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Title: University record
Uniform Title: University record (Gainesville, Fla.)
Physical Description: v. : ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: University of the State of Florida
University of Florida
Publisher: University of the State of Florida,
University of the State of Florida
Place of Publication: Lake city Fla
Publication Date: November 1922
Copyright Date: 1924
Frequency: quarterly
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Subject: College publications -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Universities and colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Agricultural education -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
University extension -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Teachers colleges -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Law schools -- Periodicals -- Florida -- Gainesville   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 1906)-
Numbering Peculiarities: Issue for Vol. 2, no. 1 (Feb. 1907) is misnumbered as Vol. 1, no. 1.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: Imprint varies: <vol. 1, no. 2-v.4, no. 2> Gainesville, Fla. : University of the State of Florida, ; <vol. 4, no. 4-> Gainesville, Fla. : University of Florida.
General Note: Issues also have individual titles.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075594
Volume ID: VID00476
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEM7602
oclc - 01390268
alephbibnum - 000917307
lccn - 2003229026
lccn - 2003229026

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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Copyright
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Preface
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Main
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Full Text


t k I


A STUDY OF THE CONDITIONS

OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS

IN

PENINSULAR FLORIDA










By


GERTRUDE McARTHUR, A. M.
Rural School Supervisor, Duval County
Jacksonville, Florida
















THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
TEACHERS COLLEGE
GAINESVILLE


1' t


\] ,









































Copyright 1922

by
Gertrude McArthur









TABLE OF CONTENTS


PREFACE .................---- ........... .. .. ... ..................................... 5

CHAPTER I
Introduction

PURPOSE OF STUDY.......................... . . ...... ................----- 7
METHOD OF PROCEDURE........-....................... ...-.....................--------- 7
TERRITORY COVERED ........................................ ............ ....... ........ 7


CHAPTER II
Educational Development in Florida

A. EDUCATIONAL BEGINNINGS ........................................ ........... ............ 10
1. Educational Society formed in 1831......-................................---10
2. Private Fellenberg Schools at Tallahassee and St. Augustine
in 1832 ...............................------..... .....--10
3. Early legislation ................................. ...-............... 11
4. Public school, Tallahassee, 1852....................... .................... .. 12

B. ESTABLISHMENT OF STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM...........................................12
1. Funds for support of school--............................---------........12
(a) Government land grants.......................... ........ ............... 12
(b) Mill assessment on property..........................- ............... 13
2. First course of study............................ .. ............ ....... 14
3. Certificate regulations ....................-- --........................----14

C. TRAINING SCHOOLS FOR TEACHERS-----........................------... -----........ 15
1. Normals .................................-... .........---.......-- ........ ...- -. ..15
2. High school teacher training departments..........------.................. 15
3. Teachers' colleges in State schools................................................16


CHAPTER III
Rural Situation in the United States

A. FACTORS INFLUENCING ......----.............---...... ................... --17
1. H om e ........................................... ..... ...... ............... ....... 17
(a) Parental sympathy is not lacking............................................17
(b) Lack of spending money.................. ................. ........ 21
(c) No satisfying community pastimes.........................................22
2. School .................................... ............. .......... ............ .... 23
(a) Teachers untrained .............. ......... .................. ....23
(b) Consolidation needed ........................ ...... ......... ......... 26
(c) Boarding conditions ....................................... ........................28
(d) Lack of community spirit for the school and teacher..........28
(e) Health conditions a menace.................................................. 29






4 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

3. Church .....----..............-- ...........-------.....--------.......--- .....-----
(a) Ministers cling to the towns and go into the rural districts
just to deliver sermons with no rural application..................31

B. MEANS OF IMPROVING CONDITIONS.......................... .......... ............. 3
1. Enforce attendance ..................................... ......... .....................--- 33
2. Use standard curriculum but make local and general applica-
tion ..... -.................... .....------ ---------........................... 35
3. Secure trained teachers with rural vision..................---- ...............37
4. Give furnished homes to teachers---........ --........................ ------
5. Keep teachers from year to year as community cooperators-........ 3
6. Cooperate with County Agents and Home Demonstration
A gents ........ ...................................... ....... .............. 4


CHAPTER IV
Florida Rural Schools

A. WHAT FLORIDA SCHOOLS HAVE-..........--............. ..---------------- 42
1. Waste .... ....... .-----...........--- -- ----. .--------....---------- 42
2. Superintendents with urban vision or no vision............................ 44
3. Untrained itinerant teachers ...........-- ..---- ---...-...-............. 4
4. Suitcase teachers ......................................................... ..................
5. Poor boarding conditions for teachers........................................
6. Narrow, isolated patrons .....................................4
7. Underfed and diseased children. .................... ..................... 4

B. W HAT THEY NEED.................................. .. ........ .......
1. Enforced attendance ..........---... -- -----------..........................56
2. Closer expert supervision .............. ..... ........... .........--- ---
3. Rural consolidation ......-----....... .........-- --.....---- ---------- ---- 61-
4. Cooperation with County Agent and Home Demonstration
Agent ................ ........ ..... ... .....-- .... ..........62
5. Efficient, trained, satisfied teachers..................................................64
6. Teacherages .....-...............-..........--------------.................. 66
7. School activities leading children to beautify their homes..........66
8. Organized and directed play................................... ..................... 67
9. Parent-Teacher Associations....................................................... 6

C. SUMMARIZED COMMENTS ......... ...............................................-------------6

D. QUESTIONS, TABULATED REPLIES AND GRAPHS...........................---... 71


CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION ..........------ ---.. --.---------------------- -----------------

BIBLIOGRAPHY ..................--------....................------------------










PREFACE


My early schooldays in a rural school filled me with sym-
pathy for children of today in like conditions, and my real
love for the rural field inspired me to make rural problems
my life's work. In order to know the weakness of Florida's
rural school system and to be able to suggest the means
whereby this weakness might be met and the system be made
a training department for a safe rural democracy, I was forced
to make a personal survey from county to county to get the
problems of the various localities. These problems have been
studied and means for solutions suggested.
This thesis was written in 1921, in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Educa-
tion at the University of Florida. At first the writer did not
intend to have it published, but the faculty of Teachers Col-
lege, at the University, felt that it contained valuable first-
hand material of the real conditions as they exist today in the
rural schools of Florida-conditions with which few are really
acquainted. It is given to the public with a hope that it may
help to arouse sufficient interest to make the rural cause the
concern of every patron of the public schools.
All parts of this booklet will not be of the same interest,
perhaps, to all who read. The educator, who is interested in
Florida's problems from every source, will read all of it. The
first chapter gives why it was written and how the facts were
obtained. The second chapter states briefly the history of the
first schools of Florida and their development up to the pres-
ent day system. The third chapter gives the rural conditions
that are found in the home, school and church in the United
States at large. The writer states the conditions and the
means for improving them. Every one who possesses any
state pride will read the fourth chapter, for in it Florida's
problem is stated. The different localities are studied sep-
arately, the conditions that govern school opportunities ara
recognized, and a program to meet the demands for the best
rural sections is suggested. Chapter five gives the conclusion
in which the writer shows Florida's gain in school enroll-
ment, in salaries paid to teachers, in assessed valuation of





6 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

property, and in bank deposits. Florida's sources of wealth
or ready money are shown. The effect of the tourists on the
school system is brought out. The last paragraph sums up the
agencies that determine the rating of Florida's schools ain
then suggests that this rating can be changed only through
legislation.
The writer expresses here her indebtedness to the various
county superintendents and to the late State Superintendent.
W. N. Sheats, for so kindly answering her inquiries, and also
to State Rural School Inspector, R. L. Turner, for access to
his files to check over her data, and for many helpful sug-
gestions. To Dr. Joseph R. Fulk for his wise directions and
for his painstaking interest that it might be a success, to Mis.,
Florrie Wilkes for aid in making the graphs and checking
material in its final form, and to Miss Cora Miltimore, Uni-
versity Librarian, for untiring efforts to aid in getting ma-
terial and for her cooperation and sympathy, the writer makes
grateful acknowledgment.
GERTRUDE MCARTHUR.
November, 1922.










CHAPTER I


Introduction
The purpose of making this study was to secure reliable
information on the general character of the rural schools of
peninsular Florida, together with first-hand knowledge of
some of the conditions contributing to the home and school
environment of these pupils and their teachers. The first
effort to obtain this knowledge was by means of a question-
naire. This did not prove successful because the replies were
not definite enough. These questionnaires were addressed to
the superintendents, most of whom replied, but with answers
so incomplete and varied that a personal visit to each county
was planned, and an attempt was made to get material first
hand.
This study deals with peninsular Florida, which includes
the twenty-eight counties south of the 30th parallel. The
northern tier of counties includes St. Johns, Putnam, Alachua
and Levy. (See map, pages 8 and 9.) There were only twenty-
five counties visited, but the three not visited-Monroe, Okee-
chobee and Pinellas-have conditions similar to those found
in the other counties visited.
Peninsular Florida presents different problems from
northern and western Florida, the latter being a more dis-
tinctly farming section, while the former presents more va-
ried interests.
The extreme southern part has thousands of acres of waste
land occupied only by an occasional settler. These districts
are mostly cattle ranches. Polk, DeSoto and Lee Counties
each have numbers of townships of this waste land. The
Superintendents of schools of these counties estimate that
there are about two hundred children in these districts who
have no school opportunities. They live mostly on lakes which
are numerous in these counties. A goodly number of the
parents of these children are fishermen. In order to have
school privileges, these children must be sent away from home
or a private teacher employed. Few of these parents are able
to provide either facility.






