have been translated, if you will, into a Government department which instead of simply making a story that would interest a million readers made a thorough study of thať advanced point in junior high schools and made that available to every State and every community in the country, with proper time to study it and proper time to get it before the people in the various communities, doubtless all of our communities would be immensely benefitted by such a study.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you think they would have been 'anywhere near so apt to read it as in your article?

Mr. BLACKMAN. Perhaps not; that is perfectly true, sir; but I think that is no more a criticism of this department as constituted than it would be of any of your other departments. In fairness, sir, I was asked quite a number of years ago to look into the manner in which the Department of Agriculture was distributing its reports. I think it might be fairly said that those reports at that time were not distributed as a publishing house would distribute them to the people, to the people who needed them. There was a great loss in that department, and yet the five reports that we studied, as we found out by tracing them down, had accomplished such tremendous results, even in the careless or loose way they were distributed, that they were very much warranted from the point of expenditure.

The CHAIRMAN. Are you aware that our committee has reported a bill this year for library information service for the Bureau of Education, to try to let the people know, the people out in the country, what the Government is doing?

Mr. BLACKMAN. I think that is fine, one of the greatest pieces of work that could be done in the country would be to put in our various bureaus some systematic way of getting this valuable literature that we are paying so much for out to the people who would apperciate it and would be benefited by it.

Mr. FENN. That is what the bill proposes to do.

The CHAIRMAN. That is on the calendar, reported by this committee.

Mr. BLACKMAN. I think that is one of the finest things I have heard. Of course what we need is to get before the people the information that has been collected and is in shape to be distributed. But I do not think necessarily the fact that we have so poorly distributed these documents is any reason why we should not have a department of education which would give us the facts and the advanced methods and the advanced possibilities of our schools available to all.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there any reason why the Bureau of Education, if it was strengthened with a high salaried man at the head, and an adequate appropriation, is there any reason why all this could not be accomplished by that bureau?

Mr. BLACKMAN. Theoretically not, sir; but I think it would be almost a similar thing to what we are up against in our corporate practice. Nowadays, one of the most important departments in corporate management is the personnel department, which has to do with the welfare and the actual handling of the individual employee in our big corporations, and the fact that the manager of personnel or the head of personnel in our big corporations is not dignified by any title, and that his office is not understood by those who are remote from him on the board of directors, for instance, that his

work is not understood, that his job is not understood, makes the whole work of the personnel officer inefficient.

Five of the biggest companies in this country the last year, have taken the head of their personnel department and made him a vice president of the company and added him to the board of directors, and immediately the matter of personnel took in that company the rank and relation that it should have had.

I was told the other day by a man who makes this his particular study that twelve of our greatest corporations are considering this year making their personnel officer a vice president and a member of the board of directors.

I think the same thing is suffered by a man who operates to-day, no matter what his salary, proportionate in our Government to the position he occupies. We suffer absolutely throughout the country from having education buried. Our people in the country do not understand the need of education.

Frankly speaking, just from the outside lay position, in light of the letters we have received this last year, our people have no idea how far behind we are in education, no conception of it, and it will require leadership and a campaign on the basis of facts, and what you gentlemen have done in seeing that this literature, in no matter what department, that is meant for the use of our people as a whole, goes to them in an intelligent way, will, I believe, give this department its full value in waking up our people.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that if there was a Cabinet officer as Secretary of Education that the right man could be gotton for the position; a man willing to sacrifice his present position; a man not too old; a man in the prime of life, who would be willing to sacrifice his present position and take that position for four years, knowing it would probably only last for four years?

Mr. BLACKMAN. Mr. Chairman, you are dealing with a peculiar class of men when you are dealing with the educator. He has not the usual commercial background or upbringing; he is something of an altruist, as I have seen; he does things in regard to the manner of using his time and his life that we business men would consider foolish.

