« ForrigeFortsett »
to any school not a public school. This law has recently, I understand, been passed upon by one of the lower courts of the United States and has been held to be unconstitutional. Of course, that case will go further. It will go to the Supreme Court of the United States. We cannot tell whether that will be held to be unconstitutional or not. If it is held to be constitutional it is a thing nevertheless that no Congress and no legislature has a right to enact, in my opinion.
Mr. ALLEN. You will notice the provision in the bill as to compulsory school attendance applies to children between 7 and 14 years; and then the next clause in that section contains the provision that English shall be the basic language of instruction in the commonschool branches, so that that apparently applies to children between the ages of 7 and 14. Now, I do not think there are very many high school children below the age of 14. Is not that so?
Doctor GOODNOW. They are generally above that.
Mr. ALLEN. Then this language would not apply to children over 14 who were learning foreign languages.
Doctor GOODNOW. All I have to say to that is that you will never be able to teach a child a foreign language unless you begin before he is 14 years old.
Mr. ALLEN. Then the question is, is it better to have him understand the English language?
Doctor GOODNOW. Oh, I think you have a right to say that every child should be able at a certain age to speak and write the English language; but when you come to tell me that I have no right to send my children to a school where they can learn French and German according to the best methods, I think you are doing what you have no business to do. Mr. ALLEN. Is there any State in the
Union to-day that provides & school for children of that age, both for English and foreign languages.?
Doctor GOODNOW. Yes; there have been lots of them. For instance, I know German was taught in many schools until we got this foolish idea because we were fighting Germany that nobody must learn the German language. So the German language was expelled from the schools just at the time when we ought to educate the people in German. The Germans went ahead in learning the English language, but we do not educate ourselves in German, and the consequence is we have to rely on German interpreters.
Mr. ALLEN. Well, I do not think there are many States that had common schools where children were learning foreign languages between the ages of 7 and 14.
Doctor GOODNOW. But you are preventing that in private schools. Mr. FENN. The trouble is this applies to private schools.
Doctor GOODNOW. I say you have no business to do that. You have a right to say that shall not be done in public schools, but you have no right to say that a free American citizen has not the right to have his children taught foreign languages in the best way, and that is what you are proposing to do by this bill.
Mr. RobsION. The section about which you complain says that the English language will be the basic language of instruction in the common-school branches in all schools, public and private. That raises a question in my mind that you may teach other languages in the school.
Doctor GOODNOW. Yes; but in the school I went to I learned geography and arithmetic in German, and it was a great advantage
but I say
to me, and I say that you have no right to prevent people from doing that now in a private school.
Mr. RobsION. If you think it is a proper regulation and a good thing for a public school, why should not we encourage it in our private schools ?
Doctor GOODNOW. You do not encourage it at all, but I think it is a thing you have no right to prohibit. 'It is a right I have as an American citizen to have my children educated in such a school as that, if I believe it is a good thing. I know it was a good thing in my case,
Mr. ROBSION. Then the same objection could be raised to any child in the State being taught, if it is an inherent right to select the language in which you should be taught, that it must apply to all as well as one.
Mr. GOODNOW. No; I don't think so. I think you have a perfect right to say that in a public school—I think a State has a right to say that in a public school the basic language shall be English.
Mr. Robsion. Why should it say that and why should we say that in a public school; what is the purpose in saying that?
Doctor GOODNOW. Of course the purpose of it is to develop large sections of the population who, on account of the way in which they have been taught, presumably will not obtain a sufficient knowledge of the English language. That is all right for the State to say that,
Mr. Robson. Now, if private schools were in sufficient numbers, then that same thing would obtain.
Doctor GOODNOW. But they are not, as a matter of fact.
Mr. Robson. Well, it is not because of the fault of the principle; we are talking about a principle. I think it is important in this country that we have folks, all of them, taught the English language.
Doctor GOODNOW. I agree with you.
Mr. RobSION. And we can not assimilate all these folks, and make them what they ought to be as American citizens unless we have a common language.
Doctor GOODNOW. I fully agree with you. I think it would be right for this bill to say that no State shall receive any of this money unless provision is made that all of the children shall, at a certain age, pass a satisfactory examination in the English language. I agree with that.
Mr. ROBSON. I know; but if you put that in and then you allow them to be taught otherwise in the private schools, how could it be arrived at? You would do indirectly what this is aiming to do.