8 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

DENSITY OF POPULATION OF FLORIDA. BY COUNTIES, 12(10
Rural population is defined as that residing out.i.le .of incorpor'st-d
places having 2,500 inhabi:ant- or ii:re

TOTAL POPULATION






SA ,' /.' t N









NUMBER OF INHABITANTS PL -t~l -,', 1
PER SQUARE MJLE 4 ..
LESS THAN 2 LZ
2T 6 T AL TAO6
6 a 1T Is
,-- -. , ,
i8 To 45

UM 90 Ao I ERABITNTS











The East and West Coast counties present prole pe-
culiar to their locations. The southern) section ot these comi-
ties is Florida's principal tourist section. The central and
northern parts are interested in citrus groves as well as being
a tourist section. The central line of the peninsul-i is the most
stable and progressive. There is not the unstable periodic
stable and progressive. There is ni~t the uns~table periodtic






INTRODUCTION


DENSITY OF POPULATION OF FLORIDA, BY COUNTIES, 1920
Rural population is defined as that residing outside of incorporated
places having 2,500 inhabitants or more
RURAL POPULATION
!.' . *.. :: .....-..... :
! ", ,'/ ". y. .7 ,. -... .-- --

S *""" .. / "'' T. "'. ......
I^ -
i tt-,',rt


PINELLAS


The portion of the state included in this
study lies south of heavy black line


circulation of money that is so characteristic of the tourist
sections. While this section has tourists, yet the people are
more interested in developing citrus groves and in trucking.
The greater part of Florida's great phosphate business is
found in this section. This study has noted the possibilities
of each of these sections as a result of the varied interests of






10 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

that section. The direct purpose of this study is to find the
real condition of the rural children, the causes of these con-
ditions and the remedies that will most effectively relieve
these conditions. The rural children in all the peninsular sec-
tion come second in the school plans. The town schools come
first.


CHAPTER II

Educational Development in Florida
A. EDUCATIONAL BEGINNINGS:
1. Educational Society formed in 1831:
More than three centuries ago civilization first took root
in America, but the first educational interest manifested in
Florida was the organization of the Florida Educational So-
ciety in 1831. The purpose of this society was to secure in-
formation in order to pave the way for the establishment of a
school system. The notice of this movement appears in Vol-
ume I of the American Annals of Education, published in
Boston in 1831, and reads, "An important step has been taken
by some friends of education-the organization of a society.
arranged upon substantially the same plan as a state lyceum."
Later on in the year the Governor of the territory of Florida
was authorized by law to appoint three commissioners whose
duty was to inquire into the condition of schools and to report
the "Best system of education and the best means of carrying
the system into full effect." (8:10.*)
2. Private Fellenberg Schools at Tallahassee and St. Au-
gustine in 1832:
The Florida Educational Society awakened much general
interest throughout the state, and an attempt was made to
establish at Tallahassee a "Fellenberg" school patterned after
the manual schools of Switzerland. In the American Quarterly
Register for May, 1832, appears this record:
"Five individuals have agreed, if it can be done at an expense within
their means, to purchase a small tract of land and form a small manual
*The first number refers to the corresponding number in the Bibli-
ography following Chapter V; the last number refers to the page num-
ber of the reference.






EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


labor school somewhere in the neighborhood of Tallahassee. A teacher
is to be employed to take charge of a limited number of pupils; suitable
buildings are to be erected for the accommodation of the teacher and
pupils, who are to board together, with as little connection as possible
with the inhabitants in the vicinity. The pupils will be required to
devote a certain number of hours daily to agricultural and mechanical
employment of the simplest kinds. No pupil will be admitted except
with the consent of the teacher and each of the proprietors, nor suffered
to remain in the school unless he submits to all its regulations. The
studies, at the commencement, are to be confined to the usual branches
of a good English education, including mechanics, botany, chemistry,
etc." (8:12.)
A branch of the Florida Educational Society at St. Augus-
tine reported that there were in 1832 in that city 341 children
between the ages of five and fifteen, but only 137 of these
were receiving any school instruction. The Society made an
attempt to establish a free school similar to the one in Talla-
hassee. Though greatly encouraged at first, there is no evi-
dence that either this project or the one at Tallahassee was
ever carried to a successful termination.
3. Early legislation:
By an act of the territorial Legislature of March 2, 1839,
three trustees were chosen in each township whose duty it was
to look after the sixteenth section of each township which had
been appropriated by Congress for educational purposes and
to apply the rents from these to the support of the common
schools. As there were few residents in many of these town-
ships, there was little opportunity to rent, so this provision
had no meaning.
There were several changes made in this legislation. In
1843 it was made the duty of the sheriff to attend "to the edu-
cation of the poor". This would imply that those who were
not poor employed private tutors. In 1845, by the act of the
first state Legislature, the county judges of probate were to
serve as superintendents of common school in their respective
counties. They were to make a report to the Secretary of
State, whose duty it was to report to the general assembly of
Florida. In 1849 an act was passed to provide for the estab-
lishment of common schools for white children. In the same
year the Legislature provided that the school fund should con-
sist of the proceeds from the school lands, and five percent of
the net receipts from other lands granted by Congress, also
the proceeds from all estates, real or personal, escheating to
the state, and from all property found on the coast or shores





12 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

of the state. The following year the counties were authorized
to levy a tax for schools not to exceed four dollars annually
for each child of school age. (8:14.)
There had been little interest in public education, but
Congress authorized the sale of school lands, and the consoli-
dation of school funds. The proceeds were invested and the
interest was apportioned to the different counties according to
the number of children of school age. In 1853 the apportion-
ments were placed in the hands of county commissioners, who
were authorized to take from the county treasury such sums
as they might deem necessary for the support of the schools.
4. Public School, Tallahassee, 1852:
As early as 1852 another movement had been set on foot
by the Hon. D. S. Walker, afterwards Governor of the state.
He conceived the idea of a public school for white children
that should be sustained by a tax levied upon the property of
the city where he resided (Tallahassee). Through his influ-
ence such a school was established and successfully conducted.
This is worthy of mention, since it was among the earliest at-
tempts in the South to support school by taxation. In 1858
the Superintendent's report shows that there were 20,855
children of school age in the state, and that there was ap-
propriated from the Public School funds $6,542.60 for their
education-31 cents per capital. A few counties had organized
a public school system with a term of three months, yet this
was more satisfactory and cheaper than the private schools.
(8:15.)
B. ESTABLISHMENT OF STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM:
1. Funds for support of school.
(a) Government land grants:
The school law of 1869 was a very helpful measure for
progress. It declared that the State should provide for the
education of all her children without distinction or preference.
The Legislature, as authorized by the Constitution of 1868,
established a uniform system of common schools. It provided
for a Superintendent of Public Instruction, whose term of
office should be four years. A school fund was to be formed
from the following sources:
"The proceeds of all lands that have been or may hereafter be
granted the State by the United States for educational purposes; ap-





EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


propriations by the State; the proceeds of lands or other property which
may accrue to the State by escheat or forfeiture; the proceeds of all
property granted to the State when the purpose is not specified; money
as exemption from military duty; all fines collected under penal law of
the State; such portions of the per capital tax as may be prescribed by
law for educational purposes; and 25 per cent of the sale of public
lands which are now or may hereafter be owned by the State." (8:16.)
Only the income derived from this fund could be used, and
this must be applied to aid in the maintenance of common
schools.
(b) Mill assessment on property:
The law further provided that there should be an annual
school tax of not less than one mill on the dollar on all taxable
property in the state, and that each county should be required
to add not less than one-half of the amount apportioned to the
county from the income of the state school funds. (8:16-17.)
The school law of 1869 was a very helpful measure for pro-
gress. It declared that the State should provide for the edu-
cation of all her children without distinction or preference.
In 1874 Samuel B. McLin, who was acting Superintendent of
Schools, reported: "Half a decade ago there were no schools
outside of a few of the larger towns or cities. We have now
nearly six hundred scattered throughout the state." (8:19.)
This is the first mention of rural schools in the State, but the
State had been supporting schools by taxation since 1852, so
it is easy to see that rural people were not at that time getting
a square deal.
In 1885 a new constitution was adopted which preserved all
the old features of the Constitution of 1868, and added a mea-
sure whereby any community could levy a special district
tax, and every county must levy a school tax of not less than
three mills and not more than five mills. (5:229.)
In 1903 each county was required to assess and collect not
less than three mills nor more than seven on the taxable prop-
erty in the county. (50:6.) In 1917, by a constitutional
amendment, ten mills was made the minimum county school
tax. (30:1.)
The following is the table of Florida Public schools by
decades:
The first record (1832) showed that there were 341 chil-
dren between the ages of five and fifteen, but only 137 of these
received any school instruction.





14 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

Year Number of Schools Enrollment
1840 51 925
1850 69 3,129
1858 97 2,032
1868 (Estimated) 400 3,000
1878 992 36,961
1888 2,249 82,323
1898 2,538 152,598
1908 2,457 224,677
1918 2,996 319,954

2. First Course of Study:
Previous to 1869, rural schools were kept in small cabins.
outhouses and sometimes in dwellings, by itinerant teachers
who scarcely ever professed to teach anything higher than
Webster's Spelling Book and arithmetic as high as compound
numbers. In 1868-69 the Federal Government built some
twenty buildings at an expense of $52,600, which accommo-
dated 2,500 pupils. (8:18.)
Several of the more prominent towns in the state received
money from the Peabody Fund donations for the support of
schools during the years between 1870 and 1880. These
amounts ranged from two hundred to one thousand four hun-
dred dollars each.
A law enacted in 1872 provided that all elementary schools
should be graded and divided into primary, intermediate and
grammar departments, and that the branches taught should
be confined to spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, geography
and history. Little regard was paid to this law prior to 1877,
except by such schools as were aided by the Peabody Fund.
The schools aided by the Peabody Fund were uniformly graded
and the school year lengthened to ten months. Since 1877, as
shown by the table, the schools have made rapid progress.

3. Certificate Regulations:
A new era in Florida schools began in 1903. W. N. Sheats
became'State Superintendent of the public schools of Florida
in 1893, and largely through his influence the first real certi-
fication law was passed. Previous to this time, the county
superintendents held the examinations, most of which were
oral. After the passage of the certification law in 1903 the
State Superintendent prepared all the questions which were
uniform throughout the state, and the examinations were held
at the same time in all the counties. (5:231.)






EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


The Legislature of 1917 changed this method by providing
for a Board of Examiners, to be composed of three eminently
successful and well qualified teachers to be appointed by the
State Board of Education upon the nomination by the State
Superintendent of Public Instruction. (31:3.)
By Legislative Enactment of 1917 we find Florida for the
first tnie recognizing teachers from other states without ex-
aminations. Such teachers must present a diploma from a
standard university, college or normal school requiring a four-
year course for graduation. (31:7.)
In 1921 the Legislature made another concession to teach-
ers from other states. Teachers who have taught twenty-four
months, upon presenting certificates issued in another state
whose certification requirements are fully equal to those of
Florida shall receive a Florida certificate of like grade, pro-
vided they have had from two to four years in a standard
college, university or normal school above a four-year high
school course. (32:15.)

C. Ti'i;,1g Schools for Teachers:
1. Normals:
In 1887 the Legislature established two normal schools,
one for each race. The one for the whites was located at De-
Funiak Springs. The one for negroes was at Tallahassee, and
afterwards became the recipient of one-half of the Morrill
Fund appropriation of Congress, with which assistance it is
maintained as the State Normal and Industrial College for Col-
ored students. By the Buckman Act of 1905 the white normal
schools of the state became departments of the University of
Florida and the State College for Women.
2. High School teacher training department:
Florida tried to meet the demand for trained teachers by
putting in Teacher-Training Departments in the High Schools,
but in some instances these did not prove a success. The teach-
ers put in charge of these training schools were not always
trained teachers themselves. As a result the people were not
satisfied and the training departments were discontinued.
These training schools are a success if trained teachers are
put in charge of them and the entrance reuqirements raised.
The pupils should be required to do at least two years of High





16 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

School work before entering. They are allowed to enter rn:\'.:
after finishing the eighth grade.

3. Teachers' colleges in State schools:
The opportunity for teachers' training is very meager in
Florida. The teachers' departments in the two state school-
at the University of Florida and the Florida State College Ior
Women provide the only means for teacher training.
The report of the Board of Control of 1918 shows that
there were only 69 students in the Teachers' College and Nor-
mal School Department and 539 in Summer School, making a
total of 608 who were taking teachers' training in the Uni-
versity of Florida, and for the same year in the Florida Stat
College for Women there were 248 in the Normal Departmente
and 363 in Summer School, making a total of 611 who were
taking teachers' training courses. The grand total from both
institutions was 1,219. (28:46, 218.)
In 1920 the report shows that in the University of Florid:-
72 students were taking courses in the Teachers' College and
in the Normal School Department, and there were 712 in
Summer School that year, making a total of 784 who \':v're
taking teachers' training courses. There were in the Florida
State College for Women for that year 156 in the Normal De-
partment and 433 in summer school, making a total of 5K'.
Then in the two institutions for that year there was a grand
total of 1,122 students taking teachers' training courses.
(29:67, 238.)
All of these students, however, were not training to :,e
teachers. The records of the University Summer School ot
1920 show that of the 712 taking summer work, 353 have 1n..
certificates of any kind. There were 117 seeking first grade,
109 second grade, 26 state certificates, 20 specials and 24
State Primary. It is noticeable that the greater number aire
seeking first and second grades. The summer school work was
not training for teaching, but for getting certificates for :35
of those who were at the University. The writer asked for
the same record from the Florida State College for Wom-en
but received no reply.
These trained teachers do not often go to the rural di.-
tricts. The cities can offer more inducements in every way-






NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


then why go to the country? The trained teacher goes to
town. The untrained teacher usually goes to the country.
There are three types of teacher in the country schools-
the apprentice type, the neighbor girl type and the trained
type. The apprentice type stays in the country just long enough
to learn the trade, then she is promoted to town and gives the
town schools the benefit of her experiments. The neighbor
girl type is very detrimental to progress. She is one of the
neighbor girls and knows nothing about teaching except what
she learned from a former neighbor girl. There is a tacit un-
derstanding whereby the neighbor girls are extended the
courtesy of teaching the neighborhood school in turn. Rarely
ever do teachers of this type go even to summer school. There
is absolutely no chance for school progress in this type. The
trained type of teacher is the teacher with the rural vision-
one who loves Nature and can show its wealth of beauty to
others. There are very few of this type.
There is also the "Snowbird" or tourist type that is partly
rural. There is some opposition to these, but often teachers
of this type are trained and prove real assets to our teaching
force. It is noticeable that a great percent of our summer
school students are teachers from other states and teachers
who have had normal training. Then why cry them down
when our own state does not make provisions to train our
teachers?
The educational development in Florida has been given in
order that we may know when and where public education in
the state began, how it was financed and how the standard of
teachers has improved. By knowing the foundation and the
gradual development of the system and the extent of teacher
training in the state, we can have some conception of what to
demand and what to expect of the school system of Florida.

CHAPTER III
Rural Situation in the United States
A. FACTORS INFLUENCING:
1. Home.
(a) Parental sympathy is not lacking:
In order to know the rural situation in the United States
we must measure by the three factors that most closely affect






18 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

it-the home, the school and the church. If these three were
closely allied for good, we would not have today's rural prob-
lems. It is not impossible to have this allied condition, but ar.
we not getting further from it?
The mission of the home is to give back to the community
more than it takes out of it-to produce something more val-
uable than it consumes. Is there any other way to judge the
efficiency of the home except by its social product, or any way
to judge the value of that product except by its effect on the
race? (6:10-11.)
There is so much being said about the changed conditions
of the home-that children are not being reared as carefully
as they were a generation ago; that children lack obedience
and respect to parents. Can it be true that the children have
changed and the parents have not? If parents could only know
each other! They need to know that "Others have trouble-
with calves, chickens and children; that others built hopes on:
crops of hay and harvested bins of grain; that others carrie'di
scars of frustrated ambitions, and dreamed of better school-
ing for their boys and girls than they themselves had". (6:15.)
It is so easy to say, "We have more hard luck; more trouble
less to show for our efforts, than our neighbors have", be-
cause we know our trials and do not know theirs. Where is
the trouble? Is it with the home, the mother, or is it with
the children? The boy or girl who can go away from home
for the first time and not be homesick has not had all that the
home should stand for. There is something sacred about the
homesickness of a boy or girl. There is that which says, "We
have left the best at home". Let us look into the homes of
the mountain mothers of the Cumberland-the homes of our
Southern mountains. The mountain mother has imparted her
personality to her children, perhaps, as no other mother has.
The mountain mother has the advantage of mothers in more
civilized sections, for she is queen of their environment. She
instills in them a love for the beautiful. There is very little
in the home that could be classed as beautiful, but the whole
mountainside is home, and they appreciate God's beauty a-
no other people can.
One mother-a mother whom we would call a crushed
mother were she among our neighbor acquaintances-tells
of a mountain trip: "My husband, he's choppin' at the first






NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


clearin' two miles from here, and he's been plumb crazy over
the yaller lady slippers up that-a-way. He's been sayin', 'I
must take the two least (youngest) kids, what ain't ever seen
sech, and go up there and see 'em 'fore they was gone'. So
yesterday we went. It sure was some climb over them old logs,
but them lady slippers was wuth it." (25:27.)
Are our mothers-the mothers we know-losing the op-
portunity of companionship, of comradeship, by being too
tired to go to things with their children; by not taking time to
cultivate in their children the appreciation of what the mother
would have them appreciate? The mountain mother slaves in
the home as no other mother does-yet she is not too tired
"to take the two least kids" and go on a four-mile tramp to
show them a bed of flowers. How many mothers do we know
who would have kept putting it off, or have sent some one
else to impress on her children the thing that is close to her
heart-the beauty of Nature about them.
So carefully has the mountain mother trained her boys
and girls that "Perhaps there is nowhere in the world a
spot where women are respected as they are in the Southern
Highlands. A woman might tramp alone from end to end
of all this region and never anywhere be in danger of the
faintest insult from any white man". The mountain woman
lives untouched by all modern life. She has progressed so lit-
tle in the past two centuries that she is the typical American
in many ways. The past had its virtues, and the mountain
mother of today is not so much a woman belonging to a dif-
ferent geographical region as she is a woman belonging to a
forgotten past. (25:193.)
The next type of parents to consider is the type found in
another section of the rural districts. Nothing so completely
satisfies the first few years of the rural child's life as the
well-ordered home. The city child at three and four years
of age may slip off to play in the street or go to the neigh-
borhood store. The nurse has trained him away from home
while a helpless infant. The mother did not care for him.
But the average rural child does know the mother's caress-
the pressure of her hand and the sympathy of her tones. Why
does not this mother always reign queen of the home? Is the
mother responsible? Are the children at fault? Is the com-
munity to blame? Or, is the trend of time merely taking its






20 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

course? There is a description of the ideal mother that every
mother should have framed in her memory. It reads, "Occa-
sionally, when we were small, when school let out and we
dashed into the school yard, we saw our mother with little
sister in the go-cart. She was waiting to walk home with us.
* Our mother used her hands; she sewed and brewed
and baked, embroidered and painted. Yet we have no recol-
lection of a time, unless when she came to meet us, or was ill,
that mother was not at home when we returned from school
-at home waiting for us in a clean white apron." (17:1.)
The first part of this story is applicable to a great percent of
the rural homes that we know. The children cling to the
mother and reverence the father. One almost wishes that they
could stay young, the faith is so implicit. So many of the
parents of today are forfeiting the greatest trust they will
ever have-the absolute confidence of their children. The
parents slave instead of progress. They slave that they may
be able to give their children a better chance. The parents
are too tired to be interested in the children's affairs. They
are too tired to give them a party, so the children go to the
neighbor's home to the party. When the father needed a nev.
suit or the mother a new dress, they denied themselves that
the money might be laid by for John's or Mary's schooling.
The trip that the parents needed to keep them young and to
keep them apace with the times was postponed indefinitely
that the children might have a better chance. The parents
are not reading the best magazines. They subscribe for them
for the children, but the parents are too tired to enjoy them.
The children go to college. They are apace with the times
and the magazines interest them. Then it is that the children
begin to measure their parents by the men and women they
have met elsewhere. The times that the parents have denied
themselves in order that the children might have more, are
lost sight of. The parents are measured as they are found on
the outside, and not by the heart. Of course they are found
wanting. If they had only taken time to fortify against the.y
critical period of their children-the period when nothing iP
quite right. It is hard to say that the parents are responsible
and it is not just fair to say that the children are entirely at
fault, but it must be said that the parents owe it to their
children to keep abreast with the times. They owe it to them-






NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


selves and to each other that they never lose interest in per-
sonal appearance, and that they do not depend on the neigh-
borhood for the social standard set their sons and daughters,
lest the sons and daughters lay the blame at the parents' feet
and the credit to neighbors' environment.
The parents have become more and more narrow until there
is only one aim in view, and that whole aim, "To buy more
land-to grow more corn-to feed more hogs-to buy more
land", has the sons and daughters for the goal. The vision
was too narrow-no one except the immediate family was
considered in the circle of daily toil. The children's circle was
once within the parents' circle, but the plans of the parents
put it without their circle when they planned that they might
go to college.
The parents have placed their boys and girls in a foreign
environment, and the children have become aliens to the home
that was so satisfying in youth. There is a great tendency to
say that "The parents of today just don't understand their
children". Can it be possible that the mother who has watched
that baby grow from infancy, through the absolute faith age,
watched her enter the terrible "teen" age, planned for her to
go to college, slaved to keep her there, does not know and
understand the daughter-that the daughter understands and
the mother does not? The fact is that the parent knows the
child better than the child knows the parent, and that the
parent is worthy of consideration even after the child has
grown up. (18:498-499.)
There is not a lack of parental sympathy, but there is the
feeling of helplessness on the part of the parent. They have
put their children in broader environments, but did not fol-
low them.

(b) Lack of spending money:
The boy does not like the farm because it takes so long to
get a start. When he works for a salary he is paid regularly
and while he does not really save anything during the year,
yet he has spending money. If he had been educated in the
country, if there really had been school advantages there, then
he would have grown up with rural habits. He would have
planned for ideal rural conditions, and would have had inter-
ests at home. However, the country lays the foundation of





22 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

his character and the city builds on it. The job for the boy in
the country is not made attractive. He is putting himself on
a low social scale, for the conditions in the country have not
been inviting to the better class of boys. He is not paid well.
neither is he treated as an equal of the family socially. The
country employer is narrow and does not give enough sym-
pathy to his help.
The city employer finds it to his advantage to make some
effort toward the advancement of his men. He does not treat
them as his inferiors. There are also more boys working for
the other man in the city than in the country. The employee
finds a society of his co-workers. He may not save any money
working in the city, but he is happier. (13:238.)

(c) No satisfying community pastimes:
The community attractions in rural districts are very
meager. It is because the young people of those districts turn
to the towns for their amusements. There is no reason why
the amusements in the country should not far exceed those
in town, but the country people will not cultivate them. They
give them up if they are criticised by narrow-thinkers, while
the city holds on to them and tries to defend herself in using
them. (13:260-61.)
The slogan of the rural community, "Human contacts.
more human contacts, and still more human contacts", if car-
ried out, will do its big part to keep the rural boy and girl in
the rural community, and keep them satisfied. (19:57.)
The rural mother is slaving to hold the traditional stan-
dards of the home, while the city mother is surrendering her
home responsibilities to institutionalized agencies and is fast
losing her social functions in the home. She is spending the
evening out, eating out, and keeping only enough hours at
home to sleep.
The rural home cannot satisfy its boys and girls socially
when they come in contact with their urban friends who de-
pend upon the outside public for their amusement. The rural
boys and girls are turning their contributions to the city.
Then, if the efficiency of the rural home is to be measured by
the social product for rural uplift, it fails, and the effect of this
product on the rural community is detrimental.





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


2. School.
(a) Teachers untrained:
The United States has a right to justly and anxiously ask
the country school teacher: "Are you educating the farmer's
boys toward a more valuable and happy life on the farm? Are
you uplifting the farm home through the education of the
farmer's daughter toward greater usefulness and attractive-
ness in that farm home? Are you making life for the farm
woman any easier and any happier? Are you sowing discontent
in the home by contrasting the city comforts and pleasures
with the country home's emptiness and loneliness? Are you
really filling the mission of the broad teacher-the teacher
with a vision? Are you seeing the big things in Nature and
are you broad enough to show them to the rural people? Do
you know enough to talk to the rural people-really talk sen-
sibly for an evening?" The things worth while that some of
the rough-looking farmers know would fill a valuable volume.
and that quiet, unpretending mother can give the psychology
of things in the home and not know it is psychology. It is
only, "That I have noticed".
The school system of the United States is awakening to
the neglect of the rural schools. It is realizing that the teacher
makes the school. If the teacher is good the school is good,
and if the teacher is poor the school is poor. There are very
few teachers who have trained themselves for rural teaching.
The teacher who is interested in the problems of rural life,
who is in sympathy with rural life and who is willing to stay
by the job is needed. (21:683.)
The Legislature of the state of Maine in 1919 gave funds
to the State Superintendent and directed him to select each
year, "One hundred rural teachers who are graduates from
normal schools, who possess native ability, who are familiar
with the conditions of rural life, who are in sympathy with
them, and who are willing to make rural teaching a profes-
sion. In order to do this, the work must be properly motivated
by compensation, by dignity of service, by opportunity and
by the support and cooperation of the rural people." (33:282.)
The plan was to create a rural teaching profession, or
rather a differentiated form of general education which will
attract teachers of proper personality, character and educa-
tion.





24 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

In the summer of 1919 the first hundred teachers were
selected and put into a six weeks' course of study dealing with
the rural school and with general rural problems. All the
expenses were paid by the state. These teachers are em-
ployed in the regular way as teachers, with the additional
duty of supervising other teachers. At the end of the year
these teachers are given a state bonus of one-fourth of the
amount paid them by the town.
The state school provided for these teachers is conducted
as an officers' training camp and is called the "Educational
Plattsburg". The unit plan of instruction is used and the
programs consist of the following topics:
(1) Rural Life Movements; (2) Rural Surveys; (3) Rural
Economics and Sociology; (4) The Standardization of Rural
Schools; (5) Medical Pedagogy; (6) Rural Life and the
Rural School.
The instruction was divided into three forms: (1) Gen-
eral lecture on topic; (2) Discussion groups from the state of
Maine viewpoint; (3) Return group for general conference.
There were round table discussions in the afternoons.
The benefits resulting from this plan are:
(1) It has cultivated rural education. Other teachers have
entered the normals to prepare for rural service.
(2) The qualified teachers showed school officials hovw
poor the rural teachers were.
(3) The results show clearly in the schools of those who:
took the training.
(4) Rural people now realize that good teachers are avail-
able.
(5) These trained teachers are leaders in educational
movements.
(6) These hundred teachers are scattered over the state
and have definite ideas and ideals of rural school advance-
ment. (33:282-83.)
This is succeeding in Maine and will succeed here, if
communities will set a standard. They only need something
to rally to.
There are in the United States 650,000 teachers, 365,00"
of whom teach in the rural schools. In 1920 151,450 inex-





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


perienced teachers entered the ranks. The total output of
teachers wholly or partially trained by colleges, normals and
high schools (Report of the Commissioner of Education, 1919)
was but 24,000, so the remainder of 127,450 were inexperi-
enced, untrained teachers and were, in most cases, thrust into
the rural schools. The year before there were 122,000 of the
same type of teachers who went into the rural schools.
(33:298.)
Let us get a mental picture of our teachers. Place them
in line, giving each teacher three feet of space. This line will
extend unbroken for over three hundred miles. Arrange
this line following the order of age-the youngest teacher
at one end and the oldest teacher at the other. Starting with
the youngest teacher and journeying along the line one will
travel one-fourth of the entire distance before reaching a
teacher who has passed the age of twenty-one. Then we
must admit that one-fourth of our teachers are immature.
In all likelihood one will have passed 100,000 teachers before
reaching the first of the twenty-year-old group, while tens of
thousands of those encountered first are only sixteen, seven-
teen and eighteen years old.
Form the line again on the basis of educational equipment,
as shown by the length of time that these teachers them-
selves have attended school. One will pass at least 30,000
teachers in this line before reaching the first individual who
has had any education whatsoever beyond the eighth grade of
the common schools. There are nearly one million of the
nation's children, an army half as large as that which was
sent to France to save civilization, whose teachers are lim-
ited to this slender educational equipment. There would be
150,000 teachers passed before reaching the first individual
whose total education amounted to more than two years of
high school work. Four-fifths of the entire group would be
left behind before one reached the first individual who had
met the standard of preparation recognized in all civilized
countries as constituting the barest minimum for elementary
training-two years of training after high school gradua-
tion, or six years of education in all beyond the eighth grade.
Forming the line on the basis of experience in teaching,
one would pass 150,000 teachers before reaching the first in-





26 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

dividual who had taught more than two years, while the mid-
dle of the line would be reached before greeting the first teach-
er who has taught four years. One-half of the nation's chil-
dren are being taught by teachers who have not been trained
in service.
This record of educational weakness is not surpassed by
any other civilized nation. "The poorest democracy might
fittingly blush with collective shame at such a showing. Will
the richest and the proudest of all the democracies remain
smug and complacent?" (34:119, 222.)
There is only one thing to do, and that is to raise the
standard for teachers-not a standard of today, but a gradual
standard to be met by training.
The Legislature of North Dakota has just made the ruling
that after August 31, 1923, all teachers must be at least high
school graduates. Each year of college or normal training
added to the high school course gives her $100.00 per year
increase in salary. Other states are awakening to the rura:
conditions, and their Legislatures will follow the beaten trail.
(School Life, May 1, 1921.)
The rural boy and girl are depending on their State Leg-
islatures for a chance. The Legislatures must say, "Train".
before the rural teacher will train. There must be training
schools for the rural teacher. The average training school
of today was not formed to meet rural needs-it was formed
to meet urban needs. Then, if our rural teachers are trained
to meet rural needs, rural training schools must be estab-
lished.
The ideals of the rural schools will be the ideals of the
children who attend such a school. The rural children re-
plenish the citizenship of cities and towns, hence it is ex-
tremely necessary that they be trained for full citizenship.
The trained teacher will not be enough-she must be
trained leader. The leaders must live in the country and
love it.

