« ForrigeFortsett »
The present Commissioner of Education in the Department of the Interior is doing all these things, with remarkable success in view of its limitations, but it has not the means nor can it command the public mind to the degree that a Cabinet administration could.
MARY GARRETT HAY,
President Women's City Club, New York City. Miss WILLIAMS. At this time I would like to introduce Miss Ethel Smith, representing the National Women's Trade Union League.
STATEMENT OF MISS ETHEL SMITH, LEGISLATIVE SECRE
TARY, THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S TRADE UNION LEAGUE
Miss SMITH. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the headquarters of the National Women's Trade Union League are in Chicago, with the legislative headquarters here, 1427 New York Avenue.
The National Women's Trade Union League is a federation of women workers and their friends and allies. We have indorsed this measure on two occasions, at the two general conventions, the principles of the bill involving the idea of a department of education and Federal aid to the States being indorsed as such principles. That was in 1919. Succeeding biennial conventions indorsed the Sterling-Reed bill as such.
I think I may say, and this is all that I have to say on the subject, that our organization, not only because this is a measure for the general welfare, but because we are among the people who need it there are many members of our organization who have not had educational opportunities, because of the fact that they had to go to work too soon. They are getting all the education they can at the present time, going to night schools, and attending classes of that kind. These people support this bill. I believe that speaks the real sentiment of our people on this subject.
Miss WILLIAMS. I should like to file å statement at this time from Mr. Will. W. Grow, most worthy grand patron, General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star.
I will read it. It is very short: I am thoroughly convinced in the need of a national department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet whose sole interest would be the solution of the great problems of American education which is so sorely needed. The Nation's future progress demands adequate education for the youth of the present day.
I will now call on Mrs. Francis Eliot Clark, who will speak for the National Federation of Music Clubs.
STATEMENT OF MRS. FRANCIS ELIOT CLARK, SECOND VICE PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE LEGISLATIVE COM
ITTEE, FO MER CHAIRMAN OF EDUCATION OF THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF MUSIC CLUBS
Mrs. CLARK. My name is Mrs. Francis Eliot Clark, second vice president and chairman of the legislative committee, former chairman of education of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, it may seem strange that the National Federation of Music Clubs should be interesting themselves in a bill for education, but the reason is not far to seek. This organi
zation is now a large organization, 28 years old, formed in the beginning by a very small group of sincere, philanthropic women who wished to see music function more abundantly than it had been or was doing in the lives of our people. It did not have far to go before it was realized that the crux of the situation lay in reaching the children of the public schools.
We adopted some years ago a slogan to make wider music in the homes, and it was easily determined that to get American music in the homes that goal meant some better facilities for education in our rural schools, as we all know almost 50 per cent of the children of our schools are in one-room schools in little nooks in the Adirondacks, the Rocky Mountains, in the Southern States, here and there, without adequate facilities for modern education.
We have thought very seriously that if music could be made to serve in the way that it has the power to do we might contribute very largely toward the bettering of our citizenship.
It is with very serious purposes that we are giving our aid in every degree it is possible to do, to the public schools particularly, and we are interested in the rural schools. We have now something like 2,000 clubs, the membership fluctuating, comprising approximately 250,000
These women are all giving their time to it. There is no money in connection with it, no paid officers, no general headquarters, but a nation-wide organization, State organizations in every State of the Union, district organizations, carrying on musical contests and various activities.
It has been our thought, as I say, gentlemen of the commitee, that it is impossible for us to reach our goal, or for American education to function in the lives of the American people until there may be an equalization of opportunities. It is that particular part of the bill that appeals to us, more than any other part of it.
