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and one of their number rose and in a wonderful prayer represented Baptists and Methodists, Unitarians and Episcopalians, Catholics and Jews, before the throne of God. Probably the most remarkable fact that can be recorded of American Christians is the fact that that prayer was offered by Senator Reed Smoot, of Utah.
In theory public education is democratic in the forming, but as a matter of fact it has always been more aristocratic than democratic. All this is changing. At a summer normal school in San Diego, Calif., the president and every teacher devoted their evenings for five weeks to teaching one hundred draftees from Chicago in Camp Kearney to read and write and to learn an inconceivable number of other things valuable to them as men “over there." That normal-school faculty forgot the traditional superstition of the normal school, and without a course of study, without a common method, without notebooks or diagrams, did four years' work in five weeks with many of those men.
Finally we are war modified politically. I wish to offer myself as a living example of a war-modified politician. I am a Republican of Republicans. I was born that way and have never sold my birthright. I have never been a candidate for a salaried office, appointive or elective. I have done my bit by voice and purse in every campaign since I was twenty-one years of age. I have been in five of the last six Republican Conventions. I did what I could in the presidential campaigns of 1912 and 1916 and I was not on the winning side. In this hour of our nation's and the world's crisis I am thankful that American voters were wiser than I, that the man whom the Lord seems to have raised up for this hour is the commander in chief of the Armies and Navies of the United States and the world's leader in thought and action in making the world safe for democracy.
THE REBUILDING OF CIVILIZATION THRU THE SCHOOLS
KATHERINE DEVEREUX BLAKE, NEW YORK, N.Y.
Teachers of America—you are the most wonderful audience in the world, for you hold the shining future in your hands, and as you mold it, so shall it be, ignoble or great. Therefore I feel very humble as I stand before you. How shall I be able to give you the inspiration that you need to carry you thru the year you face? You have just finisht the hardest school year you have ever gone thru, a year in which you have served with splendid selfsacrifice, doing war work of all kinds after your school duties were done. The year to come will be even more difficult. Your war work will be more strenuous and your school work more arduous, because more children will be undernourisht, and it is well-nigh impossible to teach a hungry child. Let me beg you, as your first duty to the state, to try to secure adequate
food for our helpless little ones, so that the boys and girls of today may be vigorous in spite of the pinch of war.
You face the revision of your course of study in the light of the fires that burn over there. How shall you be guided in these changes ? Dr. Robert Morris has wisely said, "Tradition is the greatest of guides for mean minds, but the meanest of guides for great minds.” So let us sweep tradition aside and face the facts of life. The German ideals in education, the subordination of the individual and mass teaching must go. The lurid fires of over there have burned into our consciousness the terrific necessity for scientific knowledge. In this young century we are preparing for strange new conditions after the war, and science must be our guide. We are building for the new world that will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of the old.
At a certain stage in the old-fashioned melodrama the wicked woman of the play stole from behind a curtain and in a staccato whisper exclaimed to the villain, "Hist: We are discovered! All is lost.” On the world-stage of today, instead of this play, the heroine comes exultantly down center, waving the flag, shouting to the hero, "Hurrah! We are discovered! All is won!” And behold, they are teachers, and America has discovered the schools. Now as never before is there hope of real democracy.
Let us take as our war cry, “Rally round the schools!” for there the greatest battle of all is being fought, the battle against ignorance, prejudice, poverty, and vice. We teachers have taken the place of the grandmother who told old folk stories to the children, of the mother who taught them to read, of the romp leader who led the old battles between town and gown, of the master who made a mystery of his trade and permitted only his apprentices to practice it. Each year has seen the circle of our activities widen, until now we are expected to prepare our pupils for life!
Then it is for us to keep our eyes fixt on the future. When the elementary-school child of today is grown he will face peace conditions, and those conditions must be made as glorious to him as the heroism of today, or we shall be training for another and more terrible war. So let us shout together, “Rally round the school!" and stop worrying about split infinitives, cease talking pedaguese, lift our eyes from grammar and method books, and go out into the world beyond our classroom door, take part in the scrimmage, taste the dust of it, and help mold it so that it may in the future be fit for our pupils, even as we are fitting them for it.
Do not let us make the mistakes of other countries. Let us study their plans only in order to improve on them and cure our own defects. Let us bow no longer to the dominance of the classical college, nodding in its mediaeval cloisters. Let us demand living conditions for our children and a living wage for ourselves.
And can we do this? Yes! For America has discovered the schools, and the schoolmaster and schoolmistress are coming into their own. Women vote in many states and before long will vote all over this country. Teaching is no longer a disfranchised profession. We have a teacher in the White House, and he is teaching the whole world to listen to principles of democracy and justice. A teacher is governor of Pennsylvania. Teachers are officering our Army and in many places are leading in our legislative assemblies. We can do anything we wish if we work together.
To give you the inspiration needed for the difficult work before you I bring you messages from three great men. The first is Charles P. Steinmetz, the world-famous scientist who is at the head of the immense General Electrical Works in Schenectady, N.Y. He said in a recent interview, "Eight hours a day is too long, far too long, for a human being to tend a machine. .... The day's work should be reduced to four hours. Men could stand that much drudgery and have initiative enough left to enable them to take up interesting occupations. Society, instead of being impoverisht by the shorter work day, would be enricht by all the greater accomplishments these men would undertake.