(b) Consolidation needed:
The rural school must offer opportunity for social and
intellectual growth, and the larger the unit the better the





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


opportunity for cultural improvement. It must be great
enough to give opportunity for expression and the develop-
ment of leadership that is possible only through numbers.
(11:64-67.)
Consolidation seems to be the only thing that will combine
efforts and interests. The one-teacher school will have to
be continued in some localities, but when it stays it should
be supplied with a very strong teacher. She must be broad
enough to train for complete citizenship. How severely the
nation suffers because of the neglect of the isolated schools of
the open country and the small villages may be somewhat
dimly comprehended when we remember that these schools
enroll in the aggregate nearly sixty percent of our boys and
girls, and that a clear majority of the voters of the next gen-
eration will be limited in their educational opportunities to
what these schools can provide. It is a fact that out of every
six illiterates in our native-born adult population, five live
in the rural districts. The only way to solve the problem is
through a nation-wide reform of rural education, and this
means, first of all, devising ways and means by which the
present immature, transient and untrained teaching person-
nel of the rural schools can be replaced by a stable, relatively
permanent and highly trained personnel.
These problems can never be adequately solved until we
reserve for the isolated schools our very best teachers, making
such appointment a distinctive honor and providing a salary
that will counteract the attractiveness of urban service. These
difficulties will be reduced with the growth of the consoli-
dated schools, but the growth of the consolidated schools is
limited. (2:230-33.)
About 50,000 of our little one-room schools have been re-
placed by some 12,000 consolidated structures. Three-fourths
of these consolidations have occurred in the last ten years,
but about two-fifths of our one-room rural schools have come
to stay. Every section of the United States has felt the wave
of consolidation, but the wave in the Middle West has prob-
ably been greater than in any other section. As the schools
are consolidated, better houses are built and better salaries
are paid the teachers, thus tending to bring contentment to
the ranks of the profession.





28 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORID.-

(c) Boarding conditions bad-no privacy-no occ(r(''n ,-
dations:
Consolidation also helps the boarding and social condi
tions. The solution of the boarding problem to a great extent
relieves the social problem. The country home i., in.t al-
together to blame. Oftentimes it is the teacher \\lh:o will
make no effort to adapt herself to the home. The iinmatet.s of
the home would be glad to give of their hospitality, but thev
are made to feel that it is not desired. This is not alwv-.ys
the case. In some instances the teacher is taken for the board
money. Her comforts are not considered. The room is often
too cold for her to sit in to prepare her school work for the
next day. She cannot study when sitting with the finiily:
she is likely to be criticised for having to study to keep uI!
with her classes. She is likely to be discussed if she dlaIls in
the 'round-fire gossip, so what can she do? The inexperie.nc.ed
girl usually fails; she does not, as a rule, have the personality
to win her way so completely that the home will adjust itself
to her. The teacher with such a personality is the only teacher
who will count in the upbuilding of the community.

(d) Lack of community spirit for the school and t, ac, :
The social life of the rural teacher is often very nairr'iow.
She is not invited to take part in the neighborhood social
affairs and she is watched when she goes away lest shli enter
into social events there. Sometimes the teacher is not invited
to the rural festivities because she has made the people feel
that she would be bored with them, so the rural teacher has :not
found herself, neither has the rural patron found himself.
Though they live in the same home, they are aliens in \vword.
in deed and in act. This teacher is not likely to go back to this
neighborhood the next year. The school cannot progress until
there is a satisfied, efficient leader.
When a community has a shifting membership, or \hliei
the leaders of the community life are constantly changing.
but little can be done toward the development of a high :i*rdul
of community life. (35:37-38.)
There is a lack of community spirit towards the school and
towards the teacher. One should not be surprised to find thi.-
since the attitude of so many rural teachers has been a lack :of
appreciation for the rural life, and the attitude ot turning





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


from the rural life to the urban life. The teacher must believe
in rural life before she is safe to guide the rural boy and girl
to a greater appreciation of the life about them.
When the teacher is broad enough to place the "upbuild-
ing of the rural life" as her goal for teaching, then there will
be no lack of proper community spirit and a proper attitude
toward the school and toward the teacher. The school will
become the community center. Everything will radiate from
the school. Patrons will support it and protect it, and the
teacher may be the guiding genius of the community. It will
be through the teacher that progress will be directed. The
teacher holds the key to the problem. She needs only to tell
the things in school and the children are message-bearers to
the home. When the teacher has a real rural vision and thinks
with the people, they will, in turn, think with her and work
for her.

(e) Health conditions a menace:
The wide-awake teacher will broaden her influence in the
rural home by tactful talks on health lines. Much of the re-
sponsibility for the health of the city community rests with
the health officer, while in the country the responsibility rests
with the family. The family is thought of as the unit in health
activities and the mother is commonly the health officer. Dis-
ease and ill-health are usually traceable to defects in sanita-
tion. The farmer is an individualist, the city dweller a com-
munist, and it has been well said that "The errors of indi-
vidualism are best treated by education, and the errors of
communism by legislation".
During a period of twelve years, from 1900 to 1912, the
urban death rate of the United States fell 21.2 percent while
the rural death rate fell only 8.6 percent. It is said that 400,-
000 people die annually in the rural communities of the United
States and 2,000,000 others are seriously ill from infectious
diseases, nearly all of which could be prevented by proper pre-
cautions. (9:3.)
Children will enter whole-heartedly into health movements.
They enjoy the health crusades and it has done much to make
the rural child think in terms of health. If the health habits
of this crusade had been taught to our young men when they
were in school, our Nation would not have a record of "One-





30 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

third physically unfit for military service". There are many
diseases that belong principally to school children-diseases
that are preventable if the children are only taught how to
avoid them. The city child is taught to protect himself against
disease by making his body strong, and there is an appreciable
difference in the numbers of the city and rural children who
have these diseases. The Federal Government has been given
the power and duty to provide for the common defense. Has
it done this when one-third of its people are physical unfit
and one-fourth are illiterates? Is there strength in either"
Can we form a perfect Union-can there be union of thought
and union of strength when one-third have no health and
one-fourth cannot read? What could promote the general wel-
fare more than trained intelligence and sound health? What
would "insure domestic tranquility" more than common cul-
ture? Would it not "establish justice"? Would not health and
intelligence give us prestige? Is there anything save this:
that will "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our
posterity?" Is our Government doing its part in giving the
rural child liberty from illiteracy and from disease? (24:205-
207.)

3. Church.
Ministers cling to the towns and go into the rural districts
just to deliver sermons, with no rural application:
The rural church presents something of the same prob-
lems as the rural school. One is likely to find the conditions of
the church and school parallel. If the rural people give a
preference to either, it is likely to be in favor of the school.
There are distinct rural types of the church and of its
ministers as a result of environment. We have the progres-
sive type; the town-preacher type, and the non-progressive
type.
The progressive type is the church located in a good farm-
ing section where the preacher's home is in the neighborhood.
and the preacher enters into the rural interests. He visits
in the home, knows enough about farming and farm life to
spend a pleasant evening in the homes of his members. He
must know something of soils and fertilizers, and the needs
of different plants. He must know the latest machinery for
the farm-in fact, he must think with them. A broad-minded





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


man of this kind gives his members more from personal con-
tact than in the weekly sermons. The average farmer will
meet the minister on his plane after the minister has met the
farmer on his plane. There must be a common plane before
there is personal contact. So many ministers are just men
speaking from the pulpit. There is no response from the au-
dience because the minister has not touched the right key-
there is nothing in common. The progressive country church
is the ideal church. All its interests stay in the neighborhood.
The school builds on the church and the church gains strength
from the school. The farmers take pride in their school and
keep their sons and daughters at home for school. This keeps
the social interest there. There is contentment when people
plan for their entertainment to be in their own neighbor-
hood. Unfortunately, there are very few of this type of rural
churches and ministers.
The town-preacher type is the minister who lives in town
and who comes out on Sunday morning to deliver his sermon
in his rural church. The minister does not find conditions
ideal in the country for his family, and for himself, too, so he
lives in town and usually has some reason to give why he must
go back to town on Sunday afternoon. His sermons do not
appeal to the people, for they are not applicable to their
every-day lives. The minister knows nothing of farming, and
the farmer is thinking everything in terms of his daily life.
This type of minister is wasting his time and filling these
people with a low regard for the church and for that for which
it stands. The minister is prompt on his day, but the people
feel that he should visit them in their homes; that he should
be interested in their affairs and since he is not, they are not
concerned about the church and its affairs.
The non-progressive type of minister is the minister who
is not educated, who does not read, who has no interest in
daily happenings, and who is not practical enough to adapt
himself to his people. The minister of this type is found only
in very backward communities, but if more progressive men
were put in these communities there would be some chance
for improvement. There are usually some people in these
communities who appreciate an educated man. It must be said
that he fills a pulpit, but does he fill a mission? This type of
man is detrimental to the cause. He drives people from the





32 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

church. He causes them to place a low estimate on the church
and its affairs.
The rural church, on the whole, has lost its old-time
place. The minister is not altogether to blame. The people
are turning to the towns; they have automobiles and since
they can go into town to church, they go. It gives them a new
and broader outlook, but it gives them the restless and dis-
contented attitude that is sweeping the country. They have
lost the old-time peace and have not found that which satis-
fies. To get those old-time standards of contentment they
must pay a progressive minister to stay with them, and build
up their interests at home. One day in the week away from
home tends only to fill people with discontent. They see only
the Sunday side of life and the restlessness of the life is not
shown. The farmer places the wrong estimate on this view,
and measures his discontentment by this Sunday view. The
result is not fair, for the conditions are not true.
It is a bad state of affairs when people nurse the desires
for what they want and cannot get it, and, in turn, refuse to
cultivate what they have. The satisfied, progressive preacher
and teacher have a place and opportunity that no other per-
sons have. It is their opportunity to show the rural people
that they have the wealth and the beauty of the land at their
disposal. They have the thing that satisfies most, and the
conditions and environment that are conducive to make great
characters. Will the teachers and preachers use their oppor-
tunity to fill this great mission in life? "It is one thing to have
an organization and another thing to fill it with life. And
then it is a very important matter to know what sort of life
to fill it with". If the object of the organization is to afford a
mechanism by which the whole community can cooperatively
use its life, then there is a great deal in it. Without this spirit
of cooperation the organization is dead and may be dangerous.
(34:267.)
No worth-while young man ever left the farm because the
work was hard. He left because of the feeling that life was
not easier elsewhere, but better, more worth-while, less nar-
row, more free and gladsome. He was driven by a craving
for something he was not getting, and he felt that life had
something that he was losing. (34:247.) He left the farm






NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


because he was not shown the great wealth it offers. Should
the teacher or the preacher feel responsible?

