In the four decades spanning the turn of the century, the industrial education movement focusedpublic attention as never before on the school as an instrument of social policy. Proponents of industrial education argued that tighter links between the schools and the economy would enable the nation to cope more effectively with the stresses and strains of becoming an industrial urban society. They believed that many social problems-poverty, political unrest, alienation, and a perceived decline in the work ethic-could be traced to a clash between old values and habits and new technological demands. In their view, the immigrant working classes, hopelessly mired in harmful thought and behavior patterns brought from Europe, were unable to adjust to the rigors of industrialism. But their children held the key to a happier and more orderly future.