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Harris, and Brown and Claxton, to the present commissioner, who is a man who measures up to his predecessors and is one of the most
forceful and, I think, one of the most beloved commissioners of ll education we have had, and yet for 50 years we have had that Bureau
of Education and it has not been done, and I say it never will be done under a bureau, and I will tell you why-because we have history to show it will not be. For 50 years in our own State, Congressman, we had a bureau of education instead of a department of education, and that bureau of education was submerged, as a bureau, in the office of the secretary of state, and during that whole period of time
Mr. BLACK. That is not a fair analogy, is it, a State administration?
Doctor FINEGAN. I think it is an absolute analogy. The same thing existed in Pennsylvania.
Mr. BLACK. That is an administration proposition, a control proposition. You are going to make this department of education, if you get it, a noncontrol proposition; purely a fact-finding proposition.
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes.
Mr. BLACK. The State bureau wasn't a control organization, but the State department is.
Doctor FINEGAN. Growing out of the weakness of the bureau and the inability of the bureau to accomplish results and make available the things which the people themselves want there were developed a series of State departments. That is the history of the matter.
Mr. BLACK. It developed into a control proposition, which emphasizes the danger of this thing. You yourself have said that you are not interested in the recommendations, the recommendations are self-revealing. Then, a secretary of education will have very little discretion. He will sit with the President, but he could have no particular effect on education, except by signing his name to a series of reports, adding to their authenticity. He has no discretion if he has no control, if as you say, the recommendations will proceed from the research itself.
Doctor FINEGAN. I don't think it is vital, when this report comes out, that it should be signed by the secretary of education, the head of the department of education here in Washington. I don't think that the mere fact that his name is appended to that is going to amount to anything. The fact is, it is known throughout the country that here is a department at Washington, organized on a national scale for this very purpose, and there happens to be a man at the head of it, whose function it is to select experts in all these lines; these men have been chosen, and "By their work ye shall know them.” Unless their ' reports appear to the intelligent teachers and workers of the country as being worthy of merit, they will carry no weight. But when such reports are submitted, then the mere fact that they come from that department, even if presented by the group of specialists who do the work, will carry weight.
Mr. Black. There has always been at these hearings a tendency forced upon you folks in a way to discredit the Bureau of Education, so that may have had a vital effect upon the acceptance of their reports by the professional teachers and affected laity. Doctor FINEGAN. We have been here nine years.
Mr. Black. In those nine years you may have badly damaged the work of the Bureau.
Doctor FINEGAN. The Bureau has been in existence 50 years. I think at every one of these hearings the educational leaders who have spoken have made it clear that they offered no criticism of the distinguished scholars who have headed the Bureau of Education, or of the effective work which they have done within the limits imposed
Mr. BLACK. But the fact that a man is going to be secretary of education isn't going to make him a more distinguished scholar than any of these men you have had in there. In fact, you are going to have all the danger of the political situation entering into the selection of the man.
Doctor FINEGAN. Well, we have that right along in everything in education now.
Mr. BLACK. I don't know about that. Doctor FINEGAN. I do. I know. Mr. BLACK. Have you ever felt it? Doctor FINEGAN. Oh, I feel it. Mr. SEARS. Isn't this true; that all these bureaus are going to rise to their activities, whether they are functioning as bureaus or not. We might ask about fact finding for the Department of Agriculture, and things of that kind. Doctor FINEGAN. It is the same proposition.
Mr. SEARS. But when they were functioning as bureaus they did not have the influence they have as departments. The Bureau of Labor and the Bureau of Agriculture and the Bureau of Commerce, all functioned before they were made departments, but the moment that they were placed on an equality with the other important departments and recognized with a Cabinet member at the head, then their activities at once were raised up to the level of importance that the country realized they were entitled to.
Doctor FINEGAN. If John J. Tigert, the commissioner of education, head of the Bureau of Education, were to-day the secretary of education, at the head of a department of education in the Washington Government, with the means at his command for research work and special investigation, such as is contemplated in this measure, that man would be known throughout the civilized world to-day, just as Mr. Mellon is in finance, or Mr. Hoover in commerce, or Mr. Kellogg in affairs of State.
Mr. Black. But Tigert wouldn't have a chance of getting it.
Mr. SEARS. Is it true or not that there is an influence that goes abroad from each one of these departments that is of more value to the country than would go abroad from the same if it was a bureau?
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes. And I am glad you raised that question, because there are here in this country to-day 28 distinguished scholars from Germany who are traveling about through American educational institutions and systems to find out just what we are doing in public and higher education.
Mr. SEARS. Can you tell me what countries of the world have a department of education?
Doctor FINEGAN. Well, I can do that in a very short way, and economize time by saying to you that America is the only outstanding country of the world which does not have one.