B. MEANS OF IMPROVING CONDITIONS.
1. Enforce attendance:
We, as a nation, have awakened to the fact that we are
behind in education. We had been living up to the old adage,
"You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him
drink". We have spent money for education; yes, wasted it
for education, and when the test came-the test of measuring
our literacy, we found we were only 75 percent proficient. The
attendance law is not a late legislation in all our states, but
it is new in some. Every state has made some effort to make
education compulsory. It seems that we should not need leg-
islation, but opportunity to have an educated people. But the
ignorant and short-sighted we will have with us always and
the children of such must be protected.
A statistical report of the Commissioner of Education,
which recently appeared, shows that the average person who
completed his education in 1918 had attended school only
1,076 days. The average school term in the United States is
about 160 days, or eight months. The average child goes to
school 6.7 years. These statistics report conditions for the
better city school systems, but the rate of progress is assumed
to be about the same throughout the United States. (4:1.)
If a child goes to school continuously for the 1,076 days,
he would be in school a little less than three years. The United
States mortality statistics show that the expectancy of life
after the age of five is almost fifty-seven years. The average
child, who enters school at five years of age, spends one-
nineteenth of his remaining life in school.
There is another waste in our educational machinery-
the waste of money. The average yearly length of school
term in the United States is 160 days, but the average child
attends 120 days, or about three-fourths of the time. Then
one-fourth of the total expense is wasted. The time is set, the
table is prepared and the teacher invites them to come, but
they with one voice cry, "I pray you have me excused", and
we as a nation are answering, "You are excused". It is costing
the nation annually $194,000,000 to pay for the part of the






34 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

feast that these 5,000,000 children have failed for different
reasons to be partakers of. (4:2.)
The attendance law is not accomplishing all that was hoped
for it, but when the statistics show the increase of attendance
for the past fifty years, there is progress noted. In 1870 the
nation's children refused to use 41 percent of the nation's out-
put for education, and now there is only 25 percent wasted.
There are two well-defined fields of work for the attendance
officer, the one to secure regular attendance on the part of
children who have not reached the lower age limit prescribed
by attendance laws, the other to see that the children who
have attained the upper age limit do not drop out of school
or become delinquent. In 1918 there were twice as many
pupils in the first grade as actually entered school for the
first time. There were about 2,000,000 children repeating the
work of the first grade. The children evidently do not attend
school regularly in this grade. Parents do not consider the
gravity of their irregular attendance. They excuse by saying,
"They are little; they will have plenty of time". The attend-
ance law should demand that they attend after they enter
school. The reports show that forty-seven states permit six-
year-old children to attend school, but not a single state com-
pels them to attend. There are more children in the first grade
than there are pupils attending the full high school. (4:2.)
Statistics show that the falling-off of children in attend-
ance becomes noticeable after they have reached their thir-
teenth birthday. All except four states allow labor-permits to
be granted to children who have become fourteen years of
age, provided they have met certain educational requirements.
Such laws invite withdrawal from school at this age, and only
68 percent of these children remain in school. The public
schools must educate "all the children of all the people"' and
their full duty has not been discharged until they have given
the tools of a vocation to every youth of the land. For the
schools to meet their full responsibility, the Legislature must
say to the children of the state, "You must attend school". The
withdrawals among the retarded pupils is almost seven times
as great as among pupils who are making satisfactory pro-
gress. The schools have failed to offer a type of vocational
work fitted to the needs of the retarded children. These chil-






NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


dren have been unable to master the usual academic school
work, and seek the first opportunity to escape.
The attendance laws are too lax. They are made to fit too
many special cases. The legislature must set its standards
for education, and then enforce it. At present only 139 out
of each 1,000 who enter the first grade are completing the
public school course. The state can ill afford to allow over
one-third of those who enter school to withdraw before they
have finished the eighth grade. Schools supported by all should
see that all are educated. (4:14-15.)
2. Use standard curriculum but make local and general
application:
In order to plan the type of school that will meet the vital
needs of a community, one must hold in view the social, intel-
lectual and economic life of the community. The course of
study must be planned to meet this. The course will not have
fulfilled its mission if it meets only the community needs, but
it must touch the life on the outside. It must be applied so that
the entire community is touched. The training must be broad
enough to expand with the times. The environment of a baby
born in 1850 and living for twenty-five years is decidedly
different from the environment of a baby born in 1900 and
living twenty-five years. The environment of the latter is
much more complicated. It is not only harder to be a baby
now than it ever was before, but it is harder to be a grown-up
today than heretofore. The successful grown-up has a greater
responsibility than ever before. It is more complex. It is
harder to teach one to be a successful grown-up, so the teach-
er's problem is many-fold harder today than it was a century
ago. (10:1-3.)
The complexities of modern social and industrial life be-
come a part of one's environment and since education is modi-
fied and governed by environment, it has become a compli-
cated process. One's education manifests itself always through
self-reliance, self-respect or self-control. These are personal
habits or powers, and for one to be educated and to possess
means of education, they must be personal.
Any personal problem that a child solves educates him in
that line. A child's problems must be real, must be felt and
must be personal if he increases his self-respect, self-control





36 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

or self-reliance. It is not at all necessary for a teacher to be
present to have an educational situation. Oftentimes it is bet-
ter for the teacher to leave the pupil alone and let him find
himself by experimenting. This finding himself may develop
self-control, self-reliance and self-respect. (10:4-5.)
If we are to measure-and it is a good and just measure-
ment-by the standards that Dr. Strayer has given, then we,
as teachers, should be serious. Dr. Strayer says, "Education
is worth just the difference it makes in the activities of the
individual who has been educated. Knowledge alone does not
lead to right conduct. Many a man is not dangerous today
only because he does not know enough to be dangerous. It
takes a fine penman to forge checks expertly". (23:153.)
A child must not only be educated to make a living, but
he should be educated to enjoy life. G. Stanley Hall says that
the best training the world has ever offered has been in the
country. Yet there has been a wave of teacher-training away
from the country, because they have had no appreciation of
the beauties of the country nor the proper kind of feeling to-
ward farm life.
Education is putting an about-face on this wave. It is
safe to estimate that there has been more written on country
life in the past ten years than had been written in any fifty
years before. The proper feeling toward rural life is prompt-
ing this Back-to-the-Country movement. The towns did not
have that which could satisfy. The great majority of the
farmers are doing better than the great majority of bread-
winners in the city. The farmers have speculated on the pos-
sibility of getting rich quick in the city and a great percent
of them have failed. The anticipated fortune did not material-
ize, and when middle age came on they found themselves in a
great industrial machine, unable to return to the country.
(35:140.)
Education must concern itself with the ideals, purposes
and standards which should be acquired by children. Turn
out of our school rooms children with high ideals, with worthy
purposes and true standards of conduct and one may safely
risk their acquiring useful knowledge and putting it later to
good use. The course of study should not be so rigidly set
that it will not bend to fit the needs of the pupils. This does
not mean that the pupil's course of study shall be made to





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


conform to his likes and dislikes, for a pupil is often very
changeable, but he is to be allowed to show his preferences.
The teacher is to see that he plans a course that is broad
enough so that he may change with a minimum of discourage-
ment and loss. If the boy goes from the country to the city,
his course should have been so broad that he can meet the
requirements of the city school. The rural course must be
broad to meet the citizenship of the city and to prepare the
pupil to hold the place of leadership in the commercial and
industrial world. It has been said that 94 percent of the
leading citizens in a large eastern city were brought up on
the farm. Of a group of 100 representative men, commercial
and professional, in Chicago, 85 percent were rural. Eighty-
five percent of the students in four colleges and seminaries
come from country districts, while upward of 60 percent of
the men and women mentioned in "Who's Who" likewise are
from the country. (35:143.)
This drain of leadership from the country has robbed the
country of leadership. Those who were once the country's
leaders have been drawn to the city, there to exercise their
ingenuity in developing a civilization much more progressive
than that which was characterized by the open country.
(35:44.)

3. Secure trained teachers with rural vision:
It does not matter so much whether the pupil is studying
history or civics, if the teacher is trained. She can develop
the right type of citizenship in either class. If the pupil is his-
torically inclined, he will present the subject from a historical
standpoint, and she will correlate it with her work; and, on
the other hand, the pupil who is interested in the govern-
mental workings of the country will present it from his point
of view and the trained teacher will apply his ideas. This
develops independent thinking and the lesson is made much
more valuable. The trained teacher inspires her pupils to
think, and leads them to make applications to the life about
them. When life to the rural child is in terms of things about
him, when the things discussed mean his home, his life, his
neighborhood and his school, then the rural school has found
itself and the trained teacher is fulfilling her mission.





