Excerpts from 34 documents and commentary concerning U.S. education in the twentieth century are presented. Each document represents a landmark in the development of American education. Perspectives are also provided on conditions and dilemmas still being addressed by educators today. Among the issues covered are minority education, the Depression of the 1930s, the development of the federal role in education, and the relationship between higher education and elementary/secondary schools. The educational history is divided as follows: the transformation of education, 1900-1929; continuity and change, 1930-1941; educational excellence in a democratic society, 1942-1963; the expansion of opportunity, 1964-1980; and dilemmas of the 1980s. The tension between equality of opportunity and educational quality is a central theme in the recent development of American education.