« ForrigeFortsett »
Doctor BAGLEY. I do not think it would do that. In cases where I have been asked to give my views on that question, I have strongly urged that the present staff of instructors be not sacrificed, but that they be encouraged to make up their deficiencies and given leave of absence for that purpose. I think we have to reckon the human element in that.
Mr. BLACK. You would expect to make some standard there at the suggestion or under the regulation of the so-called secretary of education?
Doctor BAGLEY. Oh, no; I do not think the secretary of education would be in a position to make the standard.
Mr. BLACK. Who would make the standard under those conditions ?
Doctor BAGLEY. I think if this bill were enacted into law, something like this would happen: We have, as one of the features in this bill, a provision for an educational council. That educational council will meet with the secretary of education at least annually. It will consider the problems of education that have a national import. Undoubtedly this problem of training teachers is one of those problems. All right. We will imagine this council in session. Represented on this council will be teacher-training institutions. They will put forth this question and they will recommend standards which these teachers ought to meet. Then those representatives will go back to the States with this recognized standard behind them. The States will not be urged or forced at all to meet them, but they will have the prestige of a national recommendation. That is the way I conceive this national council of education to work. It will work through recommendation, The secretary of education should not in any case employ an arbitrary power of that sort, even to make recommendations; but he does have, according to the terms of this bill, this council, and the council would, it seems to me, very properly make recommendations and the States can take them or not.
Mr. BLACK. Of course, if the States do adopt them and they call for a higher training than is called for now, the present instructors, of course, might have to give up their positions?
Doctor BAGLEY. I do not think that would follow. I think this council would adopt the policy that is suggested; in other words, all the way through our educational system, when we have raised standards, we have taken care of, almost always, the people who have not been able to meet the standards, who are now on the force. In other words, those standards are not in any sense retroactive and, if they are retroactive, opportunity is given to the people to make them up.
I was calling attention to the defects in these teacher-training institutions that are made necessary by this niggardly support. The first is the low standard of instruction. I have been studying one State recently, at the request of the State commission on higher education for the State, and I have been studying the normal schools. The normal schools of that State are among the best in the country. The State ranks among the best in the country with respect to the attention it gives to public education in general. The instructors in these normal schools show a lower proportion of lower standards of education than do the instructors in the high schools of that State. Although the students graduate from those high schools, they do not compare at all with the colleges of the State in any sense. The in
structors are overloaded in teaching; they are underpaid; the salary levels are very much lower; consequently, the normal schools with these low teachers' wages, can not compete with other institutions of similar grade for the best instructors. I think you will agree with me if we are going to make any distinction at all in the kind of instruction given to college students, certainly the students planning to become public-school teachers ought to have advantage of the very best instruction we can give them, because of the very great importance of their service. That is not done at the present time.
As I have suggested, also, these people are untrained and they are overloaded; the load of teaching, in terms of hours per week for the normal school and teachers college institutions is about 50 per cent heavier than in other institutions of the same grade. Their classes are larger. We are giving the students in these important schools less individual attention than we are giving the students in other types of schools.
I should like, as far as possible, to make the statements, and I can give the evidence for any one of them. I have been studying this problem now for a great many years, and I do not think I have my facts wrong there.
Among the results which I think are unfortunate for the Nation as a whole, these are the significant ones. We do not get into these institutions enough recruits to fill the vacancies in our system. As I said, less than half of our teachers are trained, and one of the reasons is these institutions are not attractive enough to bring into the profession, through these training institutions, a sufficient number of recruits to meet the needs of the service.
In the second place, I think it is very significant that they are not attracting the best type of students among the high-school graduates. The best types of students among the high-school graduates are going to colleges and universities and are not preparing themselves to go into the service of the public schools. If there should be an equitable distribution--and surely I think you will agree with me-the public schools ought to have the benefit of some of the best talent among the young men and women who graduate from the high schools and go into professional life. There is only one case, which is Minnesota, where the normal-school standard seems to be just as good, from the standpoint of general intelligence, as the average college student, but in practically every other case the normal-school students entering from the high school have been found to be below the standard of those entering the colleges from the high school.