Doctor GOODNOW. No, you are absolutely prohibiting me, if I believe that it is a desirable thing for my child to learn French and German, or any other foreign language, at an early age, you are absolutely preventing me from adopting the method that is considered the best method of teaching that child that foreign language.
Mr. ROBsion. It is your position that if you are going to learn the foreign tongue, you must do it early?
Doctor GOODNOW. Yes, you have to do it early.
Mr. Robsion. Now, is it a wise policy to crowd in a foreign language at this early age, when we ought to have the mother tongue.
Doctor GOODNOW. I am not crowding it in at all; I am only claiming a right; I object to being compelled to do this sort of thing.
Mr. ROBSION. You are objecting to the limitation as to the private schools?
Doctor GOODNOW. Yes.
Mr. HASTINGS. Your criticism would be removed if the word "public" were inserted before schools” in line 4, and then the words public and private'' eliminated after the word ''schools” in line 4!
Doctor GOODNOW. Yes, that particular objection would be eliminated.
Mr. HASTINGS. I understand that your contention is that attendance upon private schools is purely voluntary and that therefore there ought not to be such a restriction as to private schools ?
Doctor GOODNOW. It is purely voluntary in this sense, that you can go to a private school if you see fit, and the private school, of course, has to come up to a certain standard in order to comply with the requirements of the compulsory education law.
Mr. RobsION. Do the States regulate private schools in many respects?
Doctor GOODNOW. Oh, yes.
Now, on page 10, section 11, you are providing, or, rather, those that are furthering the bill are providing for scholarships.
I don't know what proportion of the $15,000,000 would go for that purpose; but I think that is a very unfortunate provision. In fact, out in Missouri it has been held unconstitutional. It is making use of the power of taxation for a private purpose, and we have had experience with scholarships. You can get anybody to study anything if you pay them enough, and you get a poor crowd in by paying them. Let them do a little work to fit themselves for the career of teaching, if necessary. I should be very sorry to see any provision of that sort incorporated in a bill. As I say, it has been held to be unconstitutional in some States; Missouri has held that it is unconstitutional to provide scholarships which paid money to candidates for the high degrees in the State university; the law which provided for that was held invalid.
Those are my specific objections to that bill, objections on principle to the bill.
Now, even assuming that a bill amended so as to meet those objections should be passed by Congress, according to my idea this is the wrong time to pass it. It is the wrong time in view of the way in which people generally are taxed throughout the States and by the Federal Government. It is the wrong time to add an activity which in its initial stages is going to cost $100,000,000, or, to be exact, $100,500,000 a year. It seems to me we ought to wait before we take on these new activities on the part of the Federal Government until we can get ourselves adjusted to the conditions which have followed the war. We are trying to economize in a great many States. We are certainly trying in my own State of Maryland, and it is a discouraging thing to think there is a possibility that Congress may make an appropriation for a new activity which is going to start, as I say, at $100,000,000 a year.
Mr. Robson. Well, Doctor, the States are the agencies whose tax burden is mounting by leaps and bounds, but it is
Doctor GOODNOW. That is their business, is it not? What you are trying to do is make these States spend $100,000,000 more.
Mr. Robson. But I was answering your query that you were trying to reduce taxes in the States, and the Federal Government was going ahead. It is misleading.
Doctor GOODNOW. Well, I will admit that there are many opportunities for economy in the States.
The CHAIRMAN. In that connection, are you familiar with the educational affairs of the different States; have you traveled through the country more or less ?
Doctor GOODNOW. No, I have not, to any extent.
The CHAIRMAN. As to whether or not the States were doing more or less for education now. I wondered if you knew about that.
Doctor GOODNOW. Doctor Pritchett in his report of last year called attention to the tremendous increase in expenditures for the schools in the States, and they have been increasing much more than the wealth of population of the States, due largely, of course, to the great development of the high schools throughout the country. But I
was very much struck by a remark made to me by a man who is in favor of this bill. He is a good fellow, and he says:
What we educators want to do
He is in the educating business, toowhat we want to do is to get the people who vote the money just as far away from the common people as possible, and Congress is a good deal farther away than a State school board; it is a good deal farther away than a local school board, and we can get more money out of Congress than we can from our State systems.
