Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

The Department of School Administration was called to order for the first session at 9:35 a.m. The vice-president of the department, Mr. Albert Wunderlich, presided. Addresses were given as follows:

"Introductory Address "—Albert Wunderlich, commissioner of schools, St. Paul, Minn.

"Recent Growth in the Administration of City Schools”-W. S. Deffenbaugh, United States Bureau of Education, Washington, D.C.

“War Policies for Schools”—George W. Gerwig, secretary, Board of Education, Pittsburgh, Pa.

“State and School Administration”—Thomas E. Finegan, deputy state commissioner of education, Albany, N.Y.

"Americanization as a War-Time Duty of the Schools”— J. George Becht, secretary, Pennsylvania State Board of Education, Harrisburg, Pa.

The chair appointed Mr. A. A. McDonald, Sioux Falls, S.D., and Mr. L. N. Hines, Crawfordsville, Ind., to act as a nominating committee.

The meeting adjourned at noon, after a general discussion of the papers.

SECOND SESSION-WEDNESDAY FORENOON, JULY 3, 1918

The department reassembled on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Papers were read as follows:

"School Finances as a War-Time Problem"-Edward L. Taylor, president, Board of Education, Williamsport, Pa.

“School Budgets and School Finance”—Marvin E. Griswold, president, Board of Education, Erie, Pa.

“Uniformity in School Accounting”—James Storer, secretary, Board of Education, Buffalo, N.Y.

"The Responsibilities of Boards of Education"-Mrs. Charles A. Perkins, president, Board of Education, Knoxville, Tenn.

The nominating committee reported the following names for 1918-19:
President-Mr. Albert Wunderlich, commissioner of schools, St. Paul, Minn.

Vice-PresidentDr. George W. Gerwig, secretary, Board of Education, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Secretary-Wm. C. Bruce, editor, School Board Journal, Milwaukee, Wis.
The nominations were unanimously accepted.

THIRD SESSION-WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 3, 1918 The department met in round-table session to receive the report of the Committee on Standardization of Schoolhouse Planning and Construction.

A general preliminary report was read by Frank Irving Cooper, chairman. Supplementary reports on special phases of the subject were received as follows:

“Investigation of the Amount of Illumination Required on the Printed Page"Frank N. Freeman, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

"Heating and Ventilation of School Buildings"—John D. Cassell, chairman, Associate Committee, Society of American Heating and Ventilating Engineers.

The discussion of the report was participated in by James 0. Betelle, Newark, N.J.; H. B. C. Eicher, Harrisburg, Pa.; Dwight H. Perkins, Chicago, Ill.; J. H. Berkowitz, New York, N.Y.; William C. Bruce, Milwaukee, Wis.; George W. Gerwig, Pittsburgh, Pa.; A. E. Winship, Boston, Mass.; and Mr. Dambach, Pittsburgh, Pa.

On motion the reports were received and the committee was continued to complete its work.

The following resolution was introduced by Wm. C. Bruce:

Resolved, That the Department of Administration of the National Education Association desires to express its appreciation of the financial support given by the General Education Board to the Committee on Standardization of Schoolhouse Planning and Construction.

This support has made possible the extension work of the committee during the past year, the tabulation of hundreds of plans from many states, the fixing of tentative standards of space for the various divisions of school activities, and a method of determining efficiency or taste in the plan of the school building.

The Department of Administration believes the work of the committee will be of importance in the economic administration of the erection of school buildings, and further directs that the secretary send a copy of this resolution to the General Education Board.

The resolution was adopted unanimously.

On motion of G. W. Gerwig, of Washington, the committee was authorized to have its preliminary report publisht by arrangement with the United States Bureau of Education. The meeting adjourned until the Chicago winter meeting of the Association.

WM. C. BRUCE, Secretary

PAPERS AND DISCUSSIONS

INTRODUCTORY ADDRESS

ALBERT WUNDERLICH, DIRECTOR OF SCHOOLS, ST. PAUL, MINN. It is impossible to discuss anything today except in terms of the war. More particularly is this true of education. We are fighting the greatest war of all time; we are spending incalculable sums of money; we are focusing all of our industries, transportation, and processes of production on the great issue of making the world safe for democracy.

It is an axiom of political science that no democracy can long endure upon any other basis than widespread general intelligence and virtue. It is peculiarly the problem of the school to provide the means whereby general intelligence may become possible, and the kind of intelligence which will insure ideals of honesty, thrift, industry, and patriotism.

The fact that we are now at war has not in any degree lessened the responsibility of the school. In my judgment it has, on the contrary, greatly increast that responsibility. As school-board members we have a larger obligation than the past has ever given to us to see that our schools are operated with the maximum of efficiency.

It must not be said of the United States that it cheerfully raises billions of dollars for the prosecution of a war to make the world safe for democracy and grudges a sufficient expenditure for public education--the only means of making democracy safe at home.

In the city from which I come the children of the public schools have raised for the federal government in the last ten months twice as much money as has been spent by the city for schoolhouses in its entire corporate existence.