A short while ago you were discussing the possible localization of the problem of immigration and the problem of caring for our alien population. It is squarely the other way about. The children of our alien immigrants arrived in Gloucester, Mass., on Saturday, and this morning they are in the schools in New York City, Philadelphia, and other large cities, where they are offered the best educational facilities in the world, with the opportunity of learning a trade, a vocation, all sorts of arts, culture, whatever can be done for them in the very, very fine public schools. The children who are descendants of our ancestors from Plymouth Rock, Jamestown, etc., are to-day sitting in the waste places. The people who have had the pioneering instinct, who went ahead and broke the track westward, the children of these people are suffering. It is not our alien children. They are having the best of everything, although their parents have contributed little, if anything, to our institutions, but the children of our Puritan and Pilgrim ancestors are those, who, following their bent, went westward, and are now sitting hundreds and thousands of them, in these little one-room country schools.
I taught a one-room country school. I was born and reared on a farm in Indiana, taught school there, and have been in educational work all my life, and I know the situation now, having given myself to music in the last years. Naturally our attention is given to the equalization of opportunities through music, through every other sort of line.
This bill was presented at the board meeting at Akron, Ohio, in the fall of 1920, again at Davenport, Iowa, in 1921, and again at the board meeting at Asheville, N. C., last June, and again at the board meeting in New York City in November, 1923. The bill, first presented in full, was the Smith-Towner bill. We had Judge Towner to speak to us. Latterly it has been the principle which has been indorsed.
We did not discuss in detail the provisions of the present bill, but the principle in every part of it, and we are heartily in accord. We shall never rest until all of the rest of you are working hard to get a department of education with a secretary in the Cabinet. Our fond hope is that there shall be a bureau of musical education, which, however, is a side issue.
Miss WILLIAMS. We have a statement from Miss Lucile M. Lyon, president National Federation of Music Clubs, which I wish to incorporate into the record.
This morning I received a letter from L. H. Dennis. He indicated his deep concern in this matter, and asked me to file in the record the resolutions of his association, which were passed December 8, 1923. I was also asked by Mr. W. M. Tippy, executive secretary of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, to file his statement at this time.
(The papers referred to are as follows:) An educated, enlightened citizenship is a Nation's greatest asset. Federal aid has been and must continue to be given to this end. We have Departments and Secretaries of War, State, Navy, Agriculture, and Commerce.
Should we not give equal recognition to education a fundamental necessity of good government?
A department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet would serve to coordinate and render more efficient those educational agencies we now have and would more quickly bring undeveloped resources to adequate function.
Duplication of effort is expensive; so is wasted energy. A department of education would minimize them and is a worth while economic measure.
The National Federation of Music Clubs is supporting the Sterling-Reed bill because we believe it is the part of both duty and wisdom that the Nation should provide in the best possible manner for the education of its future citizens.
LUCILE M. LYON, President National Federation of Music Clubs.
Education is just as important to our national life as commerce, agriculture, labor, or the Army. Not until it is so recognized by placing a secretary in the President's Cabinet will it have the attention necessary to its development. Schools and libraries have for years found it necessary to spend part of their strength in fighting an apathetic public for support, and in experimentation and research which should be done by a central Government department. With public attention focussed upon educational needs through a department of education, our schools and libraries will develop greater efficiency in bringing adequate educational opportunities to all our citizens.
J. T. JENNINGS, President American Library Association.
JANUARY 21, 1924 The CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Washington, D. C. Sir: The administrative committee of the Federal Council of Churches has passed the following resolution, covering the principles which underlie the education bill:
“Voted: That in view of the fundamental importance of education, the administrative committee urges the creation of a national department of education, the head of which shall be a member of the President's Cabinet, with a view to securing for education a recognition from the Federal Government commensurate with its significance for our national life, at the same time preserving to the several States the full control of educational administration within their borders.”
The text of the present bill has not been before the administrative committee and it is not possible, therefore, to speak with authority on specific details.
I may say this, however, personally_but unofficially, that the proposal for a national council of education and for Federal appropriations to State boards of education, with a view to strengthening the States in their efforts to reduce illiteracy and to Americanize the foreign-speaking population, seem to me sound and practicable. I am confident that the bill will have the prevailing support of the churches which we represent. Very sincerely yours,
WORTH M. TIPPY, Executive Secretary of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America.