The CHAIRMAN. Perhaps you do not understand what I mean. Do you not think you could get a better man, a more efficient man, to do this work that you have in mind as Secretary of Education, if you had a position with an adequate salary but a position more or sess permanent, such as an undersecretary.

Mr. BLACKMAN. Personally I would not think so.

Mr. FENN. It would not be a permanent job if he were a member of the Cabinet.

The CHAIRMAN. I mean, what would you think of a man as undersecretary, or some such position, that might be permanent?

Mr. BLACKMAN. Well, sir, I am not a student of government as such; I could not answer you that; but I could take it perhaps in my own line. This bill you put through recently in regard to giving proper circulation to those documents, etc., that is a line that I know something about. I have had about 22 years of pretty close knowledge of distribution and circulation and handling a piece of printed matter, sending it out to the people who ought to have it, and making them pay for it instead of giving it to them, and I must say that among the men in that line you would get a much higher caliber of man if he were to get four concentrated years with the work of Cabinet officer and be through at that time. Few men I know of in that line would want to bury themselves for life, nor would you get as high a class of man, in my opinion, if it was something that he would take hold of and stay there for life. I do not think you would get any Herbert Hoover to bury himself in the Department of Commerce for his life.

Mr. ROBSION. Has there ever been a time in this country when you could not get properly equipped men to accept places in the

Mr. BLACKMAN. I have never known of it, sir, and I think that would be particularly true in this particular case; I think your leadership would be forthcoming.

The CHAIRMAN. Would you advocate a man or a woman?

Mr. BLACKMAN. I think I should advocate a mind and quality of leadership, and I would not care whether it wore trousers or skirts. There are one or two women I have known in education that I would prefer to see in there rather than a great many men.

TheCHAIRMAN. The reason for that question is that there is considerable sentiment in the country to the effect that if a department like this were established, it would be a position that a woman might very well occupy.

Mr. BLACKMAN. I think that is a question of the individual.

Mr. Fenn. That is for the President to say, whether he would appoint a man or a woman.

The CHAIRMAN. Are there any members of the committee that would like to ask any questions?

I do not know whether you have concluded or not.
Mr. BLACKMAN. I have, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. It is almost 10 minutes to 12, and there is a very important resolution coming up in the House at 12 o'clock. I am perfectly willing to stay here until the bell rings, but I wanted to ask the other members of the committee what their pleasure was.

Miss WILLIAMS. We have a number of other speakers whom I know you will find very interesting. We have an (X-service man whom I want you to hear, and we have a grandfather and a grandmother who have learned to read and write very recently, and who have come to give you some of the concrete reasons why this bill should be enacted. They are making their first visit to the Capital, and if it is possible for you to hear them now, I would be very glad if you would do so.

The CHAIRMAN. We can continue for a little longer.

Miss WILLIAMS. A number of speakers, educators, editors, and others have presented before this committee strong arguments for the Sterling-Reed bill, but this morning we have a new type of appealand it comes from the people that we have been reading and talking about. Scattered throughout the mountain sections of our country, notably in the Southern States, we find the purest type of Anglo-Saxon race and from this Anglo-Saxon population come three representatives to-day-a grandmother who learned to read and write after she had reared 10 children and educated them first in the home school and later sent them away to school. Because she could not read the letters which her children wrote to her and because she could not write to them was born a deep desire to learn to read and write. Her opportunity to realize this desire came with the establishment of a moonlight school in her community. She joined the group that trooped to the moonlight school. We have an ex-service man who offered his life for his country and served overseas. In that great experience he knew the great tragedy of not being able to read and write. He will tell you what he has accomplished in one of these night schools. Then we have this grandfather, a man who would do credit to this committee, to the Senate, and to even the office of the President of the United States.

These people are the descendants of those fearless pioneers who, at the time of the great western migration from the Eastern States, settled in the Allegheny Mountains. They were taught by their parents from the few books that they had brought with them. The next generation received even less training. The lamp of learning flickered low, and in the succeeding generation it went out, and a shadow fell across the land. These people are not confined to the Southern States alone. I met a great body of them in the lower part of the Cascade Mountains.