This is not an I.W.W. leader speaking, but the high-salaried head of the largest electrical establishment in the world, a man whose brains all the world respects, and he adds, “The most distasteful work of all should receive the greatest rewards and the highest honors. Why should I be honored more or paid more than the ditch digger ? Society could worry along for some time without its engineers, but it couldn't get along without its laborers."
The next message is one that all teachers should constantly repeat to school boards. It comes from Edward Filene, the head of the remarkable department store in Boston. He said in his testimony before the Committee on the District of Columbia of the House of Representatives, when they were considering the minimum-wage bill for women and children, “There is nothing so costly as cheap help.” “Cheap wages make cheap standards, and the danger is that with all the details of the supervision necessary with cheap wages we will be satisfied with cheap standards.” He said further that an underpaid employe will not have strength or desire to study very much in order to put more intelligence into the work. This is just as true of teachers as of department-store employes.
Drive these facts home! The last message is from Charles M. Schwab, the man who is making ships faster than they ever were made before. He says, “In the very near future we must look to the worker for a solution of the great economic questions now being considered. I am not one to carelessly turn over my belongings for the uplift of the nation, but I am one who has come to a belief that the worker will rule, and the sooner we realize this the better it will be for our country and the world at large.”
Epitomized these messages run, Ere long Labor will rule, and with that rule will come the four-hour day and fair wages. We must train our children
of today to be ready for the fairer day of tomorrow. The world is in our hands to make or mar, and the power is ours if we will use it.
I have a dream that some day will be realized. Already the rich have pointed the way, for their children go to city schools in winter and to farm or camp in summer. Why should the little children of the men and women who are doing honest work in the lonely places of this great country, the lighthouse keepers, the lumbermen in far-away mountains, the ranchmen in the desert struggling with dry farming, why should they be robbed of education, tho they have the clear air and the sky and nature all around them? Why should the children of our slums be robbed of all that nature can teach them?
Did you ever stop to wonder what sort of a generation is growing up in our city slums, knowing only bricks and stones, the straight lines and right angles of the sordid streets, and the fierce competition of city trade ? “All men are born free and equal." It is for you and me to make the Declaration of Independence true.
Some day when the autumn winds sweep down from the hills all the children from all the lonely places will come with them to the great cities, there to live in barracks and study in city schools, and see museums, and factories, and shops, and crowded streets; and then when the soft spring winds wake the snowdrop and the crocus, and it is time to sow for the summer harvest, then all the children of the city shall go forth to farm and mountain, there to camp and study nature thru all the long summer days.
Think what it would mean to America to have citizens trained like that—who should know city and country, and North and South, aye, and East and West, and best of all should know themselves, and what work they are best fitted for. Some day my dream will come true. to make it quickly true lies in your hands. I leave my dream with you to fulfil.
THRIFT AND NATIONAL SERVICE
FRANK A. VANDERLIP, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL WAR SAVINGS COMMITTEE,
I have come to ask you to wake up to your responsibilities. You are teachers and it is your duty to draw out the best that is in the pupils under your care. I wonder sometimes if the quality of imagination has been sufficiently drawn out. We are a rather unimaginative people, I take it. Had we imagination in degree great enough to visualize for ourselves what the military situation is, how much there is to be done, how enormously pressing is the need that we do this, there would be no need for Liberty Loan campaigns and Thrift Stamp drives to help us fight it thru.
Fighting it thru is going to be a great job. It is going to be a greater job than many of us imagine. You say that America has always been victorious, and that you are confident that right will triumph over might, and then you settle into the self-satisfied attitude that the war is as good as won. But you teachers, I know, have read your histories too closely to think that right always triumphs over might.
There has been a great deal of a march toward triumph, and we have not made the march. Do people fully appreciate what Germany has done, how fearfully near it has been to victory, how alarmingly near this war has been to a conclusion? In the last few months we have seen the consolidation of Middle Europe from north to south almost to the extent Berlin had hoped for. We have seen the monstrous good fortune of Germany in having Russia lie down before her, releasing men, releasing soldiers, releasing supplies, and giving food. Within fewer months we have seen the Western Front stiffened, we have seen it struck, we have seen it sent back mile after mile until one more great push would send it within bombarding range of Paris. We have seen, we are seeing today, the evacuation of Paris. One million four hundred thousand people have left Paris. Paris today is in danger.
We can say that Germany has been able to do much of this with the recognition of one little fact of psychology. She has seen that the constant crouching in trenches, the normal defensive form of warfare, is not calculated to fit men for offensive action, and she has used this knowledge by creating her shock troops—men who never go into the trenches, but who are trained with enormous care far behind the lines.
And in American too we can find some truths that this whole situation makes plain to even the most unthinking. We appropriated $19,000,000,ooo last year. We did not spend it. We spent only about two-thirds of it. Why? Well, really, because you got in the way. You askt for too many things. Our whole people got in the way with their demands for this thing and that thing, tho it must have been plain to them that the government wanted these things.
We have in uniform in the Army and Navy, or will have before the end of summer, 4,500,000 men. This means that behind this Army and Navy we must have 18,000,000 workers devoting themselves entirely to the
Can we go on buying as we were buying, spending money as we were spending it, knowing that means demands on man power? Can we do this and still supply half of our total workers to war work? Let us take the bandage off our eyes and see things nationally.
The government's problem is not to raise money. It is to spend it. There will be no shortage of money; there is a shortage of mechanical equipment. Extravagance is a home made bomb, and it explodes every time in the trenches.
You say that to eliminate luxuries shall upset business. Have no fear. No matter how much we may raise our voices, there still will be a tremendous