Mr. BLACK. How does it compare with the other countries that do have it?
Doctor FINEGAN. America isn't comparable with other countries in anything. She has an entirely different philosophy of life and government, and is a different institution.
Mr. BLACK. Believing in home rule and in State rights?
Doctor FINEGAN. And in tolerance and in everything that should prevail in this land.
Mr. Monast. I was going to ask this. Your secretary of education does not want to dictate, but is to collect from the different States, or the different departments of each State, that which is the best in each particular State. This data will be recorded, and if anybody calls for any information along the lines of education, whether it be business, academic, or something else, you would have it at hand. You don't want to control, but you do want to collect, and you do want to know and be in a position to tell any of the States, or any section of the country, what has been successful here, there, or somewhere else; what has made a success of this business, what has made a success of that business, and the other business. That is what your secretary wants to do, isn't it?
Doctor FINEGAN. Yes.
Mr. MONAST. He doesn't want the power to dictate, but he wants the privilege to collect all this information and to tabulate it, and distribute it to all who need it?
Doctor FINEGAN. You are not a teacher?
Doctor FINEGAN. I wish you were a teacher. You set a good example to our teachers here. You epitomize the thing in such beautifully clear language that we are all obligated to you for it. [Applause.]
Mr. LOWREY. May I be excused and make my excuse for just a minute. I am very sorry that these people who are coming here haven't a full meeting of the committee. I don't know whether they know or not, but the agricultural bill is coming on right now, and a rule has been introduced over at the House 40 minutes ago, and everybody is interested in that. But I am not leaving simply on account of that. I have missed that. But I have some matters pending that have to be reported out to-morrow, a subcommittee of which I am chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. If I may have your attention for just a minute. There are two ladies here, and if we can hear them very briefly now, I think we can adjourn with the full expectation of completing this side of the hearing to-morrow. So if the committee will be patient we will hear them. At this point, however, I would like to have appear in the record the statement of Mr. John H. Cowles:
STATEMENT OF John H. CowLES, GRAND COMMANDER, SUPREME COUNCIL OF
THE SCOTTISH RITE, SOUTHERN JURISDICTION, WASHINGTON, D. C. I represent, as grand commander, the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the southern jurisdiction. Ours is the "mother council" of the Scottish Rite of the world. Its jurisdiction extends over_33 States south of the Ohio River and west of the Mississippi and all of the Territorial possessions of the United States. It is needless to state that the observations which I here make are
supported by the weight of opinion of the members of the supreme council, whose membership consists of distinguished businessmen, publishers, and lawyers, some of whom have served on the bench or in Congress, and one in the President's Cabinet.
We have consistently indorsed the several bills providing for a department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet. Our purpose has not been to determine the professional character of the bills but rather to aid in the creation of a department which will take over the major educational activities of the National Government and establish a definite, well-organized clearing agency for the various kinds of information constantly required by all of the public educational institutions and systems in this country. The professional features of the bill we leave with entire confidence to the judgment of the leaders of the public schools and universities which specialize in the higher branches of pedagogy and train teachers for the public school systems.
Their general experience and observations, their experiments based on psychological investigation, their experiments dealing with constructions of curriculums, their experiments bearing on the organization of educational systems, their broadening viewpoint with respect to education as developing the whole personality of the individual, and the marked progress of civilization made under the public control of education during the last century and a quarter, fully justify this confidence. In stressing the professional aspects of this bill we are of the opinion that until the leaders of the lay mind are able to approach the problems of civilization with a broad background of biological, social, and pedagogical facts, any symposium on education must yield first place to the judgment of the leaders of public school or quasi-public school education as to the needs, modes, methods, and processes of unfolding the mind. This position must be obvious to those who reflect upon this age of specialization.
So technical and diverse is the present art of teaching, so scientific are the various vocations in modern life, so interlaced and interdependent are these vocations in the functioning of society, so all-inclusive and essential has education become, that to-day education has no limits in the training and intellectual development of the individual but the grave. The race has at last reached that level where education has become not only the most intricate of sciences, but the very structure of civilization itself. In the words of a contemporary writer, "Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe.”
The light and hope for the continued welfare of mankind is seen through these broadening vistas which open in every direction with each forward step. By developing these new avenues of thought, by adapting education to the processes of industry, commerce, and agriculture, the talents and genius of man will be kept happily employed. The principal thing, now long needed, for our continued national development and our further contribution to civilization is the enlargement of the administrative machinery through which educational research and investigation may be adequately had in all branches of learning and the results broadcast to the teaching profession.
