Horace Mann has been labeled by historians as the 'father of the public schools.' Just as judges and historians consult the views of the nation's Founding Fathers for guidance on contemporary issues, current educators can benefit by revisiting the original vision of Horace Mann for publicly supported schools. Such a study will not only be of interest to anyone interested in our schools, but it will also offer guidance as we consider our current educational issues. Much has changed since Horace Mann led the struggle to establish the common or public schools in the mid-19th century. Drastic changes in demographics, the emergence of teacher unions, and more recently, the standards movement, high-stakes testing, and accountability have greatly affected public schools. These factors, along with the additional powers taken on by the state and federal government have altered how schools function. The result has been the creation of a system that currently fails to offer an equal educational opportunity to all of our students.