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We are, in fact, the more bound to pay attention to these differences to-day because under stress of war our National Government has assumed many powers and activities that rightfully belong to the States, and even to private organizations. If the spirit of American institutions and the American principle of home rule in government are to survive, our primary duty to-day is to see that the National Government not only trespasses no further upon the provinces of the States and the rights of individuals, but that it actually returns to the States and to private initiative many of those activities which it was forced in war time to assume.
If I have in this very brief statement made myself clear, you will understand why I believe that the whole principle underlying the Towner-Sterling and other similar bills for Federal intervention and aid in State matters, is wrong. It seems to me to be based on the war-time theory that the National Government should do those things which it was not originally intended to do. It is based on the confused notion that our American Government should abandon the heritage which has come down to us from the earliest days of our history, and that we should adopt the highly centralized methods of the Old World countries with their military and monarchial traditions.
There are many other reasons, general and particular, why I am opposed to the Towner-Sterling bill; for example, the extravagance involved in the duplication of agencies which it provides, the inequitable burden of taxation which it imposes upon efficient States for the benefit of those which are remiss, But this will perhaps sufficiently answer your question as to whether or not I can be counted upon to aid in the passage of the bill. I trust that it will also convey to you the sincerity of my conviction that the bill is essentially and fundamentally wrong. Very truly yours,
A. PIATT ANDREW. P. S.-I notice on page 2 of your circular that you quote President Harding as apparently favoring the bill because he stated that “from every corner of the land, from county, town, and city, comes the same report, that the housing capacity of our public schools is inadequate, that tens of thousands of pupils have no place for their studies." But surely this passage in no way can be construed to argue the adoption of a bill which in section 12 provides, “that no money apportioned to a State in any of the provisions of this act shall be used by any State or local authority, directly or indirectly, for the purchase, rental, erection, preservation, or repair of any building or equipment, or for the purchase or rental of land."
The CHAIRMAN. I have here a letter from a State senator in Colorado addressed to Senator Borah, and he requests that it go into the record of these hearings. (The matter referred to is as follows:)
DEL NORTE, COLO., April 25, 1924. Senator BORAH,
Chairman Education Committee, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: I understand you are being bombarded at this time by education enthusiasts, specialists, fraternal organizations, and many others, demanding the creation of a department of education in the President's Cabinet. I have been asked to join. After some deliberation, I have decided to trouble you with my views.
In our State we seem to have gone education crazy. I am not a believer in "education at any price." Nor do I believe it is a panacea for our present ills.
I fear the growing tendency to beaureaucratic government and the insatiable grasping for more power, more influence, and expanded field of operation, on the part of many of the bureaus in Washington. I am not sure that centralized authority over education in Washington would be an improvement over the independence, variety, initiative of the several States as we now have it.
I have gotten to be an opponent of Federal aid for anything. I know of nothing that invites to extravagance, and practically forces local authorities and State legislatures into undesirable and undesired programs, to compare with the 50-50 Federal aid baits. And the Smith-Hughes and Smith-Lever Acts, in educational and health matters, are no exceptions to the rule.
You are being importuned by all sorts of persons, claiming to speak for and in behalf of memberships running into the hundreds of thousands. I know you are sufficiently familiar with State and national legislation to assess these claims at
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their real value. Probably 95 per cent of these members never heard of the bills being furthered, and 99 per cent have never read them, or devoted any time to the study of them.
I also trust you will not be stampeded by the formidable array of professional educationists who are making demands of you. I know of no quicker way of sending our States and Nation to the bow-wows than giving full rope to professionals, specialists, and cranks in any line.
I am well pleased, my dear Senator, with the stand you have taken on many great questions in recent years, and am perfectly content to trust in these matters, to your sound, mature, and experienced judgment. Yours very truly,
J. MOFADZEAN. The CHAIRMAN. Doctor Mann, you may proceed.
STATEMENT OF DR. C. R. MANN, DIRECTOR OF THE AMER
ICAN COUNCIL ON EDUCATION
Doctor Mann. Mr. Dallinger asked me to arrange for the presentation of a few witnesses on this subject. I simply want to say that these witnesses I shall introduce are not appearing as ardent proponents of the bill nor as wild opponents of the bill, but as friendly critics of the bill. They are men who have had wide experience in the educational work of the country, and who have given a great deal of study to this whole question of Federal organization of education.
