Americans had adopted the European system of education in the beginning. It was greatly influenced by the British system of education. Although now it has been sufficiently changed and reformed according to the new needs and American atmosphere, yet it can still be said to be partly influenced by British system of Education.
Most of the people consider the American system of Education as a national system of education, but in the absence of central organisation it is different from other national educational systems. Just as in England, educational organisation is considered to be an individual affair so also in America; education is not free from individual responsibility.
In the absence of a clear cut distribution of educational powers and responsibilities between the centre and the States, education has become mainly a State subject.
Educational system of about 50 States is based on their own independent systems. There is some difference or the other in the independent systems of the various States.
We cannot consider it as a mistake of the educationists and leaders of America that they could not formulate those basic principles of a national system of education which could help in classifying the organisation of education and in assigning responsibilities.
Contemporary conditions might not have permitted the inclusion of educational responsibility in the Constitution. Moreover, the educational problems could not be given any constitutional provision because much before the framing of the Constitution, colonies had their local public schools, Government schools, private schools and denominational schools which were fulfilling their obligations independently as one unit.
Even after the adoption of the Constitution and Amendments of the Constitution, there is no specification of the distribution of the educational responsibilities.
The tenth Amendment of the Constitution simply indicates that the State Governments are free to use those powers which have not been reserved for the Federal Government or for the use of which the States Governments have not been debarred.
Thus the State Governments accepted the entire responsibility of educational organisation. We do not mean to say that the Federal Government is entirely apathetic to educational problems. On the contrary, the Federal Government influences education indirectly, if not directly.
The States could not utilise the educational powers conferred on them through occasional Amendments of the Constitution. This may be due to the adherence of the public to their traditional rights and their conservatism.
While supporting the Constitution, the public considered educational responsibility as their own, although the need for a uniform system of education and equipping it with all possible facilities and modern researches and scientific inventions was being stressed on them again and again.
It is perhaps because of this reason that schools in America are being managed by about 20,000 local educational councils. It is only in Labrador State that the State Government manages and organises the administration of the schools and the financial responsibility also is that of the State Government.