Miss WILLIAMS. The American Library Association is also deeply interested in this educational work, and also the Educational Press Association. I have asked Mr. Morgan, who has already appeared before you, to speak very briefly for these organizations with which he is connected.
STATEMENT OF MR. JOY E. MORGAN, EDITOR, JOURNAL OF
THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Mr. MORGAN. I would like to speak first on behalf of the Educational Press Association of America. The Educational Press Association for some 25 years has been working for the development of American education through educational journalism. It has never indorsed any measure as an association until its recent meeting in Chicago. It was a surprise to me, knowing its past policy, to see a resolution unanimously adopted after a full presentation of this bill that did not look toward indorsement of the measure at all, but merely an understanding of it, that the editors might go back and write about it intelligently. The Educational Press Association adopted a resolution urging all members of that association to work for its passage.
The president of the Educational Press Association sends this message:
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., March 17, 1924. The Educational Press Association of America urges speedy passage of education bill. This will greatly aid American public schools to stamp out illiteracy, lead foreign population into general Americanism, give needed support to rural schools, provide programs of health and physical betterment, and give more adequately-trained teachers. The bill is sound in principle. Education is worthy of a place in the Cabinet and of adequate support. We speak in the name of 4,000,000 readers, and in the name of the children of America.
ARTHUR H. CHAMBERLIN,
President Educational Press Association of America. The American Library Association, of which I am proud to be a life member, and a member of its committee charged with responsibility for its interest in this bill, has been laboring for 50 years to develop in the United States, a system of free public libraries to continue the educational interests which schools exist to create. At the end of that period we find the United States spending some billion and a half dollars for education through public schools and $20,000,000, according to the best estimates that are available, for public libraries. One-half of the people of this Nation have no immediate library facilities whatsoever. During the war the American Library Association rendered to the men in camp and overseas a public library service. As those men returned to their Various local communities, a flood of letters came to the American Library Association, asking how they could develop libraries back home-how they could go about it, the kind of librarians they ought to have, the type of organization, what kind of buildings they ought to construct, how much they ought to spend, and all those questions that are necessary to the intelligent development of the library movement. I am sorry to say that there was not then, and is not now, in the United States Government, a single agency that is studying those simple and necessary problems which would enable us, through the public library, to keep the level of intelligence that should be maintained in any self-governing democracy. As the American Library Association faced that problem, it invited a former member of this committee, sponsor of this bill, the far-sighted, forwardlooking Judge Towner, to its meetings on different occasions.
He explained the provisions of the bill and its purposes. There were discussions of it, and after discussion the association went on record as being in favor of it, and has repeatedly reasserted its position in favor of it.
I do not believe, as Doctor Winship, out of his broad experience in the United States, said here a moment ago, that the details are going to matter very much. I am willing to trust the judgment of the men and women and of the research workers who have made the calculations that underlie these detailed provisions.
I am confident that if this Congress appropriates seven and a half million dollars for the removal of illiteracy, or whatever it sees fit to appropriate, that provision will accomplish a great good to American education. It may not all be used. After experience it may be increased or decreased, but there is a job to be done, and I think that the American people ought to know that we are determined to do that job.
I do not know whether seven and a half million dollars is exactly the right sum for the Americanization of our foreignborn, but I doubt that anyone in this room, after he has been in contact with the actual facts out on the firing line, would hesitate to commit this Nation to spend seven and a half cents per capita to give the ideals of American civilization to those who have come from foreign lands, with different ideals.
Perhaps $15,000,000 is not enough to secure the adequate training of American teachers, but I do know this, out of my experience as a school superintendent in Nebraska. The legislature modestly offered the various high schools in that State the sum of $350, if they would provide for the normal training of teachers. Within a few years after the offer, the teaching personnel of the schools changed from eighth grade graduates to high school graduates. That shows that a little money goes a long way.