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We all know that our wants in life increase as our knowledge increases. The totally ignorant man is satisfied with little beyond the humblest food and shelter. It is only when he has reached a certain level of education that he begins to find out about the opportunities for the enjoyment of life and starts in to ask for good clothes, an automobile, and pretty dresses for his daughter. The more educated the people of any State are the more they want to buy goods and the better customers they make. The business man spends huge sums to educate people by his advertisements. Education is really advertising
in the broadest sense. It advertises the richness and the possibilities of life. People who have acquired a new vision of life through education have made themselves able to earn more money and to spend more. They are better workers and better customers. I do not believe a business man who has given much thought to the subject would object to a few cents or a few dollars more in taxes coming from his pocket for education when the returns to business as a whole are bound to be so great.
As a business man I want to see better and more widely diffused education for another reason. The Congressmen elected from all States come to Washington and make laws which affect Massachusetts and every other State in the Union. Business men have a selfish reason, which is perfectly legitimate, to want every State to develop the most intelligent citizenship possible. Business is vitally affected not only by Federal laws but by State laws which concern business in every State. Few investments will bring greater returns to business than those made for lifting the general level of education.
There is another reason why I believe in the creation of a Federal department of education. Contact with large business organizations teaches me that lack of coordination and poor organization can cost large sums of money. We are constantly studying methods in business whereby better organization will save money, and get large results from such study in dollars and cents saved. I am confident that such a saving could be accomplished by the Federal Government by a better coordination of its educational activities. The present educational activities of the Federal Government cost several millions of dollars a year and are scattered through several departments and independent bureaus.
If certain of these activities were brought together in one Federal rtment, I believe that larger returns would come from each dollar which the Federal Government spends for education. In this attitude I am merely restating a proposal which has frequently been made by the eminent citizen of Massachusetts who has so ably filled the office of President of the United States in recent years. His last statement on this subject was in his message to Congress on December 6, 1927, in which he said: “For many years it has been the policy of the Federal Government to encourage and foster the cause of education. Large sums of money are annually appropriated to carry on vocational training. Many millions go into agricultural schools. The general subject is under the immediate direction of a Commissioner of Education. While this subject is strictly a State and local function, it should continue to have the encouragement of the National Government. I am still of the opinion that much good could be accomplished through the establishment of a department of education and relief, into which would be gathered all of these functions under one directing member of the Cabinet."
These, then, are some of the reasons why I have for many years advocated the creation of a department of education whose primary function would be research in education. The investigation which a department of education would carry on as provided by this bill will, I believe, be of greater importance than any other educational research known hitherto in this country. This is because the findings will be offered to the country with the sanction of a member of the President's Cabinet. The results of Federal research in education will receive an enhanced prestige among educators and people in general.
In the President's Cabinet sit representatives of Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, the Army, and Navy. Each one of these great institutions is interested in the problems of education. Each Cabinet officer has special knowledge of the educational problems and needs of the men and women in the fields which he serves,
By regular contact with other Cabinet officers a secretary of education would be constantly broadening his outlook on the country's educational problems. He would get unusual insights into the difficulties which rural education and vocational education and many other forms of education are facing. He would, moreover, arouse in his Cabinet associates a fuller consciousness of the role that educators play in guiding the great problems of our national life in the fields of agriculture, business, and every other field.
Education would be lifted out of its present subordinate position and made the equal in name, as it already is in fact, of commerce and labor and the other great subjects which we have recognized to be of national concern. With education thus coming into its due place in our national outlook I would expect a quickening of all our educational work, both public and private. I would expect also a broader approach henceforth to all our national problems. Education's function is to make people want to do the best thing for themselves and others and to know how to do it.
Doctor DAVIDSON. The next speaker whom I wish to present is Dr. Charles R. Mann, director of the American Council on Education, Washington, D. C.
STATEMENT OF DR. CHARLES R. MANN, DIRECTOR AMERICAN
COUNCIL ON EDUCATION, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Doctor Mann. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, it is always a pleasure to meet with this committee. On previous occasions I have talked about various areas or sections of this problem with this committee. To-day I am going to ask your indulgence for a few minutes in trying to get the scattered sections together in a coherent whole, so that we can visualize the real immediate issue in its perspective, because the department of education, taken by itself, is a particular proposal which offers a particular solution of the whole problem of the Federal organization of education and the relation of the Federal Government in educational matters to the educational activities of the States.