I am greatly indebted to Miss Gray for giving me the opportunity of becoming friends with these people and to get an insight into the great piece of work which she is doing. It does not take a bunch of real southerners long to become friends when they have a mutual interest, and our common interest is education. All of us yearn for it not only for ourselves but for those who come after us. a most pleasant evening together. “Blossom time" appealed to the gentlemen of our party, but Mrs. Mishoe was not sure that it was not Satan's work; but when I told her that President Wilson sought relaxation from his hard labors by going to the theater, I think she changed her mind.

These people came to Washington with Miss Will Lou Gray, who is supervisor of adult education in South Carolina. Miss Gray bas been engaged in this work for a number of years and knows its needs. She is a native of South Carolina and a niece of Senator Dial, of that State. I want to introduce Miss Gray, who in turn will introduce the three people whom she has brought with her.

We spent


Miss GRAY. It is a pleasure for me to come here to-day with a few of our people who are going to talk for themselves.

As the chairman of education of the State Division of Women's Clubs, I am representing in that capacity over 8,000 women.

The CHAIRMAN. What State?

Miss GRAY. South Carolina. That organization is said to be, by the men, the strongest organization in South Carolina.

I was interested in the question the gentleman on my left asked what results have they gotten from night schools ? South Carolina is not a rich State.

In our State we have counties where the per capita wealth behind each child is $800. In other counties it is $3,000. So the child that happens to be born in a county with little wealth is penalized. The State has recognized that, and as a State we are trying to give to the children in South Carolina a certain amount of equal opportunity, and our State legislature this year will appropriate quite a bit over a million dollars to equalize opportunities.

The question was asked, Why this negligence on the part of the people toward public education? May I answer that in South Carolina it is largely responsible by reason of the fact that we have not had the dollars. Economically we have not been able to give to the people what the people of other States have been able to give.

Glancing over taxable wealth this morning I noticed that New York has $29,000,000,000; South Carolina has $1,000,000,000. And that is one reason why we are coming to our Government, and although I represent a secession State, I am saying “our Government” very, very feelingly. I believe our great champion of States' rights himself advocated Federal aid for the building of public highways. If he were living to-day I can not but believe that Calhoun would beg for Federal aid for the children of his State.

In the last 10 years South Carolina has led the States in reduction of illiteracy. We have had, however, during the last few years, to refuse the giving of a chance to a man who asked for another night school, because we did not have the money to run that night school. But this man was a school trustee, he was writing that since he had been to one term of night school he wanted another one.

And so we feel that if the National Government would but meet the States' amounts raised for education that we could do just twice as much as we are doing now.

For the benefit of the committee I would like to say that we are doing this work among our white people and among our negro people, trying to give a chance to all of them who did not have an opportunity when they were young.

We feel that much money now spent by our Government in the distribution of bulletins would be wisely spent if our 38,000 white people used them who now are illiterate, not to mention our 181,000 negroes who are illiterate. We believe that crime would decrease if we had more popular education. We believe that our people would understand how they could be better citizens if we could get this bill passed.

I am now going to introduce to you Mrs. Lizzie Mishoe, who will tell in her own way just what the night school has meant to her. If we had time I might have these pupils read and write for you, to show how much an old person can learn, because we had a time in South Carolina convincing these old people that they could learn. I remember coaxing one old man we had to beg a good many of them because they do not flock there, and we do not flock to many things that are good for us—this man said, “You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

That was his last argument. I was discouraged, I did not know how to answer that. But he himself added, “But I ain't a dog, am I?"

Now you will hear from Mrs. Mishoe.


Mrs. MISHOE. Well, I feel almost like I was out of the world here, ignorant as I am, but I am glad to come, too, and explain the benefits, how much good the night school has certainly done me.

In our school district I haven't been but 36 nights, and when it was organized

« ForrigeFortsett »