38 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

4. Give furnished homes to teachers:
The first teacherage built in the United States was built
in 1894 in Hall County, Nebraska. It was the first home
erected by a school district and cost one thousand dollars in
gold. Mrs. Josephine Preston, Assistant Superintendent of
Schools of Walla Walla County, established the first teacher-
age in the state of Washington. Mrs. Preston got the idea
from a rural teacher in a country district. This teacher could
not find a boarding place, so she went to Mrs. Preston and
asked that a portable cook house nearby be moved into the
school-house yard for her to use. This was done. The house was
twenty-five feet long and covered with canvas. She furnished
and roofed it for the winter. Her brother, twelve years of
age, came to live with her. This teacher was a leader. The
patrons were ashamed of her shack and before school opened
the next September the teacher and her mother moved into
the new teacherage. This teacher remained here for three years
and then went away to college to finish her education, but she
had started something that has spread until now there are
more than one hundred teacherages in the state of Washing-
ton. The state of Georgia has the record of one teacher who
has a portable house. She pitches it in the yard of some patron
and moves her house when she moves herself. (20:145.)
The teacherage is to solve more than one problem. The
first question that is usually asked is, "How much can one
save living in the teacherage?" From one who has lived in
a teacherage the answer would be from many angles. The
dollars and cents angle is disposed of first, for so many are
living on the dollars and cents basis. Yes, it is much cheaper.
If the teachers do their own work, it costs less than half what
board would cost, but that is the smallest measurement of all.
It is a home apart from the community. It is a home where
the family has a common interest, and this interest develops
personal sympathy. It is a place for teachers to really relax,
really be true to Nature, really be free and feel safe in doing it.
The teacher who boards in the patron's home must conform
her life to the life in that home. It may be that the life in that
home is entirely foreign to her. Their code of morals may be
different, the type of food not at all to her liking, their ap-
preciations of comforts may not balance on the scale. If there





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


is nothing in common between the teacher and the home, how
can there be a unity of purpose? The teacher spoils the home,
and the home in turn lessens the teacher's ability to do her
best.
Many a teacher who fails in school would be a success if
she had the quiet home to go to at night-the home that is
hers to be free in, and from which to demand sympathy. The
teachers are one family, working on the same troubles and
giving a family sympathy.
Several of our leading foreign countries have had teacher-
ages for years. The tramp teacher is unknown to them; the
teacher who has spent a lifetime in one school is rather the
rule than the exception. When the patrons of the schools in
the United States feel that they want the teachers among
them; when they let the teachers feel that they would like
to have them as citizens of their neighborhood; when the pat-
rons are really concerned about the comforts of their teachers,
then the teacher becomes a part of them. She ceases to hunt
a new place every year. She is no longer a tramp, but she
appreciates the interest. She is glad to adopt their neigh-
borhood for hers.
5. Keep teachers from year to year as community coop-
erators:
It has been said that a teacher must stay in a place for
ten years before she can establish definite standards for the
neighborhood. That helps to explain why the rural schools
are not being built up. The itinerant teacher is the rolling
stone that gathers no good. She does not stay long enough to
really become interested in the affairs of the neighborhood.
She did not come to stay, so she does not live for the time
now, but for what she will do when she leaves. If the same
teacher stays from year to year she invites progress. She is
living for herself when she lives for her neighborhood. She
plans things that will build up the neighborhood with the
school. She encourages parent-teachers' associations, or any
club that will bring the mothers into closer relation with the
school. So often mothers are critical of the school that their
children attend because they just do not understand. They
feel that the teacher is an alien and cares only for her salary.
After they know the teacher in the club, they realize that she





40 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

is interested in the same things that they are, and that she
is dreaming the same dreams of the future that they dream.
There are so many improvements that could be placed in
every school, if there were clubs to work for them. The teacher
must be a part of these clubs. Since the rural teacher has
been one of the factors that has held the neighborhood down,
she should be the factor to pull it up. She can best do this by
inviting the help of the patrons through clubs. These clubs
should be broad enough to affiliate with county clubs and thus
make them feel that their school is a part of the school system
of the county and of the state.

6. Cooperate with County Agents and Home Demonstra-
tion Agents:
The teacher should appeal to the patrons to encourage
their children to become co-workers with the County Agent
and the Home Demonstration Agent. These two organizations
mean much more to the rural boy and girl than any other or-
ganization. In these clubs the boys and girls have their own
stock, and have the money from it. They have their tomato
crops and start bank accounts from the proceeds. The boys
have their corn clubs and pig clubs. They, too, have bank
accounts that they have started from the club proceeds. These
clubs require accurate accounts of all expenditures and in-
comes to be kept, thus training the child in business prin-
ciples. These clubs invite competition. To win out, the club
members follow closely the directions given to make their work
proficient. The boys have found, by actual experiment, the
best way to grow corn, and the girls know how to grow to-
matoes. The whole family becomes interested in pigs and
chickens, and other stock is tried. The farm becomes an ex-
perimental station. Every section of the United States has
felt the effects of these organizations.
This great agricultural construction work of the United
States is divided into two parts-the fifteen Southern states,
and the states of the North and West. There are about the
same number of county agents in these sections, but there
are about twice as many home demonstration agents in the
South as in the North and West. The report of the Southern
states is given because it deals directly with and includes the
section treated in this discussion.





NATIONAL RURAL PROBLEMS


This work of the county agent in the South started on a
small scale in 1909 and the results quoted show the progress of
one decade. These results are very encouraging to one who
is filled with a desire to see the Back-to-the-Country become
a nation-wide movement, and "A better-developed farm" the
nation's slogan.
The following is the increase of the farm productions of
the South in this period:
Corn ------........................... .....--------.................... 17.9%
W heat ..................................... .. .............. ........ 150.0%
O ats ................................ ................ 98.7%
Hay .--.........---------.. -----------...................113.0%
Irish Potatoes ........................--------------- ... 64.5%
Sw eet Potatoes ..................................................... .. 64.6%
Rice ........................-------------------..100.0%
Peanuts ...... .. ------............-- ---------..... 100.0%
Velvet beans increased from a small acreage in 1910 to
more than 4,000,000 acres in 1918. Dairy cows have increased
10% since 1910.
Under the direction of the Home Demonstration Agent,
$15,000,000 worth of fruit and vegetables were put up during
1918 and $1,800,000 worth of fruits were dried. The grand
total production of the boys' clubs in the Southern states was
over $12,000,000. (12:8-9.)
The rural people are finding out that there are great prob-
lems to solve in the country-problems that will insure great
wealth of interest, of contentment, of education and of dollars.
The County Agents and the Home Demonstration Agents, to-
gether with the efficient, trained, satisfied teacher, hold the
key to the situation. May they unlock the situation and show
the farmer these great opportunities on the inside!

CONCLUSION

The reader might ask, "Why has so much of the educa-
tional development of the United States been given"? The
answer is logical. Florida is the most cosmopolitan state in
the Union. One is likely to find a dozen or more states and
countries represented in one rural community. Perhaps the
teacher, also, will be from another state. The Biennial Report
of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of 1920
shows that there are a little more than one-fourth of the
teachers from other states. There are really more than this,





42 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

for numbers of homesteaders from other states are teachers
and claim Florida as their state. (3:16.)
The school is then a result of its environment.
The progress of the State in all lines has been greatly
aided by people coming in from other states. The Florida
people welcome the outsiders when they come to buy land
and build homes, but there is a feeling of resentment against
the "Snowbird" teacher.
The advancement of the state has been largely determined
by the people coming in from other states. She stands sixth
from the bottom in the illiteracy list and fortieth in educa-
tional standards, but she is progressing. Her progress has
been greatest in the last two decades. She measures her pro-
gress by comparison with other states, then, to know Florida's
progress, we must know the progress of other states in that
particular thing.
Florida's big problem is stated in the National problem,
as discussed in this chapter, and it is applied to Florida in
the following chapter.


CHAPTER IV

Florida Rural Schools
A. WHAT FLORIDA SCHOOLS HAVE.
1. Waste:
Since one arrives at all definite opinions by stating the
broad field, selecting different phases of the proposition or
problem in that field, contrasting or comparing these phases.
thereby arriving at the point that establishes the fact or gives
base to the proposition; so, in like manner, to have a definite
ideal of the rural schools of Florida, other schools of the state
must be studied and the conditions that affect the rural schools
must be measured by them.
The growth of widespread interest in public education in
Florida in the last twenty years has been remarkable as has
also the increase in expenditures for the support of the pub-
lic schools. Within these two decades the public high schools
have been established. The elementary schools in city and
country have been greatly improved. There have been a





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


large number of modern school buildings erected, both in the
city and rural districts.
From 1899 to 1919, in which time the population of the
state increased 82.6 percent, the expenditures for public
schools increased sevenfold and the expenditures for higher
education in colleges and universities of all kinds, including
normal schools, increased more than eightfold. The expendi-
ture per capital of the total population for public schools, ele-
mentary and secondary, increased about 300 percent. (11:1.)
The average salary of teachers as reported to the United
States Bureau of Education for 1918 is, for the city schools
of the state, $649.00; for country schools, $361.00. At the
rate of expenditure for public schools in 1918 the State was
paying on an average for the public elementary and high
school education of its children only $262.00 per pupil through
all the years of school life. In 1918 only 51 percent of the
total expenditures for public schools was for teachers' salaries.
The sum total of all school expenditures for fifty years
is $61,491,020. It is quite probable that an addition of $8,-
500,000, making a grand total of $70,000,000 will cover all
deficiencies in reports, all expenditures for public schools
and higher education before 1870, and all expenditures for
education through private schools below the college. (11:2:)
It will be interesting, particularly to those who think edu-
cation has become too costly and the support of the public
schools a great burden, to compare costs of schools with some
other expenditures, public and private. For the year 1919,
the people of the State of Florida paid into the Treasury of
the United States on income profits and miscellaneous taxes
$15,623,811.89. Their proportionate part of the customs tax
for the year was $1,907,000, making a grand total of $17,-
530,800 paid in Federal taxes. This is three and one-half times
the expenditures for public schools in that year, and seven and
one-half times the amount spent for teachers' salaries in these
schools. (11:4.)
The Secretary of the Treasury has told us that the people
of the United States spent in 1919 for luxuries $227,000,-
000,000. Some of the items in this luxury bill were as fol-
lows:





