Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Doctor KEITH. We are not absolutely sure about a lot of things: ourselves.

Mr. Douglass. What are you not sure about? That is what I am trying to get at.

Doctor KEITH. Refer to page 6. We want to know more about. those things. We want to know more about rural education, elementary education, secondary education, higher education, profes-sional education, physical education, including health education and recreation, etc.

Mr. DOUGLASS. Let us consider rural education, What does yourassociation not know about this? You are the State superintendent of public instruction for the Commonwealth of the State of Pennsylvania?

Doctor KEITH. That is true. Mr. Douglass. Suppose there existed a department of education. What would you recommend as the need in regard to rural education in the State of Pennsylvania, if you would not be breaking any State secrets?

Doctor KEITH. I am not breaking any State secrets, and I will frankly answer your question. The great need of rural schools the country over, and the State of Pennsylvania in particular, as. I know, is a plan for financing public education, including the rural schools, that will bring about a square deal, because you know that, wealth per capita is almost directly proportional to density of population. The rural communities are economically the weakest and they are, therefore, in need of the greatest amount of help from the State to support their schools.

Mr. DOUGLASS. Is not that generally known throughout the country, what you have just proclaimed? Doctor Keith. I think it is generally known,

Mr. Douglass. In what regard would a department of education help that situation?

Doctor KEITH. A department of education could begin to make studies on various plans. It could study the New York plan of distributing subsidies.

Mr. Douglass. Is not such information as you get from the State of New York now available through your association?

Doctor KEITH, Yes; it is.

Mr. DOUGLASS. And through your association it is available to the world—the educational world of the United States?

Doctor KEITH. We as teachers can not finance this whole propos sition of sending this out.

Mr. DOUGLASS. You want to find facts. You have certain facts in the State of New York. Those facts are available to your educational association. Having found those, what do you propose to do with them?

Doctor KEITH. I would have the superintendent of education take this New York plan for the distribution of subsidies and distribute it to all the States.

Mr. Douglass. Is not that being done to-day?
Doctor KEITH. No; it is not.
Mr. DOUGLASS. Why not?
Doctor Keith. Because there is no agency to do it properly.

105682–284

Mr. Douglass. The knowledge exists, does it not?
Doctor KEITH. That is true.
Mr. DOUGLASS. And it is disseminated by your association?
Doctor KEITH. No, sir; we can not do that.

Mr. Douglass. It seems to me that if the knowledge exists the world has it. Do you want a department of education to enforce the New York plan of distributing subsidies?

Doctor KEITH. No; because the plan of the State of New York is adapted to the economic conditions in that State. That plan would have to be modified if it were placed in force, say, in the State of Mississippi or in the State of Nebraska.

Mr. Douglass. And the citizens of the State of Mississippi and the State of Nebraska would determine what is best for those States?

Doctor KEITH. But we need an agency that would bring this clearly and sharply, through a nation-wide conference, to the attention of these people who represent these States educationally and bear that responsibility.

Mr. DOUGLASS. That knowledge is in your possession as a member of your organization and you are giving it to us and to the country.

Doctor KEITH. That will not do the work, Mr. Douglass.

The CHAIRMAN. The investment in school buildings and ground and equipment in this country is astounding. You can probably give us the figures.

Doctor KEITH. No, sir; I can not give the figures at this time.

The CHAIRMAN. I have just been informed that it is in the neighborhood of $5,000,000,000.

Mr. SEARS. Your thought, concretely stated with a parallel, might be somewhat akin to all of the chambers of commerce of the United States in the different cities, which work and have for many years worked on local and national as well as city and State problems; but over and above them, realizing the needs of their organization, they established the National Chamber of Commerce, and, acting together, I do not know, but I do not doubt that they were behind the initiative to establish a Department of Commerce in the Federal Government. They realized or thought they realized-they may have been mistaken—the different business problems and considerations that related to the business world demanded not only their chambers of commerce locally but our National Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Commerce with a seat in the President's Cabinet. I presume you people have thought that education is of such supreme importance and really the greatest question in the United States that you should have not only your school districts organized, your cities organized educationally, and your States organized educationally, but you should have a department of education, the head of which should be a member of the President's Cabinet, and that department could reach out and exercise a wholesome influence throughout the United States. Do I state your proposition correctly?

Doctor Keith. Your statement is substantially correct. However, we always want to couple with such a statement the fact that our organization and our people who are supporting this measure are not seeking control of education in the several States in contravention of the Constitution. We like to add the statement that education proceeds and grows and develops by contacts through discussions.

Mr. Douglass. The strength of your position is in not carrying the thing too far?

Doctor KEITH. We do not want to Prussianize the American educational system, or set up a bureaucracy here in Washington and govern the school system from it. We feel that education is of such prime importance to this Nation as a nation that it deserves Federal recognition, and under this recognition and organization it will do much for this common country of ours and for the realization of the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

The CHAIRMAN. Speaking about an educational investment of several billions of dollars, every community is more or less of a laboratory in the development of buildings, grounds, and school facilities. One community will make a very grave error and one that is expensive to the taxpayers. It is more or less discouraging to people who support education. On the other hand, another city will have more money and study the question closer and do better. It will evolve an ideal type of building, and an ideal type of other facilities. That is only one phase of the several thousand problems where we could save money to the taxpayers. We could save the laboring man money by shortening the time his children have to spend in school, and thereby put them into productive labor sooner. If all that information can be made available in one place so that any school can turn to it, it is bound to save money and lead to desirable progress.

Doctor KEITH. It certainly would.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know how much money a great corporation like, say, General Motors Corporation invests in a research department per year?

