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Mr. DOUGHTON. You would be against the department and in favor of continuing the bureau?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. Yes, sir.
Mr. DOUGHTON. You are opposed to a secretary in the President's Cabinet ?
Mr. EICHELBERGER. Yes; I rather think the office I have in mind should be independent of politics, something like the Comptroller General, ineligible for reappointment; I would confine him to the one thing, and if such a thing were done it would show that the interest was really in promoting education, and not in promoting salaries and a vast bureaucracy and a propaganda working from Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is no one else to be heard, we will adjourn now and continue the hearings a week from to-day.
(Thereupon, at 12.20 p. m., the committee adjourned.)
COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION,
Wednesday, April 9, 1924. The committee met at 10.15 o'clock a. m., Hon. Frederick W. Dallinger (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. I have here a number of statements from different parts of the country requesting that these statements be incorporated in the record. They are from people who could not be here, and if there is no objection they will be incorporated in the record. There is one from President Eliot, and he refers to a short article in School and Society. It is very short, and he would like to have it incorporated in his statement. I think the stenographer can incorporate this.
This is a letter from President Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia. Also one from Dean Briggs, of Harvard, who was for over 20 years president of Radcliffe College.
This letter is from Harry Pratt Judson, president emeritus, University of Chicago. The next is from President Lowell, the present president of Harvard University. Also a letter from W. P. Burris, professor of education at the University of Cincinnati. These may all be incorporated in the record.
Mr. TUCKER. Mr. Chairman, in this connection I have a very strong and able paper sent me last week by Dr. Henry S. Pritchett, of the Carnegie Foundation. I found this was printed in the New York Times of Sunday.
The CHAIRMAN. What is Mr. Pritchett's present position?
Mr. TUCKER. The legal title is the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The CHAIRMAN. He was president of the Institute of Technology?
Mr. TUCKER. Yes; he was president of the Boston Tech, and this is a very fine, broad statement, and I am not surprised, as Doctor Pritchett is from Virginia.
The CHAIRMAN. I think these papers might go in at this point.
Mr. TUCKER. I ask also to have put in the record an extract from the National Education Association of January, 1922. It is a publication indicating that some society-it does not indicate, I believe,
which one-has appropriated $125,000 annually for the purpose of pushing this bill.
Mr. RobsION. Who is submitting that statement?
Public sentiment is crystallizing throughout the country. One of the recent petitions to Congress for the passage of the bill was signed by 38,000 citizens. A lay organization of national scope has appropriated $125,000 to be used in publicity for the measure during the present year and an annual appropriation of the same amount until the provisions of the bill have been enacted.into law.
That will amount to considerable.
Mr. TUCKER. It is taken from the Journal of the National Education Association of January, 1922.
The CHAIRMAN. That may be included in the record.
(The letters and other papers referred to and order to be included in the record are as follows:)
February 18, 1924. DEAR MR. DALLINGER: I hasten to reply to your letter dated February 15, which did not come to hand until this morning, the 18th, one more illustration of the extraordinary inefficiency of the United States post office, of which I have numerous illustrations every week.
I have never been able to support the main propositions contained in the Reed bill or any of its predecessors with similar objects. I said as much at a meeting of the Harvard Teachers' Association in Sanders Theater on May 1, 1920, and have seen no reason since to change my mind. If you care to refer to my remarks at that meeting, you will find them printed in School and Society for Saturday, June 5, 1920. I regret that I have no copy of that number which I can send you.
The bill which you have introduced in the House of Representatives, H. R. 5795, seems to me a very great improvement on the Reed bill; and the proposed establishment of a department of education and welfare seems to me wise and highly promising for the future of popular education, public health, and social welfare in the United States. I doubt, however, the expediency of including in your bill a division of veteran service to have charge of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and of the hospital work for veteran soldiers. The divisions you propose for education, public health, and social service would have permanent functions of high value. The division of veteran service we must all hope would have only temporary functions, important at the moment, but not likely to last as a permanent function of the Government.
One other item in your bill seems to me of doubtful expediency. Indeed, it seems to me downright inexpedient, namely, the transfer of the management and control of the Smithsonian Institution to the new department of education and welfare. The Smithsonian Institution was organized to provide for the safe use of a gift to the Government of the United States, which at the time was of rare generosity and still rarer wisdom. It has been officered and directed by a remarkable group of American scientists whose reputation has been international; and it has always given a highly honorable illustration of right methods in scientific research and in the diffusion of knowledge. The merging of this institution in your proposed department of education and welfare would seem to me to impair and even break off a noble story of beneficent efficiency.