The first gentleman I wish to introduce is Dr. S. P. Capen, who is at present chancellor of the University of Buffalo. Doctor Capen was for some 10 years a specialist on higher education in the Bureau of Education, and, as such, he had an intimate knowledge of the workings of the Bureau of Education. He took part in some five or six or eight surveys that were made by the Bureau of Education at the request of various State governors. Doctor Capen was then my predecessor as director of the American Council on Education, which deals entirly with the problems of higher education. Nevertheless, Doctor Capen knows more school districts and more States by personal visits, and knows the educational systems of more States from personal study, than almost any man in the country.
STATEMENT OF DR. S. P. CAPEN, CHANCELLOR UNIVERSITY
OF BUFFALO, BUFFALO, N. Y.
Doctor CAPEN. Mr. Chairman, I should like to have the committee consider for a moment some of the things which those of us who have studied this question for a number of years desire to see achieved by Government action. I think the most important thing that could be done by means of any measure that Congress may pass now is to consolidate the educational interests of the Government itself so that when the people who are dealing with education in different parts of the country have relations with Washington and with the Federal educational machinery, they may be able to deal with one authority. As it is now, there is a Bureau of Education, a Federal Board for Vocational Education, and some 12 or 15 other offices that are more or less prominent and influential in this field. They are not in contact with one another's activities. Indeed, the machinery of the Federal Government does not promote that kind of contact. Therefore, there is a great deal of conflict which is evident to those who deal with those agencies from the outside. I think that
one of the most serious mistakes that has been made through Federal legislation was the separation in the beginning of the Federal Board for Vocational Education from the other educational enterprises that were well started in the Bureau of Education.
The divorce of vocational education from the other offices of education, which the organization in Washington indorsed and promoted, has had an unfortunate effect throughout the States. Many of the States, as you know, following the Federal example, have separate machinery for dealing with vocational education. Thus there has come about this split between these two types of training, which has been, on the whole, very regrettable. Among the States themselves, there is now a reaction toward consolidating those functions. This of course, can go on in any State without reference to any action taken by the Federal Government, but I think it is of very great importance to have these two educational activities of the Government put together at once. There should also be such other coordination of Government educational enterprises as would tend to unify them.
Now, I doubt if there is any disagreement among educational people as to the importance of that accomplishment. You gentlemen have had before you various propositions which bear upon it to some extent, and you have had arguments, I suppose, in favor of it before. To my mind that is about the most important thing that the Government could do for education at the present moment.
Another important thing that those of us who are connected with the educational work of the country need from the Government is the kind of leadership that comes from information and from facts derived through comprehensive investigations. There is now no agency anywhere in the United States that is prepared to examine in a large way some of the most important educational problems. Perhaps the need for such investigations is not apparent to every; one, but it is certainly very apparent to all of us who are engaged in educational work. The Bureau of Education is by its charter and the statutes governing it required to collect information and statistics bearing on the condition and the development of education in the United States. These groups of facts are, of course, immensely valuable. Without them, we could hardly get along But the bureau has never been equipped to make large studies of some of the greatest problems. I might give you an example to show what I mean by that statement: When we got out of the war, and prices began to go up, every school system in the country and almost every institution in the country faced serious financial difficulties. The States were forced to make through their legislatures very much larger appropriations than they had made before, and cities and districts were urged, and, in the end, were forced to do the
Now, what was really needed in the way of financial support of education to keep it from deteriorating? Nobody knew. There were no sources to which we could go to find out.
There was no agency equipped to discover the facts. Everyone will admit that here was a question of great national importance.
I happened to be partly instrumental in inaugurating a study of school finances in the United States. It was started about three years ago with private assistance, four of the educational foundations contributing $200,000 to the undertaking. It is only a partial survey, but it is a very admirable study and the best thing we have
had. It has been of great help, although it is not complete. Now, there should be some agency in the Government that is equipped at any time to investigate a great national problem of this sort that relates to the schools and the higher institutions as well, and to furnish educational authorities with a basis for action. In the past we have had to rely on the foundations for this service, as far as we have secured it at all. Mr. BLACK. Do you mean such information concerning State school systems and colleges, as well as State universities? » Doctor CAPEN. I mean any one of those large questions that relate to general educational policy throughout the country. Four or five studies of the kind to which I refer are now either projected or in operation. For example, there is a study of the teaching of modern languages, which has just been launched by one of the foundations. There is another one on the teaching of English which is about to be launched.