Now, I am very much interested in getting started toward a solution of this problem with a clear understanding of the relation of the Federal Government and States in education that will be coherent with the fundamental notions on which we are trying to develop this country. I have prepared here a brief series of statements, each statement embodying one fact as I see it with regard to this situation, and each statement is capable of expansion into a long argument, and it is capable of proof by a great deal of information which I can give you if you want. But I thought if I could just state these points, one by one, rapidly, it would bring the whole picture in the relationship of the various factors before you, and then we can take up the discussion, if you like, of any one of them, or of their interrelations. So I have prepared this series of statements. It sounds very dogmatic, because it is merely a statement of a series of facts, so far as I could make it so.
Bills for the creation of a more adequate Federal educational office have been pending before the Education Committees of Congress for nine years.
There has been much discussion but no action. Fear of Federal control of public education is said to be the excuse.
A Federal department of education with $100,000,000 for subsidies on the 50-50 basis, as proposed in the earlier bills would have real control of public education and so would justify that fear. The proposals for 50-50 subsidies for a department of education were abandoned three years ago.
The pending Curtis-Reed bill for a Federal department of education and the Phipps bill to extend the duties of the Bureau of Education carry no 50-50 subsidies; therefore they can not possibly result in Federal control. The Department of Commerce serves but does not control commerce; the Department of Labor serves but does not
control labor; the Department of Agriculture serves but does not control agriculture. The possibility of Federal control is getting less each year because the Federal departments are operating more and more on the principle of decentralized responsibility with central cooperation.
Mr. Douglass. Do you really think that?
Doctor MANN. Although a Federal educational office, as defined in either the Phipps bill or the Curtis-Reed bill, can not possibly control education, the ghost of fear of Federal control still blocks their path. The public and Congress do not yet realize that the possibility of Federal control by such an office is eliminated when 50-50 subsidies are abandoned. But while the public and Congress are fighting the creation of an adequate Federal education office because the phantom of Federal control still haunts them, actual Federal control of certain sections of public education is being established through other committees than those of education. Fifty-fifty subsidies to the extent of seventeen and a half million are already in operation in vocational education. Bills are now pending to increase this amount from seventeen and a half million to twenty-five million-one-quarter of the amount carried in the rejected Smith-Towner bill.
This brings at least $50,000,000 worth of public education under control of the Federal Government. Control of this money for 50-50 subsidies for vocational training is scattered in four distinct offices. A fifth distinct office is the Bureau of Education which is responsible for Federal relations with all forms of liberal education. Vocational educational is thus officially divorced from liberal education in the Federal Government, but nowhere else in America.
Of these five Federal education offices, three are operating in the field of home economics education, two in the field of industrial education, and three in the field of agricultural education, each in its own way, without correlation with the others. This chaotic situation with regard to education and educational offices in the Federal Government is indefensible.
Bad as is this chaos in the Federal educational organization, it is less harmful to the character of American citizens than is the disintegration of powers of self-government inevitably produced by the 50-50 subsidies.
In his speech at the Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution last week, President Collidge said:
There are always those who are willing to surrender local self-government and turn over their affairs to some national authority in exchange for a payment of money out of the Federal Treasury. Whenever they find that some abuse needs correction in their neighborhood, instead of applying a remedy themselves they seek to have a tribunal sent on from Washington to discharge their duties for them, regardless of the fact that in accepting such supervision they are bartering away their freedom. Such actions are always taken on the assumption that they are a public benefit.
The pending bills clearly define the issue now facing Congress; namely, shall the Federal Government (a) keep vocational training divorced from liberal education; (6) continue to increase Federal control of education through 50-50 subsidies; (c) scatter that control among a number of disconnected offices; (d) encourage the people to baster their freedom for doles from the Federal Treasury?
Or shall the Federal Government (a) work for the union of vocational training and liberal education; (b) destroy Federal control by renouncing the 50-50 subsidies; (c) concentrate educational activities in a single Federal educational office; (d) compel local selfgovernment as the foundation of continuing freedom?
