanities
. Some of the Boston Latin School’s most well-known alumni include John Hancock and Samuel Adams. Benjamin Franklin was a dropout!
The Boston Latin School is still a fully functioning public school, with students enrolled in grades 7-12. However, it has changed with time, becoming coeducational in 1972 and moving locations several times. It is now in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. Admission to Boston Latin is very competitive, and is limited to residents of the city