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examination in prescribed subjects may be roughly classified as follows: (1) Those based on graduation from a standard college or university, generally including professional courses. (2) Those based primarily on graduation from a two-year course of college grade generally given in normal schools and teachers colleges. (3) Those based on graduation from a four-year high school, including professional courses given in connection with the regular work or given in addition to a prescribed four-year high-school course. (4) Those based primarily on scholarship attainments, as shown by examination. (5) Certain combinations of the above. A combination of this kind commonly established is that of setting up a minimum amount of academic and professional training (probably graduation from a four-year high school with 12 weeks to 2 years of professional training), and in addition examination in certain prescribed subjects, until professional training reaches the maximum requirement of two years.
Besides the prerequisites of academic and professional training, 37 States have established a minimum age requirement, generally 18 years, but in one State, 16 years, and in five States, 17 years.
In 12 States applicants for certificates must be citizens of the United States or take a pledge of civic loyalty.
There has been marked progress among States in raising certification requirements, particularly during the past five years. The accepted standard for teaching in elementary grades is now two years above high school, representing completion of a standard two-year course in an approved normal school, teachers college, or university. Graduation from a four-year college course, including professional courses, is the accepted standard for high-school teachers. While the examination method of certificating teachers still persists in a number of States, there is a strong movement to eliminate this method and to make examinations, while they continue, more and more difficult and hence of constantly decreasing appeal to applicants for teaching certificates. Progress in certification of teachers received a setback because of the war and scarcity of teachers immediately following it. This particular difficulty has now been overcome. There is no longer a serious shortage of teachers, and States are finding it possible to raise their requirements toward the accepted minimum or to the point which assures all children within their borders the certainty of being taught under the direction of qualified teachers. The examination method of certification is recognized as being an inadequate one. Progressive States are increasing their teacher-training facilities in standard institutions commensurate with their needs in order that all schools may be supplied with adequately and professionally prepared teachers.
SCHOOL TEXTBOOKS 1 Textbooks play an important part in the elementary and sec
and pupils depend on them not only for facts but for order of presentation. The adoption of textbooks for use in any school or system of schools is, therefore, important in determining courses of study and methods practiced in those schools not carefully supervised.,
State uniformity. The importance of the selection of textbooks has been recognized by legislative action regulating it in some degree in all the States. In some States a uniform list has been adopted for the whole State. In others there is uniformity through county adoptions. In others the selection of texts rests with the local school unit. Two States, California and Kansas, print textbooks. Four States lend them to school districts, which in turn lend them to pupils, retaining them as State property. At the present time 26 States have state-wide uniform systems of adoption, 5 have county adoption, while in the remaining 17 the textbooks are selected by the local school unit. Of the States having state-wide uniformity, 11 provide for selection of textbooks by the State boards of education, and the others by special textbook commissions usually appointed by the governor. The tendency to charge the State board of education with the function of selecting textbooks seems to be growing in favor. Selection should be made by or with the advice of professionally trained persons, including teachers, supervisors,
of the books without regard to price or other consideration. (Table 20 sets forth certain facts concerning textbooks.)
Free textbooks. 2-Philadelphia was probably the first city to provide free textbooks for children attending its public schools, and Massachusetts the first State to pass a state-wide mandatory free textbook law. At present 19 States and the District of Columbia supply elementary school texts without cost. In 15 of these States the law for free textbooks is applied to secondary schools also. In 22 other States local school districts may supply textbooks. In practically all States books are furnished free to indigent children.
Free textbooks are furnished in a number of States having permissive laws on the subject. Practically all cities of any size in these States, as well as a number of other districts, even small districts, furnish free textbooks. A study recently made in the Bureau
1 See U. S. Bu. of Educ. Bulletins, 1915, No. 36, and 1923, No. 50, 2 See U. S. Bu. of Educ. Bul., 1923, No. 50, 3 Table 20,
of Education indicates that in the following States the majority of cities and many rural districts furnish free texts: New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Connecticut.4
An inquiry recently made concerning the success of the plan of supplying free textbooks indicates that the consensus of opinion among teachers, superintendents, and school authorities is in favor of the system. Free textbooks apparently give greater opportunity to all classes of pupils, cost less than when purchased by the individual, and aid teachers in meeting the requirements of the course of study.
