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A Government to be administered "by the people” in America requires intelligent voters able to read and write the English language and trained to pass judgment upon propositions submitted to the people. Schools in which future voters are to be taught and fitted for a proper exercise of the franchise and to learn a full appreciation of the obligations of citizenship must have wise and courageous leadership.
Such schools can be obtained and then maintained true to the duty of service for the preservation American ideals of government only when the importance of education, including both the teacher and the content of education, is officially recognized by the Government. Such leadership can be secured only when educational leadership is dignified by admission into the inmost counsels of government.
Because I believe in the entire group of Lincoln's phrases, but more particularly because I believe in a present need for a new emphasis in the phrse, “by the people,” I believe in a department of education, with an educator as secretary in the President's Cabinet, and with Federal aid to education so distributed that every American child may have an equal opportunity to be fitted for the great gift of American citizenship.
OLIVE M. Jones, President National Education Association.
COLLEGE AND NORMAL-SCHOOL PEOPLE
OXFORD, Miss., January 19, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: Am wholeheartedly favorable to bill to establish department of education, Hope Mississippi delegation will support the measure.
J. N. POWERS, Chancellor University of Mississippi.
NEW YORK, N. Y., January 19, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: Strongly favor the education bill that is before Senate Education Committee.
John W. WITHERS, Dean of Education, New York University.
GREENWICH, Conn., January 21, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: I am heartily in favor of the education bill because I consider that one of the most important public duties incumbent upon all citizens is their duty to the coming generation and because the spread of democracy and the democratic spirit in our Nation depends for its success upon the fruits of education-clear thinking, and a sense of responsibility among the electorate.
CAROLINE RUUTZ-REES, Head Mistress Rosemary Hall.
YPSILANTI, Mich., January 21, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: As chairman of the resolutions committee of the Michigan State Teachers' Association, I presented a resolution in support of the Sterling-Towner bill. This resolution was unanimously adopted by the association, consequently expresses my views and the viewsof the 20,000 members of the association.
CHARLES McKENNY, President Michigan State Normal College.
CHARLOTTE, N. C., January 21, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: Earnestly hope North Carolina Representatives and Senators will support the education bill. The paramount issue of the day is education and Americanization of the people. Heartily favor provisions of the bill. North Carolina teachers support it, also intelligent people of the State. With educational facilities strengthened in our common schools, North Carolina and Nation will be bulwarked.
MARY OWEN GRAHAM, President Peace Institute of Raleigh, N. C.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 21, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: Dean Holmes out of town. He and I both strongly indorse education bill.
John M. BREWER,
I am glad to have an opportunity to set myself right on the Sterling-Reed bill. From the first I have always been enthusiastic for Federal aid in American education. I was strongly opposed to the earlier bills for a department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet. In my best judgment they offered most excellent opportunity for politics in education. I was opposed merely to the form of administration which these bills proposed. In my candid judgment the later bills, particularly the Sterling-Reed bill, has corrected, so far as it is humanly possible, the defects of the other bills. There are, in my judgment, even in the present bill, some objectionable features in the administration of the provisions of the bill. However, I regard those as minor matters as compared with the great importance of Federal aid in our educational system. Count me emphatically and undividedly for the Sterling-Reed bill. If I can be of any service to you let me know.
BERTRAM E. McPROUD,
AMHERST, Mass., January 11, 1924. Hon. THOMAS STERLING,
Washington, D. C.: MY DEAR SENATOR: I am keenly interested in the passage of the education bill creating a department of education, giving Federal aid to States, etc. I am aware that there are objections to the bill, and some of these objections may be valid. But on the whole it has seemed to me for a long while that we must nationalize our education. It ought to be one of the major concerns of the American people, and should gain expression through national legislation. Personally I am not afraid of undue centralization growing out of this measure. We of the agricultural colleges have worked for 60 years under Federal legislation, and, while at times there may have been some friction, on the whole the Federal aid to agricultural education has been the means of developing the most extensive and probably the best system of agricultural education in the world. Yours sincerely,
KENYON L. BUTTERFIELD, President Massachusetts Agricultural College.
LAWRENCE, KANS., January 28, 1924. Miss Charl WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: As registrar of the University of Kansas, I am strongly in favor of the new educational bill introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Thomas H. Sterling, of South Dakota.
GEORGE C. Foster,
Registrar University of Kansas. 94041—241-14
I have long been interested in the objects aimed at in the Sterling-Reed bill. In a democracy depending primarily on education for its safety and prosperity without question the great problems of education are of first consequence to the Government. Practically every department of the Government is now dealing in one way or another with education, but wholly without correlation of effort or intelligent understanding on the part of any department of what the others are aiming at. This is a chaotic condition which can only be overcome by centralizing all the Federal educational interests in one great department of education, with a secretary as a member of the Cabinet.
P. L. CAMPBELL, President of the University of Oregon.
It is my understanding that specific provision is made in the education bill that the new department shall eliminate duplication of effort and expense, carry on investigations in the interest of public education, and, further, that the new department is definitely prohibited from exercising any control over State and local educational authorities. With all these measures I fully agree.
L. D. COFFMAN, President of the Univesrity of Minnesota.
I can not conceive of anyone who has read the educational history of America having anything but a favorable view of the Federal education bill. The United States is a nation. The importance of education as a national concern is more and more realized, and the present proposal as I see it is simply to have the Nation take its rightful place of leadership in education without in the slightest interfering with the sovereign rights of the States. The very condition that makes me glad that the States are leading in education as never before and are striving to equalize educational opportunities within their own boundaries makes me eager to see the Nation do its part in supplementing State leadership with national leadership and equalizing differences among the States.