Those of us who want to get information and who want to acquire the best evidence in support of a policy or a point of view can only get it to-day by appealing to some private source.
The foundations, I think, upon the whole, have been very careful, and especially of late, in making these studies, to divest themselves so far as they can of seeming to control in any way the educational policy of the country. In the case of several of the studies I have just mentioned, the management has been placed in the hands of voluntary educational associations. The foundations have merely contributed the necessary funds and there is no possibility of the findings resulting in foundation control of education. Yet, I think we all agree that it is very important that fundamental inquiries of this nature that affect the whole educational development of the country should not be left wholly to these large private aggregations of capital to put through. Moreover, there are no foundations that alone are able to assume the task, in spite of the large funds that some of them possess. These studies, please bear in mind, are so extensive that they can hardly be taken in hand in an effective way by that sort of agency. In my opinion, such studies are absolutely essential to the proper development of the educational system of the country. The prosecution of them carries out the concepts underlying the Bureau of Education when it was first established. People did not then conceive of the future magnitude of the educational system, and, of course, social conditions have changed immensely since that time. Many of these problems are now not only much broader in extent, but very much more acute.
We are now at the stage where education is being, of necessity, altered and reformed. It can be reformed upon the basis of guesswork and opinions, as is being done in most cases, or upon the basis of ascertained facts. Now, those of us who are interested in the scientific study of education want to have an agency that will give us the facts. We want that from the Federal Government. I believe it is fair to say that nearly all the leaders in education desire such an establishment above all things. The leadership that would come through a Government office equipped to render this service is the most effective type of leadership that can be had, and it is a kind of leadership that is perfectly automatic.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you familiar with the bills that are pending before the committee?
Doctor CAPEN. I did not know whether I would be permitted to discuss more than one.
The CHAIRMAN. We would like to get your ideas in regard to the bills before the committee.
Doctor CAPEN. I do not wish to take up much of your time. It seems to me that of the bills pending before you the one that most nearly approaches a solution of this particular problem is the one that provides for the better definition and extension of the purpose and duties of the Bureau of Education," etc. That is H. R. 6582. There are also certain other features in that bill that, to my mind, are very useful and needed.
The CHAIRMAN. The members of the committee will find in the bound volumes copies of all the bills pending before the committee.
Doctor CAPEN. There is a very considerable handicap in having to select a personnel for the type of work that I have been describing through the semimechanical operations of the civil service system. The sort of job I have in mind is a highly expert job, and oftentimes a very temporary job. Perhaps it would not require over a year, and it is very desirable that the Government office that has such a task to perform should be able to go to this man or that man and invite him, without formality, to take charge of it for the necessary period of time at such or such a salary. In that way it is possible to get real expert service of a high quality, but if you have to proceed through the civil service machinery you can not do it. That is one of the principal present handicaps of the Bureau of Education. Restricted as it is in the selection of personnel, it has been unable to bring to pass some of those things that even with its meager resources it might have accomplished. The provision in the bill to which I refer gives it the necessary freedom.
I think that if your committee should report any of these bills to Congress, it would be very important that the bill in question should be so framed that this type of service could be secured without reference to the civil service. I am alluding, of course, only to the expert services. The point is very explicitly stated in the bill, H. R. 6582, but it is not, so far as I know, mentioned in the others.
I believe that the great difficulty with the Sterling-Reed bill (H. R. 3923) is that it does not provide for the consolidation of Government agencies in education at all. It practically creates a department out of the Bureau of Education, and leaves wholly undetermined what other agencies may or may not be included. Neither is there any other provision for bringing about a correlation of Federal activities in education. If that is the bill that your committee eventually decides to report, I hope you will so amend it as to provide for the inclusion in the department of the Federal Board for Vocational Education and of those other agencies that obviously should be included in it. The bill also should embody such a provision as that contained in House bill 6582, which provides for a Federal council on education, which is designed to bring about an intimate interrelation of the educational functions of the several departments in so far as they can not be consolidated in the educational office. Those are very important factors, it seems to me.