I am inclined to think that I do not understand the objects of the bill you introduced on February 2, 1924 (H. R. 6582). The arrangements it suggests are of course decidedly inferior to the arrangements proposed in your earlier bill. Have you put in this last bill for fear the other should encounter so much opposition that it will probably fail to be enacted? I inclose a part of a letter I wrote March 28, 1921, to the Secretary of Labor. Mr. Davis has quite extraordinary knowledge of the educational reforms now and for some years past in progress in this country. Could you get support before Congress for your bill, H. R. 5795, from Secretary Davis? I know nothing about the amount of his influence with Congress; but he ought to have some; because his achievements at Mooseheart in regard to both education and the right treatment of labor are noteworthy. Sincerely yours,
CHARLES W. Eliot. Hon. FREDERICK W. DALLINGER.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 28, 1921. DEAR MR. Davis: There is a bill before Congress for the creation of a department of education with a cabinet officer at the head of it and providing large appropriations for the new department. It seems to me undesirable to create that new department, or rather that it would be much better to change the name of the Department of Labor to department of education, industry, and public welfare, and to make you first secretary of this new department. You know much about all of the subjects that would naturally be assigned to that department; and you doubtless understand that progress with the labor problem in this country can only be made by bringing to bear on it all the forces of education and of the new schemes for promoting public welfare. You doubtless know that the bureaus relating to these three subjects are how scattered among the Departments of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Labor, and Treasury, and in consequence of this scattering there is much duplication and much working at cross purposes in the several departments. I dare say you have already considered this suggestion, for it was likely to occur to a man of your varied experience and your hopes. Would you not be interested in promoting this considerable reform, first with the President and the Cabinet, and then in Congress? Sincerely yours,
C. W. E. Hon. JAMES J. DAVIS.
(From School and Society, June 5, 1920)
Ever since the proposition was made that a department of education should be set up in our Government with a Cabinet member at the head of it, I have received the impression strongly that I have become a "back number.” Until lately I have believed that I had not been a reactionary or an ultra-conservative in educational matters during my somewhat long career; but my observation during the last three years of our educational discussions, and this introduction of a new principle in the method of dealing with the problem of education in our country, have convinced me that I might fairly be reserved in expressing my feelings about this new measure—the institution of a department of education with a Cabinet officer at the head of it. But you call upon me to say something now on the great subject, and I will try to respond to your call.
I have not been able to satisfy myself that a department of education with a Cabinet officer at its head ought to be established at all. It is a complete departure from the American method of dealing with education thus far. Our dealings with the great problems in education have been either State or municipal, with the great majority of influence and practice on the side of the municipalities—the cities and towns; and that is the system in which American education has grown up and been developed. And yet, on the other hand, I recognize, as everybody else does, that the events of the last five years have demonstrated that education is in the truest sense a national interest, and that it is not safe to refer all questions of education and particularly of the practice of education in the United States to the cities and the municipalities alone. Everybody feel that, I am sure, who has attended to the effects of our war experience on national interests and to determination in the minds of the whole people of what national interests are.
For instance, we have learned a great deal—the whole American people has learned a great deal—about health and the conservation of the physical force of the people. How great a national interest that is: We have learned, also, that child labor, or rather the limitation of child labor, is a prodigious national interest from the point of view of the conservation of the race, from the point of view of justice to children, from the point of view of what has been called here many times to-day, equality of opportunity.
Now, we are convinced on all these points; and we have done something about child labor, something about public health and preventative medicine, something directly national in effect and purpose. We have got a Bureau of Child Labor in the Department of Labor at Washington, and it is doing excellent work. We have also a new Public Health Service, an admirable organization, thoroughly national, in dealing with these great questions of the public health, the conservation of working power, and the control of morbidity and mortality in the population, particularly among infants and young children. We have acquired an admirable national organization now for dealing with the prodigious question of social hygiene and the control of venereal diseases. We have never had such & thing before, either National or State; but we have it now. Congress has made large appropriations for that invaluable Public Health Service, and the service extends far beyond the limits established during the war; far beyond the restoration of wounded soldiers or the restoration of men mentally diseased in consequence of war service. It is cooperating with the other agencies for the conservation of the national health, the prevention of disease in the Army and Navy, and the protection of the Nation against terrible contagious diseases.
But how have we done these things? In promoting these great new interests we have followed the old-fashioned way. We have put a bureau into the Department of Labor for child labor. We have put a bureau into the Interior Department to deal with these immense questions of public health, and the conservation of human life, and the control of infant mortality. That is the way we have dealt with these three things already; and Congress has acted with vigor and liberality in the support of the new bureaus. We must give this credit to Congress, to the present Congress and the preceding Congress. Congress has already provided also new officers to direct these bureaus, filling all the new places with experts. It is a great achievement for Congress as well as for the men who have advocated these new measures in promotion of great national interests.
Now, that would be my way, ladies and gentlemen, of dealing with the educational national interests. I would deal with the great national interest of education just as these other great interests have already been dealt with. I would deal with them by enlarging the appropriations for the Bureau of Educationenlarging its powers and also increasing the money appropriated for the bureau. I would not disturb the place of that bureau in the national organization. That is the old-fashioned way of dealing with great problems, without creating new organizations which nobody has yet thought out. There is not a person in the country who has really thought out the consequences of the proposed organization. When you come down a little further, there is not a person in the country, so far as I know, who has really thought out to the end a bill, suitable to be enacted by Congress, for the creation of this new department with a sound definition of its powers. I think we have been more convinced of that than ever by the admirable addresses to which we have listened this morning.