W. CARSON RYAN, Jr., Professor of Education, Swarth more College.
SHAWNEE, OKLA., January 26, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Field Secretary National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: We are for the education bill (S. 1337 and H. R. 3923) and want it passed.
J. B. LAWRENCE, President Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Okla.
Malden, Mass., March 19, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: The faculties of Boston University School of Religious Education and Social Service indorses the Sterling-Reed education bill and urges its passage as essential to the removal of the menace of national illiteracy. We believe the bill adequately safeguards local initiative and grants encouragement to local efforts without which equality of educational opportunity can not be secured.
WALTER S. ATHEARN, Dean Boston University School of Religious Education and Social Service.
MEMPHIS, TENN., January, 22, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: Shelby County teachers urge the passage of the education bill creating a department of education and carrying appropriations for stimulating public educational interests, trained teachers, and national aid for equalizing educational conditions. Greatly needed by rural schools.
SUE M. POWERS, Superintendent Shelby County Schools, Memphis, Tenn.
I believe in the education bill (Sterling-Reed bill) and support it most earnestly.
In my opinion the sentiment in this State and in this section of the country is overwhelmingly in favor of the general principles of Federal aid.
Certainly the education profession, organized or unorganized, is wholeheartedly behind this proposal. The committee of the Senate must surely know of the growing acuteness of the educational problem in this country. Either education of all the people must be seriously restricted or adequate funds from public or private sources must be made available that the demand for education on the part of the rising generation can be successfully met.
A. F. HARMAN, Superintendent of County Schools, Montgomery, Ala.
When we reflect that the nation expects more from its public schools than from any other department of its social and institutional life, with the possible exception of the home, it is depressing to note the reluctance with which our requests for Federal recognition are considered.
The passage of the education bill will be of untold benefit to the rural schools of the Nation.
JAMES S. RICKARDS, Superintendent of County Schools, Broward County, Fla.
The complex conditions of modern living make adequate training for children imperative, if proper balance is to be preserved socially and economically. Increasing outlook on the right kind of educational facilities, due to automobiles and good roads, is revealing to the people of rural districts the fact that their children are not being properly equipped for present-day living. The comparison of well-trained teachers, longer terms, and better health service, secured in towns and cities is making the progressive farmer and his wife ask more insistently than ever before, “Shall we be forced to move to town to educate our children?" If the answer continues to come in the affirmative, agricultural production, the very foundation of national wealth, must necessarily suffer increasingly, and the slogan "Back to the country” be ultimately defeated.
The slow methods by which rural schools have advanced under present conditions lead us to believe that it is a forlorn hope to expect school systems, as they are at present, to advance to the level necessary to achieve satisfactory results. One and two room country schools with short terms and poor salaries no longer allure the teacher who has had a struggle to secure her preparation if she can possibly get to larger centers equipped with better types of schools, where materials and surroundings will enable her to use ideas and plans gathered in her training process.
I believe that the rural-school problem is the greatest problem facing the Nation to-day, and that upon its solution depends the welfare of the Nation.
The Sterling-Reed bill which is now before Congress, in my opinion offers the best possible solution for the educational weaknesses in the rural schools of our country and its passage will assure that equalization of educational opportunity which is the birthright of every American child.
Miss Cara LYLE HARRIS,
County Rural School Supervisor.
STATE SUPERINTENDENTS OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
The Sterling-Reed bill, which provides for a department of education and a secretary of education in the President's Cabinet, as well as for Federal aid for the promotion of education within the States, is the most important bill now before Congress. The leading public educators in the United States have long recognized the need for leadership in education in this country-a leadership that would give to education the dignity which its importance to the Nation demands, and this a secretary of education would do. The Federal Government will be establishing no precedent by granting Federal aid to the States that without such support will be unable to overcome their educational weaknesses, but the Government will only be taking its just share in the education of the future citizens of the Nation.
Mrs. JOSEPHINE CORLISS PRESTON,
LANSING, Mich., January 21, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: Education is worthy of the dignity of a place in the President's Cabinet. The various educational activities of the Federal Government should be consolidated. This will result in economy as well as in better service. If anything is to be Federal aided, education needs this assistance preeminently. In many States the educational situation is in the same need of an arousing of public sentiment that the road situation was a few years ago, and certainly education is as important as our roads.
T. E. JOHNSON, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michigan.
Boston, Mass., February 18, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
National Education Association, Washington, D. C.: MY DEAR Miss WILLIAMS: It is my opinion that it is desirable to have created a strong department of education at Washington for the following reasons:
1. That there may be a proper and adequate coordination of present Federal activities in education.
2. That there may be an agency responsible to the Nation as a whole for adequate investigation and research in the field of education. At the present time chief reliance in these matters has to be placed upon foundations supported by private funds. A condition of this sort should not permanently continue in an activity which is almost solely supported from public taxation and conducted by public officers.
3. To secure adequate educational results in any of those fields in which the Nation as a whole has an interest.
It is my opinion that all the good results which will naturally come from an adequately supported and properly coordinated department of education can be secured without undue or improper Federal interference with or control of education within the States. Very truly yours,
Payson SMITH, Commissioner of Education.
RALEIGH, N. C., February 18, 1924. Miss CHARL WILLIAMS,
Washington, D. C.: Am heartily in favor of the education bill prepared by the National Education Association.
A. T. ALLEN, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.