The importance of the provisions of this bill, from this point of view, it seems to me, may be discussed from two aspects. In the first place, the provision of $15,000,000, that this bill makes for encouraging the States in the training of teachers will be an encouragement; it will be a stimulus and my position is that all States, without exception, need a stimulus. This very important field of pub.ic service is not adequately taken care of `in any State of the Union. I can give you an example. The State of Massachusetts expends annually upon its single agricultural college, enrolling somewhat over 600 resident students, about as much as it expends upon 10 normal schools of the same collegiate grade, enrolling 3,000 students. That is a typical illustration. In a State that has done, I am quite sure I am safe in saying, as well as any State throughout its history in public-school education, that condition is found; and the same is true in other States. The appropriations for the State agricultural colleges, which are stimulated by the Federal Government through the Morrill Land Grant Act and through the continuing money act of 1890 and succeeding acts providing for a part of their sustenance from the Federal Treasury, are also far more liberally supported by the States than the appropriation for the State normal schools that do not have this stimulus. Consequently, it is perfectly clear to me that Federal aid acts as a stimulus to the State; it encourages the State to make a larger investment. When the agricultural colleges were established they were supported almost entirely by the proceeds from Federal grants. To-day the Federal grants are only a very small proportion; they form a very small proportion in the maintenance costs of those colleges. They are supported now almost entirely by State agents. Federal aid ħas been a distinct stimulus to State enterprise and initiative.
I have said Federal aid will act as an encouragement, as a stimulus. I am sure, also, that the aid is needed as aid. I have recently been making a study of the normal schools of Louisiana for the State department of education of that State with the object of making a program of development for the next 10 years. Louisiana, by the way, has made very rapid progress in education during the last 10 or 15 years and now ranks first among the Southern States in the proportion of trained teachers in schools, but ranks very well up among all of the States. It is No. 14, I think, which is a very good rank, particularly when you remember that all of the States of the South have been very seriously handicapped in developing facilities for public education. In making up this program for the next 10 years, I found by continuing the rate of progress that has been going on for the past 10 years, and which has been financed very liberally and generously by the State, that if we can continue that, and it is possible that we can, by the next 10 years the State of Louisiana will be in the position of one of the New England States that is now farthest behind; in other words, it will take another 10 years of all the effort that Louisiana can make to bring it up to that point; showing, it seems to me, that, much as the States are doing, they need this Federal aid. We have already had our attention called to Pennsylvania and other States that are attacking this problem; but I think if there is one phase of education that deserves Federal aid, and one phase of education that deserves Federal encouragement, it is this effort the States are making to provide trained teachers for their children.
The task of the normal school is an extremely difficult task. The type of student that they get is not so highly qualified for the work by native ability as other students that go into the colleges. The students come very largely from families in moderate circumstances. There is one normal school I have frequently visited where one-third of all the students come from homes where the English language is not spoken. They are going into the public schools of that State to serve as teachers. It is very clear, is it not, that the job the public school faces in taking teachers of that sort and fitting them for publicschool service is very enormous, a very heavy job, and it is a job not only for the State but for the Nation. And my contention on that is that if the stimulus of Federal aid is deserved anywhere it is deserved in connection with those institutions.
Mr. BLACK. Do you happen to know of the cost of the outlay now made for normal schools throughout the country, by States and cities?
Doctor BAGLEY. Yes, including student fees; I would include those ? Mr. BLACK. Yes.
Doctor BAGLEY. Because I would like to say in the last 10 years the students have been compelled to pay larger and larger fees themselves. They have not been able to support the schools with the appropriations made. Including the fees, it is $21,000,000 a year that the States are now putting into this enterprise for normal schools and teachers colleges.
Mr. BLACK. This would practically double it?