There has been no more loyal or efficient agency at the command of the government than the public schools. They have demonstrated beyond question their value as an investment of public money. I believe that it is our duty to stop talking about costs of education and unite our energies with all our other agencies in a widespread national campaign in the interest of more efficient education. In this campaign I believe that we should stand squarely on the proposition of largely increast salaries to teachers; I believe that we must insist upon the employment of better-trained teachers and upon the unqualified elimination of the incompetent. I do not believe that it is an honest expenditure of money or sound educational policy to force children in their tender years to sit under anything but the best type of instruction.

I believe that we must continue our building program; we must emphasize physical education; we must insist upon vocational education as a part of our regular educational policy. I do not believe that the question of buildings and school architecture should absorb all the deliberations of the school-board section; I believe that there are other problems entitled to equal consideration. I urge upon the attention of this body the careful consideration of the whole educational situation.

RECENT GROWTH IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF

CITY SCHOOLS

W. S. DEFFENBAUGH, UNITED STATES BUREAU OF EDUCATION,

WASHINGTON, D.C. School laws have been so changed that it is now the rule for city school boards to have not more than nine members. This has been a distinct improvement. Business relating to the schools is discust with more thoroness. The man with ideas, tho unable to make a speech, is able to present them while he sits at a table. An equal, or even greater, improvement in the administration of city schools has been the substitution of elections at large for election by wards. Men of a better class are elected; they are more inclined to pull together in the interests of the whole city; they do less logrolling.

Tho the size of school boards has been reduced, one of the evils of the large board remains in some cities—a large number of standing committees. These have hung on as a sort of vermiform appendix, with no useful function to perform, and often cause internal trouble. The functions of many committees, such as those on promotion of pupils, examinations, course of study, truancy, and school entertainments, duplicate the function of the superintendent and his assistants.

The tendency is to get away from committee organization, or at least from the practice of having many different committees. Some of the school boards both the smaller and the larger cities have abolisht all standing committees. Some others have reduced the number, usually to two or three, thus tending to make the administrative machinery simpler and lighter running.

The new type of superintendent has learned to show what the schools are accomplishing and what the children have achieved. He is using more definite measurements. His annual reports are no longer abstract treatises on education or mere political documents. The frankness with which many superintendents set forth conditions in their schools is an indication of a change for the better.

Mention should be made of the improvement in school administration thru the influence of the school survey. Tho the results in the cities where surveys have been made have not always been all that could be desired, they have on the whole been helpful to school administrators. They have at least shown a method of attacking educational problems, and they have aroused greater interest in school administration, especially in the approach from the fact side. As a result of the surveys more superintendents are surveying their own schools, which is evidenst by the better type of school report. If the outside survey has accomplisht nothing more than to cause school men to study their own schools it has been worth while. Whether surveys by persons from outside the school system being surveyed will continue is a question. One thing is certain: there will be more and better selfsurveys. Superintendents surveying their own schools may call in someone as a consulting specialist to help them interpret the facts. As bureaus of research are organized surveys by outsiders will no doubt become fewer.

Among other improvements in school administration should be mentioned the introduction of courses of study to meet individual weaknesses and strengths in pupils. The aim is to give every child a fair show, to make education more democratic, to offer the child who has ability in manual and technical lines the same opportunity as the child who is book-minded, or the child who is preparing for the college classical course.

AMERICANIZATION AS A WAR-TIME DUTY OF THE SCHOOLS

J. GEORGE BECHT, SECRETARY, PENNSYLVANIA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION,

HARRISBURG, PA. The problem of Americanizing America has, in view of the war, assumed an unusual place in the thought of the general public. Up to a few years ago, in our fancied security, we did not even dream that it was a problem. We assumed that thru the process of education and environment the amalgamation of the alien into our American life would take care of itself. But our smug complacency was rudely jarred when we awoke to the fact that about one-sixth of our population was directly or indirectly subject to alien influences. In the life of some of the commonwealths the problem may be a mere incident, but in a considerable number of states the question is freighted with tremendous consequences. More particularly was our attention drawn to the facts when this alien element registered for the great Army, and later, when these men were drafted into the service, whole groups were found who could not understand English and consequently did not know how to respond to the commands of officers.

Roughly speaking, there are two general aspects of the case: first, the education of the adult alien; secondly, the education of the children of the alien. So far as the children are concerned the problem will work out its own answer in the public schools. If the schools are good for the American child and are saturated with the spirit of loyalty, service, and sacrifice for the country, there is every probability that the alien child will absorb this spirit and become a patriotic citizen. Indirectly too this influence will exert itself on the alien parents in the home.

The real problem, however, is the problem of the adult. He is often illiterate and generally suspicious. He does not understand. He isolates himself with his kind. He broods over the conditions under which he lives and works and becomes dissatisfied. The group with which he associates is influenst in the same manner. Such groups, misunderstood and often ostracized, are disappointed; and this disappointment gives way to discontent and dissatisfaction which often expresses itself in turbulence. Something has been done in the way of organizing social centers where all of these people may come in contact with American ideas and American activities. Much, however, remains to be done. One of the most significant phases of the problem is that of teaching the adult alien to read and understand the English language and its literature. Night schools have been establisht in many towns and cities, and these have been giving reasonably good service, but on the whole it may be said that the results have not been satisfactory. The difficulty lies in the fact that the adult, having workt at his occupation all day, comes to the class at night physically fatigued. It is a very short step from that physical tire to mental inattention, and I have seen in many of these classes the attempts of earnest and conscientious

« PreviousContinue »