Now, I think that is one of the reasons, not the only one, of the reasons, why this bill is pushed so much and so hard by those who are interested in education.
Mr. FENN. I am afraid I will h' ve to leave and go to the Committee on Banking and Currency very sư0.. and I have a couple of letters here that I would like to submit, ac for the benefit of those who have been kind enough to come here! would like to read t em. They are from the Connecticut Board of education in regard to this proposition. When I first became a member of this committee I sent to our board of education several bills that were pending before the committee and asked them for their opinion, and on February 15, I received this reply:
HARTFORD, Conn., March 18, 1924. Hon. E. HART FENN,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. FENN: At a meeting of the State Board of Education held on March 5, 1924, it was voted that after more mature thought given to the whole problem of the relation between the Federal Government and State educational systems, it is the sense of this board that it is not only of the same mind as expressed in its resolution of January 3, 1923, but that the board is more strongly committed than ever to its previous position and hereby records its opposition to H. R. 3923 and H. R. 5795. Very truly yours,
A. B. MEREDITH, Secretary. Mr. TUCKER. Mr. Fenn, I have heard that your lieutenant governor recently made a very strong statement in regard to this proposition
Mr. FENN. Yes; and I have that in my pocket. I thought it was perhaps somewhat of a political nature. The occasion of it was this: We have distinguished man as lieutenant governor of our State, Hiram Bingham, of Yale University. He is a very thoughtful man, a student, and an explorer, and a man of the highest character. He presided at the Republican State convention in Connecticut last Wednesday a week ago, and in the course of his address he referred to a matter of this kind, and with your permission, Mr. Chairman, I will read a few words which are so well expressed as to the position of Connecticut. In regard to this matter, Hiram Bingham says
Mr. TUCKER. Was this a keynote speech?
Mr. FENN. Yes; we deal with all kinds of matters interesting to the State in our keynote speeches. He says:
One of the most important questions before the country to-day is education. We believe in decentralization. We protest against the movement to nationalize and standardize education. Some people want a minister of education and an appropriation of $100,000,000 as a starter. Education is a matter of prime importance. Its aim should be the welfare of the individual and of the State. It must recognize in the child the future citizen of the State, one of the very units which compose the State. It must remember that if the citizens fail to take an active interest in the working of the governmental machinery, if they are unable or unwilling to perform their duties as citizens, the State can not function properly and we shall lose that precious liberty for which our fathers fought and died.
Education, therefore, must not only teach the child how to preserve the health of his mind and body, it must also equip the child for his duties, and obligations as a citizen and develop in him such loyalty to the State as will make it seem natural for him to sacrifice self and self interest for the State and its proper functioning. Now, that we have universal suffrage, it is all the more important that every child should be so educated. In the days when only half the children could look forward to the obligations of citizenship, educators might claim that, since the schools existed for girls as well as boys, preparation for citizenship should not be given too important a place in the curriculum.
Now there can be no such excuse. All are to be citizens, All are to be cogs in the great machinery of government. The cogs must be strong enough to do their work. If they fail to function as a part of the government which in its very essence is composed of just such units, then the State will not run smoothly. It is apparent that education must train for citizenship.
Education does not begin in Washington. It begins in the home. The daily and hourly contact of the little child with mother and father, brothers and sisters, is a most important part of its education. Every school teacher knows how much depends on the home atmosphere. The attitude which the parents take toward scholarship and government makes all the difference in the world with the results which can be achieved with the child. And this is particularly true of the training in unselfish citizenship. Nevertheless education does not stop at home. It used to, in the dim past when there were no schools. Americans, however, have always believed in schools. The colonist lost no time in establishing schools. We tax ourselves more heavily for schools than for any one thing. After the home it is to the schools that we look for education; in the schools we try to equalize the difference in home training, in order that the State may not suffer in the character of its citizenry.
The child whose parents have instilled in it love of country and the desire of unselfish service can be still further equipped for the duties and obligations that lie before him. In no case can these be forgotten or neglected. If the emphasis is placed on the individual welfare of the child and on his own personal development without reference to his future duties and responsibilities as a component part of the State, then we might as well give up our form of Government and start one in which somebody else does the governing and the people merely mind their own business and try "to have a good time.” If our new citizens want somebody else to make good laws and permit them to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without any effort or inconvenience on their own part, they will soon cease to be citizens and become subjects--subjects of a