It’s Fashion Week in New York, and at GothamSchools, we’re inspired to take a look back at school uniforms in the city.
Although fashion designers exported the jumper from the classroom to the runway in 1968, uniforms for public school students didn’t hit the papers often until 20 years later, when Mayor Ed Koch got an offer from a clothing manufacturer to provide free uniforms for all students at Harlem’s PS 175/IS 275.
The 1990s saw a flurry of attention to uniforms as a solution to youth violence, with Clinton leading the way.
In 1999, after much back and forth by columnists, parents, and educators about whether uniforms were a panacea or a distraction in ed reform, and whether they stifled creativity or relieved peer pressure, the NYC Board of Education voted unanimously to require uniforms for elementary school students.
An article from 1935 shows that as with so many issues in education, some things never change…