There is a growing feeling that when State uniformity is provided the list of books approved should make provision for a liberal supplementary list, permitting local authorities to exercise a good deal of freedom of choice. Additional information concerning free textbooks is set forth in Tables 20 and 21.
Arguments advanced in favor of free textbooks are as follows:
1. Poor children, whose parents are unable to purchase books, or are unable to do so without great sacrifice, may attend school as well equipped in this respect as the richer children.
2. Uniformity of textbooks in each school administrative district is secured.
3. Textbooks may be changed with little inconvenience whenever changes are desirable.
4. Additional textbooks and supplementary books may be supplied.
5. School work is not delayed at the beginning of the school year while parents obtain books for their children.
Arguments against free textbooks and in favor of the pupils purchasing their own books are as follows:
1. Parents and pupils are made to realize that they can not become wholly dependent on the State, but must continue to assume some of the responsibilities of education.
2. On account of the cost, increased school taxes would be necessary or the amount available for salaries and other expenses would be decreased.
3. Children should rot be required to use books soiled by other children, as they are objectionable to the majority of children and parents both for esthetic and sanitary reasons.
4. By purchasing textbooks home libraries may be built up.
5. Books furnished free are not cared for as are those owned by the pupils.
On the other hand, because the free textbooks are public property intrusted to the pupils, to be paid for if damaged or lost, and
* U. S. Bu, of Educ, Bul., 1915, No. 36.
frequently inspected by the teachers, it is claimed that they are as well or better cared for. The care the books receive depends entirely upon the way in which the system is managed.
TABLE 20.—Uniform textbooks—Territory to which laws are applicable
Chapter X SCHOOL GROUNDS AND BUILDINGS 1 Increased knowledge of the effects which the selection of a school site, arrangement of rooms, sanitation, ventilation, heating, and general hygiene of a school building have on the health and school progress of children has practically revolutionized our ideals in regard to building and equipping schoolhouses. Country children have apparently profited less from this knowledge than those in urban communities. This is due in part to lack of knowledge and general indifference in rural communities, but is also due in large part to the financial aspect of the question. When large buildings are contemplated, trained specialists in school architecture are employed and modern ideals are embodied in the school building which results. Rural communities building small schoolhouses which represent small sums of money do not employ the services of such specialists. Local contractors, builders, and school trustees are often not familiar with modern standards for school buildings. Consequently, small school buildings in rural communities continue to be built without regard to appearance or to the demands of modern methods of teaching or general hygienic considerations.
It is also true that we are beginning to realize that public-school grounds, well located and well kept, with beautiful and appropriate buildings, are a striking evidence of the intelligence of the community and its interest in education. A good school is an asset and pays good dividends to any community. Better school conditions invariably mean a better school and better community spirit. Generally, a beautiful and convenient school building costs no more than an unsightly one. The difference is in wise and careful planning.
State laws, and State departments of education through the authority given them under special or general statutes, are making concerted efforts to promote better standards for school buildings. In some States this is done through statutory provision to the effect that all plans for school buildings must be inspected by State officials, usually connected either with the State department of education or the State board of health. In others, State appropriations are made for building purposes, sometimes apportioned to districts whose financial condition is such as to make the provision of good buildings a hardship to the community. Sometimes money is loaned to school districts at a low rate of interest. Other States aim to promote good buildings through a plan commonly called standardization of school buildings. Under this plan school buildings meet
1 See U. S. Bu. of Educ. Bulletins, 1910, No. 5; 1914, No. 12; 1922, No. 23.