Action taken by the present Congress determines in which of these two directions the Federal Government is now moving. The Federal Government was clearly established to make possible progress in the direction of the second of these alternatives. tional bills already in force or approved by committees of the present Congress indicate that the Nation is headed toward the first of these alternatives. Responsibility for deciding which of these alternatives will ultimately win rests with the Education Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives. If these committees have not sufficient reliable information to decide this issue now, provision can be made to secure the needed facts promptly. Experiments with 50-50 subsidies in vocational education have been in operation 14 years. A disinterested objective check-up of results would be illuminating.
The research and information service of the Bureau of Education has been of real but limited value because it has never had sufficient support to make a thorough national study of any phase of American education. Hence no one really knows whether an adequate Federal research and information service in education would be as vital to educational progress as are similar services in commerce and agriculture to commercial, industrial and agricultural progress. I therefore urge you gentlemen to give research and information service in education a practical trial by at once providing the Bureau of Education with sufficient funds to make a thorough study of the secondary schools of the United States. As you know, the old high school as we knew it has just recently broken up under pressure of increasing numbers into junior high, senior high and junior college. This is the most chaotic and least understood area of public education today. In order to make this suggestion specific and practical I submit the following draft of a bill that would accomplish the end sought. Let us have an actual case to prove how a Federal research and information service really works.
A BILL To provide for a fact-finding study of public secondary education in the United States Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in addition to the sums appropriated for support of the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1929 (Public Numbered 100, Seventieth Congress), the following sum is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the Department of the Interior for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1929, for all expenses, including service in the District of Columbia and elsewhere, purchase of supplies, purchase and rental of equipment, traveling expenses including travel to conferences, printing, and all other expenses not included in the foregoing, to enable the Secretary of the Interior, through the Bureau of Education, at a total cost of not to exceed $500,000 to make a two-year study of the present organization, administration, financing and work of public secondary schools of all types and of the articulations among them and colleges and normal schools, $200,000: Provided, That specialists and experts for this investigation may be employed at rates to be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior to correspond to those established by the classification act of 1923, and without reference to the civil service act of January 16, 1883.
Mr. SEARS. What do you think about a place in the Cabinet for a secretary of education?
Doctor Mann. I believe with Doctor MacCracken, who spoke this morning, that the evolution of the system is headed in that direction, but I am willing to let it evolve and be sure of each step as we go along.
Mr. SEARS. What do you think would result from it?
Doctor MANN. The same benefits to education as now result to commerce from the research now furnished to commerce.
Mr. SEARS. Would there be any bad results?
Doctor Mann. Not that I can see. In fact, the issue, as I have tried to bring it out, is a question of the direction in which we are moving in education. Are we moving toward the development of the same sort of relation between the Federal Government and the States in education as now exists with regard to agriculture, commerce, and so on, or are we drifting toward the establishment of the Federal Government in education as largely a dispenser of subsidies which means really Federal control?
Mr. DOUGLASS. You are a State-rights man, are you?
Doctor MANN. I am for forcing on the individual the responsibility for self-education, self-development, and self-government.
Mr. Douglass. You believe education should tend toward the self-development of the individual?
Doctor Mann. Absolutely.
Mr. Douglass. How is a department of education going to hold that man individually? After all, Doctor, isn't the object of educacation the improvement of the individual member of society?
Doctor MANN. Absolutely. Mr. Douglass. I want somebody to show me how a department of education is going to improve that individual member of society in his knowledge, his morals, and in his character. Can you help me along that line?
Doctor MANN. Well, I will try. Because the organization of which I am director is a volunteer organization, composed of 24 national associations that have banded together for the purpose of comparison of results of research
Mr. Douglass. I don't doubt that you are doing good work.
Doctor Mann. We are doing the same sort of work in a very limited way that we want the Federal department of education to do. Now, then, to come to your specific question. I just came yesterday from a conference on the question of what types of records and tests and information about the world's work are helpful in schools in enabling the schools to find out what the particular abilities of each individual are.
Mr. Douglass. Some of these intelligence tests that have been talked about here?
Doctor Mann. No, not intelligience tests. They are tests to find out what types of things a student does well, for the purpose of revealing to the student as well as to his parents the lines of activity in which that person is able to grow best and develop his individuality.
Mr. Douglass. Right there, Doctor. Isn't that object you are trying to attain the work of the individual teacher in the school? Doctor Mann. No, sir.