Many of us distrust very much some of the provisions of both the bills already laid before Congress. Shall we not then limit our advocacy to certain lines of dealing with the national interests in education which we feel sure will not fail? Shall we not use the old way, the one step at a time way? Shall we not copy what has already been done in the great departments of the Public Health Service and the child labor limitation service?
Another consideration, which I will avail myself of this opportunity of putting before you, has, I think, a very distinct application to the problems now before us. The term "national leadership’ was several times used in the two discourses to which we have listened with so much pleasure this morning—"National leadership in education.” I submit that that is a thing of which the American people have had no observation, no experience with, at any time since the Constitution of the United States was adopted. All the leadership in education has come from private persons, sometimes, to be sure, holding positions under the States or under the municipalities. Most of it has not come from State institutions or city institutions at all. It has mostly come from what you would call private or endowed institutions.
There have been leaders, like Horace Mann, who, in a State position, carried into practice certain theories which had a private origin, or which they had themselves conceived long before they held any State position. But do we not all see clearly that of national leadership in education we of this generation and those of former generations in this country have had no experience whatever? Why, then, should we venture to set up a national department, the head of which might have considerable power as a Cabinet officer personally selected by the President? It is a very new experiment for this country, and one that does not look to me promising. On that account I find myself quite unable to support either of the bills which have been prepared for presentation to Congress.
I should like to express my cordial assent to Doctor Judd's proposition that what we need under the present circumstances is public discussion-free, unrestrained, limited to no such body as the N. E. A., for example, open, continuous, strenuous, and no action until that discussion has been had.
CHARLES W. ELIOT.
Cambridge, March 12, 1924. DEAR MR. DALLINGER: I should have written to you before in regard to the bills pending before the Committee on Education.
Mr. Reed's bill seems to me to have the same defects as all the other bills for the creation of a department of education with a member of the Cabinet at its head. It seems to me that this would bring education into politics; that the secretary would necessarily be a politician of the second rank, who would not know much about education, and whose undersecretary, even if permanent, would be too much overshadowed by his chief to exert any great influence. I much prefer your bill, No. 5795, for a department containing a number of different services, of which education is one. The head of the Bureau of Education in such a department might be a permanent expert who would exercise well-nigh commanding influence in education, because the secretary would have a large and varied field for which he would be responsible; and therefore an educational policy might be vigorously pursued in spite of changes of administration. I ought to add that on the other subjects of which that bill treats—such as public health, social service, etc.- I do not express any opinion.
Your bill, No. 6582, reorganizing the bureau, may be quite as well in its effect. It gathers the various educational functions together in one bureau, but I fear would be less likely to satisfy the demand for the removal of education from the Department of the Interior. How strong that demand is in fact, how much it needs to be taken into consideration, I do not know, and no doubt you do.
Either of these two bills of yours would be an improvement on the present condition. Which would improve it most I am not sure. Either of them would avoid the danger of bringing education into politics, which I dread from the bill of Mr. Reed and all others of that character.
Nor does it seem to me that the plan for a large subsidy, to be divided among the States, in Mr. Reed's bill, or any of the others, is wise at the present time. I fear that it would be much less productive of good results than its advocates believe, and I fear that it would stimulate extravagance that is undesirable. In education at the present day, both public and endowed, there is, I believe, very ittle money expended for anything but public purposes; there is very little waste in doing the things that education attempts to do; but I believe that from the primary to the university there is throughout a vast deal of waste by striving to do more than is wise. There has been a constant desire to enrich the school course by continually adding new subjects, with the result in many cases, I think, of impoverishing both the treasury and the pupil. Education has been measured by the number of things it attempted to do--some of them not worth doing, and some, indeed, almost a snare to many pupils. One of the difficulties of resisting such a tendency has been the fact that each school or institution has felt constrained to follow where others went; and therefore I fear that a large amount of money poured by the Federal Government into our State school systems would tend to a growth of extravagance that would unnecessarily raise the cost of education for a long time. Let me add that in Harvard College we have been striving for a dozen years not to increase the number of courses offered but to improve the methods of education. Very truly yours,
A. LAWRENCE LOWELL. Hon. FREDERICK W. DALLINGER.
Cambridge, February 14, 1924. DEAR MR. DALLINGER: I do not know that my opinion on the subject of the organization of national education is of any more value than that of anyone else; but I write to you, as the chairman of the House committee, to say that a large distribution of Federal subventions to the State seems to me at least of very doubtful wisdom. There is substantially no part of the country to-day that can not afford such elementary and secondary education as it really desires, and to give Federal subventions to any part of the country to support education which it does not really desire would seem to be not only wasteful, but demoralizing.
The plan of a department devoted to education alone, with a member of the Cabinet at its head, would seem to me to mean throwing education into politics. The place would almost inevitably be given to a politician not large enough in caliber for one of the greater offices. No good result will be achieved in the