As stated above, our work has not been on the professional phases of the several educational bills, but to aid in keeping open and enlarging the channels for the expression of education. To this end the supreme council of the Scottish Rite of the southern jurisdiction has not only consistently advocated a department of education, but has very recently, endowed a college of government in George Washington University, all of which is consonant with our creed, namely, "The cause of human progress is our cause, the enfranchisement of human thought our supreme wish, the freedom of human conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all peoples everywhere the end of our contention."
A mass of matter comes daily to our executive offices here in Washington through exchange and subscriptions to various papers and periodicals. It is amusing at times, if not instructive, except in a mental gymnastic sense, to note the quirks of the minds in opposition to the proposed department of education. In some instances they display woeful lack of acquaintance with the Curtis-Reed bill. In others they show no knowledge of past legislation of the kind here proposed, or the settled policy of the Government with regard to such legislation, and no knowledge of the mode by which the will of Congress is administered. Some of them go to the point of a lack of confidence in our form of government; others are mere aspersive epithets released to arouse the credulous and the susceptible minds. Some reveal genius for prophetic and imaginative fear. I present and answer a few of those more perplexing to the lay mind, not so much to enlighten the committee, as to contribute in some measure to the general information for the use of the public which refers to these hearings for various purposes.
A favorite objection is: “The provisions in the Curtis-Reed bill, creating a department of education, are unnecessary. The present Bureau of Education is an adequate agency for the purpose.
In answering this objection, it might be well to note that the principal provisions of the Curtis-Reed bill are:
First. The creation of a department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet; second, an enlarged research program; third, the coordination of part of the various educational activities of the National Government, and the direct supervision of others under one head; fourth, a council of State superintendents which shall consist of the highest State school official elected or appointed therein, to meet annually in Washington at the call of the secretary.
The third provision here noted, that of bringing the several educational activities under the direct or indirect observation of one head, is good business and in line with the policy of all wide-awake cooperative, State, and municipal management. The application of this principle to the activities of the matter here in mind, possesses the following desirable business features: (a) Congress will be able to see at a glance the complete chart of all the educational matters with which it is concerned; (b) items of a related character thus grouped will aid in dispatching legislation; (c) such a chart, by and with the aid of a secretary of education and the Bureau of the Budget, will enable Congress to detect and obviate a duplication of educationl work, which to some extent doubtlessly occurs under the present system or rather lack of system; (d) the values of the appropriations now being made to educational purposes will be more effective under the proposed plan of coordination and supervision than at present; (e) a bureau is a subsidiary organization of a department represented in the President's Cabinet. Its proper function is to develop and administer a definite fundamental unit of national service authorized by Congress. Compared with the pressing needs of education, the Curtis-Reed bill provides for a modest program of research and investigation. Yet this program will necessitate the creation of several distinct units of administration, very much after the form of expansion which has taken place in the other national welfare departments known as the Agriculture, Labor, and Commerce Departments. It is obvious, therefore, that if we would attempt to carry on the research and investigation program provided for in the Curtis-Reed bill under the operation of a bureau, we would have bureaus within bureaus. This would set up an intricate, impracticable organization, contrary to the most approved methods in the science of business and municipal administration; (f) aside from the program of needed research and investigation and the constant growing need of such work, we must not lose sight of the fact that, as stated above, the present Federal educational activities are now spread over several of the departments and several independent agencies of the Federal Government. Again, it is obvious that these activities should not be crammed into one bureau. Conclusively, then, if education is to take its rightful place in the affairs of this Nation, there is but one form of administrative agency, suitable in every respect to the promotion of the national welfare through education and that is a department of education with a secretary in the President's Cabinet.
Answering objection No. 2, that the Curtis-Reed bill is unconstitutional, there can be nothing alarming, dangerous, or unconstitutional in setting up an agency to carry on the things already being done by the National Government, especially where the principles applied have been passed upon favorably and repeatedly by the Members of Congress and by Presidents who were eminent constitutional lawyers. An analysis of the Curtis-Reed bill will show that it adds no new principle to the settled policy of the Federal Government to aid and encourage education, a policy which has obtained for over a century and a quarter. The constitutional objections, therefore, must go to the matter to be administered rather than the agency of administration.
In light of the settled policy of our National Government to encourage the “improvement and diffusion of knowledge" I am reluctant to take the time of the committee to discuss the apparent grounds and motives which have actuated Congress in this policy. I do so only for the purpose of getting facts into the record in answer to a type of studied propaganda which
has confused the minds of some of our most worthy and eminent citizens. In presenting the facts which form the basis of our conclusions and which support the position of Congress, I will not cite the decision of the Supreme Court in any analogous case and reason from such premises, but will quote the position of the first five Presidents of the United States on national encouragement and aid to the advancement of education. In other words, I will relate the national educational view