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3. Amount deducted from teachers' wages for teachers' retirement fund
Reproductions of art 6. City Revenues from
Tuition from non-resident pupils
TOTAL RECEIPTS Better accounting methods lead to the preparation of a better annual budget and a better annual report of the superintendent. With such a system of keeping records the superintendent may report to the board of education at any time the per pupil cost for any form of service or supply and the per building cost of any item of maintenance or upkeep and may check wastes wherever found. The board of education in turn may determine the most effective and the most economical units of organization and administration for the schools.
It is recommended that such a system of keeping financial records should be installed in every city, and from such records clear, accurate statements should be prepared, similar to bank statements, and given to the community at least once a year, so that the people, the taxpayers, the parents of the children (for schools are for the children), may know how the school budget is expended by the board of education.
In conclusion, "let us stop wastage, extravagance, and poor administration in school accounting, make use of the systems available, help to improve them, and thereby aid this glorious and great country of ours in the prosecution of this war, which will bring us victory, and so do our bit as school men in making the 'world safe for democracy.'”
WAR POLICIES FOR SCHOOLS
GEORGE W. GERWIG, SECRETARY, BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION,
PITTSBURGH, PA. In order to determine wise war policies we should first agree upon our urgent needs and the order of their importance. On the administrative side the most urgent need of the schools during and after the war will be for money. On the educational side the most vital need will be for a quick and sure method of abolishing adult illiteracy and teaching everyone English.
Our war policies, therefore, should promptly meet these prime needs. We should adopt a financial war policy which will guarantee abundant funds for education and an educational war policy which will make illiteracy in America impossible. Neither of these problems is an easy one to solve.
This is no time to waste a penny or to spend it except for essentials. No one could be more loyal than the schoolmasters have been in dedicating every possible dollar to the first line of defense. But we realize, as every nation in the war does, that education is the second line of defense, and that the second line must be held as well as the first. It is the bounden duty of the nation to furnish, thru the cooperation of all, adequate training for the welfare of all. To neglect this is national bankruptcy as well as national suicide.
Personal, municipal, school, state, and national expenditures are increasing at a rate absolutely unheard of in the past. The demands in every department of life increase in speed and in urgency far faster than the apparent ability to meet them. Municipalities everywhere are facing rapidly climbing expenditures, with fixt tax-levying limits, with limited bonding capacity, with a certainty that interest must be paid and that bonds must be redeemed. Nations are all borrowing to the verge of bankruptcy. The vicious circle of increasing costs and increasing expenditures continues, the situation apparently getting worse and worse.
Fortunately, however, several considerations come to the rescue, each of which is a tremendous tonic. In the first place, America is recognizing at last that the things we are fighting for are of infinitely greater value than any possible cost may be, and that all our other possessions would be as dust and ashes without our ancient ideals of liberty. In the second place, we see that individually and nationally we have been criminally wasteful and extravagant, and that we can readily, without serious discomfort, indeed with positive benefit to health, save enough to share generously with our less fortunate neighbors, and each have abundance. In the third place, and most important of all, we are beginning to recognize that we are developing and releasing unknown and untold resources of cooperative power and energy, and that, as William James tried to teach us long ago, and a greater Teacher centuries before, there are untapt reservoirs, abundant for every need of mankind, as exhaustless as the widow's cruse of oil, if only used for unselfish service.
We have entered upon a new and tremendously interesting experiment into the wider meaning and content of democracy—the life of all the people, thru the cooperation of all, for the welfare of all. There have been abundant instances in the past in which certain sections of the people have enjoyed a life which was ideal, except in its selfishness. There have been many instances in which certain groups have cooperated among themselves with almost faultless efficiency, but for the benefit of the preferred group. It remains for the patriots of our day to dedicate in their turn their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor, to the tremendously interesting experiment of working out, in a manner both ideal and practical, a scheme of life for all, thru the cooperation of all, for the welfare of all.
The school and a national system of education are the best mediums. For the old Greek negative motto, “Nothing too much,” we will substitute the American positive constructive motto, “Enough for everybody.” We must recognize that in a democracy a tax is not a burden imposed upon an unwilling people by a tyrant, but a cooperative investment of a fair portion of the material assets of a people, set aside as a permanent, dividend-paying investment for the betterment of the life of the whole people. The schools are the best asset, the best advertisement, the best dividend-producing investment any community can have.