Doctor BAGLEY. Yes; it would practically double it under our bill as first drawn. This, together with the general appropriation for equalizing educational opportunity, will enable us to bring the normal schools and teachers' colleges, at least to make a start toward bringing them, up to the level of other teacher institutions publicly supported. The appropriation of $50,000,000 for the equalizing of educational opportunities, if spent in a right way; would enable us to add the increments of salary that are necessary with the increased training for our teachers; in other words, as drawn, it would enable them to pay more salaries.
Mr. BLACK. You think it would be economically impossible for some sections of the country to provide adequate teacher training?
Doctor BAGLEY. Oh, yes; I am sure of that.
you think it would be advisable for the Federal Government to attempt to bring the teacher-training colleges under the absolute control of the Federal Government in certain sections of the country?
Doctor BAGLEY. I would rather, myself, not see that done. I think education is a State function; the public schools are under the control of the States, and I do not think the Federal Government should do anything except give the money to the States for that purpose.
The CHAIRMAN. This $15,000,000 for the training of teachers does not call upon the States for $15,000,000 more than they are now spending?
Doctor BAGLEY. Some States would have, probably, to spend something more to come up to meet, dollar for dollar, the Federal allotment; but what they are spending now for teacher-training institutions could be counted against the Federal appropriation.
The CHAIRMAN. The reason I asked that question is that it is commonly represented that this is a 50-50 proposition; that the State would give so much and the Federal Government would match it. As I understand you, what each State is now spending would be counted toward its part?
Doctor Bagley. That is my understanding, that what they are now spending would be counted toward meeting the Federal aid; yes.
The CHAIRMAN. So that really, so far as the training of teachers is concerned, this would be a gift out of the Federal Treasury to the extent of $15,000,000 to encourage this sort of work?
Doctor BAGLEY. To most of the States that is true. Some of the States would have to put in a little more than they are now contributing
Mr. BLACK. Some of the States might not seek it at all?
Miss WILLIAMS. There are at least six others who must get out of town to-night and, since they are very eminent speakers we all want to hear them. If they are to be heard to-night we shall have to ask them to limit their remarks so that the members of the committee may have an opportunity to ask these very interesting questions, which make the record a most interesting thing to read. We regret very much to have to ask the speakers who come after this to boil down their remarks, as much as it is possible to do so, but it is necessary if the remaining speakers are all to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. If any of them have their remarks written out, we would be glad to have them extend their remarks in the printed hearings.
Miss Williams. If there are any who do not have the opportunity to speak, we will take advantage of that suggestion. The next speaker is Dr. Cheesman Herrick, president of Girard College, Philadelphia, Pa.
STATEMENT OF DR. CHEESMAN HERRICK, PRESIDENT OF
GIRARD COLLEGE, PHILADELPHIA, PA. Mr. HERRICK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, I shall depart from my original purpose and devote myself to a single point on the objections which have been urged to this bill particularly with regard to the domination of the Federal Government in affairs of education of the States.
I have listened with interest to the argument of a distinguished university professor in America; I have examined with interest the referendum of the United States Chamber of Commerce and participated in the discussion under that referendum on the objections which have been urged to this bill. I have had also, during the past year, an opportunity to make observations of the operation of a centralized department of education in another country, and I wish to say that the fears which have been counseled in all these considerations of the bill seem to me entirely unwarranted and needless.
I think we have established, beyond peradventure of a doubt, the constitutional fact that education rests with the States; that this bill does not supersede State authority. Not only is that true of our constitutional system in general, but the bill specifically says, six times over, that the initiative and administration of education shall be with the States and that the authority which would be set up in the Federal Government by this bill should not supersede State initiative or State supervision. Nevertheless, those who have opposed the bill have felt there was some sort of hokus-pokus involved in the arrangement; that Federal domination of education was coming in by a side door in some way, and that State initiative and private education and the education of religious societies was going to be, in some fashion that we do not now sunderstand, superseded.
Now I have had a great opportunity, in the last year, to spend three months in an examination of education in Great Britain and to visit a goodly number of the schools of that country both public and private, and to witness the operations of the president of the