Doctor KEITH. No, sir; I do not know.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know that such a corporation spends probably not less than $1,000,000 a year in research work?

Doctor KEITH. I have read somewhere the exact figure, but I do not recall it at this time.

The CHAIRMAN. That is only one corporation. Why do they do that? The information exists and they want to bring it together and utilize it to the very best advantage.

Mr. LOWREY. I suppose the idea would be that a department of education could send out many publications and bulletins to teachers and school heads, and so forth, through Federal and State agencies, very much as the Department of Agriculture now sends out valuable information to county agents and demonstration agents and teachers in agricultural work. The Department of Agriculture is sending out many bulletins of information and suggestions to the people who lead locally and who lead in States and counties in all kinds of agricultural projects and plans. I suppose a department of education would do it much the same way.

Doctor Keith. Education seeks light and leadership. It does not seek any measure of control. If at any time, while I am in my position as State superintendent of public instruction of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if through any act of Congress on this bill or any other bili, Congress should seek to invade the rights of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in regard to educational matters,

while ago.

а

I would come down here immediately and protest against such an effort.

Mr. DOUGLASS. Is the State of Pennsylvania failing in its educational duties, in your opinion?

Doctor. KEITH. I should say no.

Mr. Douglass. Do you need any aid in Pennsylvania, educationally, from the Federal Government?

Doctor. KEITH. We do.
Mr. Douglass. For what purpose?

Doctor. Keith. We are not asking for financial aid. We want help in solving the rural education problem.

Mr. Douglass. Do you feel that you yourselves can not solve it?

Doctor. Keith. We have not been able to solve it although we have been working at it for many years.

Mr. Douglass. Referring to page 6, line 4, professional education; what have you to say about that?

The CHAIRMAN. Will you, Mr. Douglass, permit me to interrupt you at this time? Mr. Douglass. Certainly; I rather think I interrupted you a little

The CHAIRMAN. Do you imagine that if a person connected with agriculture, some leading man in that work, when the question of the Department of Agriculture was up before the committee, had been asked to outline what a Department of Agriculture would do and for what it could be used, and if he were asked to give specific instances of service it would render in the years to come, he could name the many thousands of things that have been developed as a result of the creation of the Department of Agriculture?

Doctor. KEITH. No. Hindsight is better than foresight and all the foresight we have is born out of hindsight.

Now let me discuss the question raised by Mr. Douglass just a minute ago. Five years ago I could not have discussed this question at all, but I think I know a little about it now. Every one of our States have various so-called professions that have been developed and evolved. The oldest profession, of course, is the ministry, and in our form of Government there is a separation between the church and State and there is no relation between the State and the ministry. The next oldest profession is that of law.

Many of our States have found it advisable to establish standards for admission to the bar. We have changed these standards from time to time, beginning with the plan by which a man read law for a few months in the office of some lawyer and then went before the court, with somebody to vouch for him, and was admitted to the practice of law. That plan was changed and an applicant for admission to the bar went before a local board of examiners to determine his qualifications to practice law. Still later an applicant went before à State board of examiners to determine his qualifications to practice law.

Now, there are some States in the Union that have made practically no progress at all in this matter of standards of requirements for entering the legal profession. I can name you one in which all that is necessary is that a candidate for admission to the bar be introduced by some existing members of the bar, with three persons to vouch for his moral character.

Some of the foundations have made some study of legal education, others have made some study of medical education. Another of these great professions is the medical profession. That has grown and evolved. We haven't gotten to any place of uniformity by any means in that matter, but it so happens that I know a little about it. One State sets up certain standards for interneship for prospective physicians, and no matter how fine a written examination an individual may be able to write, no matter how much he knows about medicine, nor how long he has successfully practiced it, he can not 'become a practitioner in that State unless he has had at some time or other an interneship that meets the standard of that State.

Now, we have all sorts of difficulties in a State such as Pennsylvania, because of the standards which Pennsylvania itself has set up, and which we are not seeking to change, but which other States do not know about; and there are people moving freely from one State to another, who come into Pennsylvania, and there is that difficulty in this matter of medical education and medical licensing. There is something, certainly, that needs to be studied, and it can be studied best under the leadership of somebody who looks at the thing from a national standpoint, rather than from a State standpoint.

Mr. DOUGLASS. We have our National Bar Association, and our National Medical Association. Can't they do anything to improve conditions?

Doctor KEITH. They have been working, Mr. Douglass, through all these years, just as we in the public school field have been working, but they recognize clearly their present lack of not having charge of the things they have in view.

Mr. Douglass. But they can't force one State to adopt the standards of another; and you wouldn't have them do it under this bill, wouid you?

Doctor KEITH. No.
Mr. DOUGLASS. Then where do we stand?
Doctor KEITH. What I am arguing about-

Mr. Douglass. No! No! Where are we at? Where do we stand if we can't improve the conditions of which you complain?

Doctor KEITH. We will improve them by letting light in on this thing through the secretary of education.

Mr. DOUGLASS. We all understand about that legal situation and the difference in requirements in the different States. Yet we haven't been able to do anything about it. If a State doesn't want to change its requirements the National Government hasn't the right to compel it, and you don't ask us to give it that right, do you?

Doctor Keith. We ask you to make it possible to let some light in on that thing.

Mr. Douglass. That is where you and I disagree. There is plenty of light on that very subject and you can't do anything about it without national legislation, and you don't want that.

Doctor KEITH. Here are three States very closely related, economically, industrially and socially: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We thought it would be nice to get together on the mere matter of pre-professional education and the standards to be met before an individual could begin professional education, in medicine, in dentistry and all those other things. We have 14 professional

« AnteriorContinuar »