Every schoolmaster should go after adult illiteracy with the same energy and singleness of purpose with which the Dutch woman in the advertisement goes after dirt. Americanization is in no sense a narrow term. It involves a wealth and breadth of ideals which represent the best that the experience and wisdom of the ages have taught mankind. Liberty does not absolutely depend for its life upon literacy, but it does almost depend on literacy for its preservation. It is intolerable that 15 per cent of the adult population of many portions of the United States should be illiterate. Every individual case should be carefully studied. Every latent possible incentive to study English must be aroused. The strongest, or a group of the strongest, should be enlisted.
One or more of the following methods of approach should be tried: 1. Thru the children at home. The child may be made the medium for
b) The material for learning in schoolbooks and simple story-books. 2. Schools, day, evening, or special, with:
a) The usual academic instruction. b) Action illustrations.
c) Picture instruction. 3. Church instruction, including:
a) Parochial schools.
b) Other forms of language training, particularly familiar portions of
the Bible or Prayer Book in English, or of religious songs. 4. Newspapers:
a) In English.
c) Each in parallel columns. 5. Trade and industry devices: a) A fair requirement of some knowledge of English, or at least a willing
ness to learn, as a condition of securing employment. b) Definite instruction in shop or factory, preferably part at least on the
employers' time and under practical teachers who focus on the things
needed first. c) A fair requirement of proficiency or willingness to learn as a condi
tion of promotion or increase in wages. 6. Government stimulation or control:
a) English as a fundamental requirement for citizenship.
disadvantages of not becoming one. 7. Social settlements. Encouragement and aid in acquiring not only the
English language but also American ideals of life. 8. Fraternal organizations. Aid in language and in American ideals thru
ritualistic, fraternal, and beneficial work of all kinds. 9. Sports and sporting pages. American games, particularly baseball and
football, are among the most potent agencies, not only for teaching English, but also for teaching the American ideals of individual skill,
initiative, team work, and fair play. 10. Training for girls and women. In their recreation and in their work
there are abundant opportunities for instruction in English and in American ideals of costume, of deportment, of the American home, and of the ideal relation between American men and women.
Preparedness is a school problem. A democracy is doomed to destruction which consents to remain inefficient. A nation's destiny is finally fixt by its training. Nations are learning the art of imbuing their people with certain chosen national ideals. The important thing is the type of ideals to be instilled. The supreme function of the schools is to discover, clarify, and develop high ideals, as well as to find and train the ability to convert htese ideals into realities.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BOARDS OF EDUCATION
MRS. CHARLES A PERKINS, KNOXVILLE, TENN. Can we overestimate the responsibility of boards of education, inasmuch as they are the ones who primarily are deciding the destiny of the o millions of children in America today?
The petty politician and the uninterested man should find no place on a board of education. These places should be given to the best and most competent citizens that the community affords. It is claimed that these places should be filled by appointment, and the appointment should be on a non-partisan basis in order that the best available men and women may be induced to assume the responsibility of board service. Each member should feel that he represents the city as a whole, and not any particular part of it. He should visit the schools that he may see for himself the work that is being done. Then he will not be obliged to pass perfunctorily upon
the work of teachers but can give his own personal stamp of approval.
The school system is one great business institution where the directors must understand the workings and the work accomplisht, and a wellinformed, interested board member is a positive and potent factor in the system. Therefore we believe that the board member should give considerable time and attention to school matters.
Remembering the vast sums expended on school buildings, the board members should see to it that these buildings represent a fine public taste, a noble public spirit, and a general refinement. Simple architecture, good lines, and harmonious colors cost no more than poor architecture, bad lines, and ugly colors. Board members should see to it that these public buildings are so constructed, heated, ventilated, and furnisht as to be conducive and not detrimental to the health of the children who occupy them for six hours a day and two hundred days a year.
In these momentous days we must give heed to the call to arms, in order that we may repel the foe that would impose autocracy upon the world. Our boards of education must also heed the call to arms along educational lines that they may do their part in overcoming the foe of ignorance that is threatening our land.
In order that we may help eradicate illiteracy in this country boards of education should see to it that compulsory-education laws are enforced, that truant officers are efficient, and that night schools are opened for those boys and girls, and for those men and women who, on account of being obliged to work, have been deprived of even the rudiments of education. As a nation we have five and one-half millions who cannot read or write the English language, and these are not all of foreign birth. A million and a half are native born. More than ten million men and women of the United States cannot read well enough to read a newspaper or the Constitution and laws of the state or of the United States, nor can they read well enough to enable them to keep personal or business accounts intelligently. Our federal government is spending millions of dollars in sending to the people in the rural districts information about farming and other rural industries. Yet over 10 per cent of the country people in 1910 could not read or write a word, and as many more could not read well enough to read a bulletin on agriculture or a farm paper.