44 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

Chewing Gum.... ....................... ----... ..................... $50,000,000
Soft Drinks ................ ... .. .-------............... 350,000,000
Toilet Soap ...........................- ....... ------ ..... ..... 400,000,000
Face Powder, Perfumes and Cosmetics ...................... 750,000,000
Cigars and Cigarettes ...................................................1,310,000,000
Tobacco in all its Forms............................................ 800,000,000
Food Luxuries .............. .. ..... ............. .......... 5,000,000,000
Ice Cream ............................................ .................... 250,000,000

The population of Florida is .009 of the population of the
United States. If the people paid their full share of the lux-
ury bill and of the items mentioned, then their total luxury
was $204,300,000.
A careful study of these figures will help to dispel the il-
lusion that the cost of education is the chief burden of the
people of Florida, and will show that, in comparison with ex-
penditures, public and private, the cost of schools in Florida
is almost negligible. Though the sum is small, yet there are
great wastes in applying it. We waste the mite by not having
capable men to direct the use of it, and in having teachers
who are "killing time".
2. Superintendents with urban vision or no vision:
When corporations select a superintendent to direct their
business they select a man who is proficient in that particular
line-a man who is able to direct the business on a paying
basis and who will best uphold the honor of the company.
When the would-be superintendent applies to the corporation
for the position, the corporation inquires into his qualifica-
tions from every angle. He must possess character, he must
possess ability, he must possess expert training, and he must
possess personality. The superintendent deals with the men
principally from the standpoint of a money-paying basis, but
he is trained, and he must be broad-minded enough to recog-
nize the personality of the men and be charitable enough to
see the proposition from the employee's point of view. If cor-
porations are so particular as to the men who manage their
business, should not we, as a state, be particular about the
men who hold in their hands the direction of our greatest trust
-the education of our boys and girls?
There are twenty-eight counties in the section considered.
One superintendent in this section has no certificate and his
teachers say he could not make a second grade. One of his
teachers said that he objected to her failing to promote some






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


of her pupils on the ground that there would be hard feelings.
She also volunteered the comment that she did not know what
to do.
That superintendent, from a moral standpoint, is dan-
gerous. Another teacher said of this same superintendent,
"He will promise you anything in the way of equipment, but
getting it is entirely different. The comment was ventured,
"Perhaps he can't get it". To this she replied, "Oh, yes, it is
there in the office but he never gives you another thought till
you ask him for it again". The question was asked of one
of his teachers, "If he is no good and the people know he is
no good, how does he hold the job term after term?" To this
query she replied with one word, "Politics". It is deplorable
that the man who robs your stable of your horse serves his
time in the penitentiary if he is captured, but the man who
robs your child of his opportunity by not serving him, and
who dictates immoral standards to his teachers is protected
because we have no law against such procedure.
There is one man in this section who holds a second grade
teachers' certificate only, over one-third of them hold first
grades, and only three have Life State Certificates. There
are two who have had training in a business college, and
three who have normal diplomas.
There are only two superintendents in Peninsular Florida
who have A. M. degrees. The remaining four hold A. B. and
B. S. degrees. Information as to qualifications of county
superintendents is very difficult to obtain; even the State
Superintendent is not able to get this information in all
cases.
The records of the General Extension Division of the State
of Florida show that not one of these twenty-eight men are
taking correspondence courses. Then there is one other ave-
nue through which they may improve themselves profession-
ally-that of reading. Some of these superintendents have
professional libraries and take professional magazines, but
are they educated enough to use them? Can they adapt an edu-
cational plan to Florida and work it out successfully because
it worked out in some far-removed state? If it were not tragic,
it would be laughable to hear what some of these superin-
tendents plan to do. They have read of a scheme that some
man worked out. It looks fine on paper, but they cannot take






46 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

the problem and apply it to the conditions in their own coun-
ties. Then what do they get from their magazines and from
their professional libraries? Can they even get pleasure from
reading them?
Politics is playing the leading role in this office. The
pulse of the average superintendent may be taken by laying
the fingers on the wrists of the leading men in the county.
They will not dare to say anything is detrimental to the school
system if that thing is popular.
From the educational standpoint, one of the greatest prob-
lems of the coast sections is the tourist problem. The towns
of these sections use the free schools as one of their drawing
advertisements. The tourists are not charged tuition. They
enter after the schools open and usually leave before the
schools close. The County Boards do not usually employ
teachers to meet this overflow. The rooms are crowded. It
becomes absolutely necessary for new teachers to be employed
to help during the rush. The by-stander who has a sense of
humor is reminded of the Christmas rush, or of some cheap
sale. The teachers who are prepared to teach, and who have
planned to teach, are already teaching. But teachers must
be had and then it is that the County Board sets about to cull
the lists of possible teachers and in this way the children are
given teachers. Teachers? No. Substitutes, and they are
not likely to be so good as the genuine article. The grade is
formed at the opening of school, reformed to accommodate
the tourist overflow, and formed again when the tourists
leave and the substitute teacher is dismissed. Does the child
have a chance? The schools are not prepared to take care of
the tourist children. The rooms are crowded and every avail-
able room in town is used. In some towns shacks were built
on the campus to accommodate the grades. There was not
enough play-ground space at first, and these shacks are spoil-
ing the play-ground that they did have.
The school population has grown so rapidly that the in-
creased funds do not nearly meet the demands. The counties
are badly in debt. Buildings were started and there were no
funds with which to finish and equip them. If the state is not
able to build and equip its buildings in a modern way and then
employ enough good teachers to give their children the best
training, they should not try to educate the children of the






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


tourists. The tourists do not expect it. A principal of one
of the largest high schools in the peninsula said that about
nine out of every ten tourists expect to pay tuition. They
do not hope to have their children educated for them. Then
why do it? One superintendent gave this evasive reply when
asked if the tourists made a problem: "There are very few
people in this town who are not in some class of tourists;
very few were here when the town first began". He meant
to say that one was about as much a tourist as another, but
the teachers in this county say that there is a tourist problem,
and that it is ruining the schools.
Another superintendent followed the writer to the door
to be sure that she understood definitely the stand that he
was taking on the tourist question. The superintendents know
that the children are being cheated out of their rights, but
their position is at stake. They dare not say what they
think.
The equipment in the rural schools is not nearly as good
as in the urban schools. Only five counties in the peninsula
have libraries in all of their rural schools, but in all these
counties the superintendents report them very small. There
are several counties that have no libraries in the rural schools
except the $10.00 libraries required for standardization.
Only three counties in the peninsula have sanitary water
toilets in all of their rural schools; several have the cans and
keep them treated with chemicals, but others still have the
old-time privies. Yet there is a regulation toilet planned by
the State Board of Health. There were only two or three
superintendents who reported play-ground equipment in the
rural schools. The superintendents, as a whole, did not seem
interested. One, when asked what equipment he had in his
rural schools, replied, "None". When asked what the chil-
dren played, he replied, "Just things that they can ring up
and play". He ventured to remark further that rural chil-
dren got about all the exercise they needed walking to and
from school and doing the work they had to do at home. He
had no vision of the joy that was due those children. A child
is supposed to have some time to play and something to play
with.
The rural schools are not well supervised. The superin-
tendents do not have time to go out to visit them as they






48 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

should. The office work is too heavy and they are tied down
doing clerical work. There are some superintendents in the
peninsula who are capable of being excellent school super-
visors; but those who are not school men in any sense of the
word could hardly be school supervisors, and the schools
would not be benefited by their supervision.
Two superintendents are making the rural supervising
teacher the attendance officer. This plan has its good points
and may lead to something better. This officer should be
selected because of her ability to supervise teaching, and the
attendance officer's work should be second to it. Every wide-
awake superintendent is recognizing the fact that the rural
schools must be supervised.
The rural people are not satisfied with their schools. They
are realizing that they are not being served. They want some-
thing of the same opportunities that the town people have.
The easiest and most popular thing to do is to give them don-
solidation. It tends to increase the popularity of the Super-
intendent, but is it best for the rural people? There is too
much of the giving-up of the country to the town-too much
of the interests of the rural neighborhood transferred to the
town. One superintendent, whose county is in one of the best
farming sections of the state, told of his consolidation. He
told of bringing the pupils from the country into this large
town. He was asked if the children were satisfied to go
back to the country, and he replied, "No, they are not satis-
fied in the country any more". He realized that he had made
a mistake, but the people were not willing to go back to
the country school. He knew that it was not the best thing
to do when he was doing it, but he thought it was the best
he could do at the time, so he gave the baby the candle to
keep down the crying.
3. Untrained itinerant teachers:
It is neither correct nor logical to say that the superin-
tendents are entirely responsible for the conditions of the
rural schools of Florida. One needs only to glance over the
graphs given to see another great factor. The superintendent
cannot make a good school; he may be a leader to plan with
and to direct the teachers, but he is only one factor. There
must be real teachers to take the plans. A plan that is never






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


executed has no force. How can a teacher who is not trained
carry out a plan that has a definite aim? The teacher must
know the plan. The plan must not be entirely the superin-
tendent's, but it must be like our state constitution-it must
fit our immediate state and our immediate needs, and still
conform to the greater plans of the county superintendent
and also the plans of the State Superintendent.
The Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction of the State of Florida for 1921 shows 31,957
children in the chart grade. The first grade shows 36,421
children enrolled. There is only one explanation for this in-
crease of the first grade over the chart, and that is that
Florida is doing her part towards keeping up the National
weakness of repeaters in the first grade. (4:13.) Five thou-
sand four hundred and sixty-four children are repeating the
first grade. The statistics show further that the State paid
$31.10 per capital per pupil in 1920. (4:13.) The State in
that one grade wasted $169,930.40.
What are some of the logical reasons? Why these repeat-
ers? One might advance first the fact that the children are
too young to do a grade in a year. Then they should not be
started to school so young. The age limit should be raised. It
is a shame to waste $170,000 on one grade when there is such
a cry for more money. If we could only use the waste! Some-
one else says that the lack of trained teachers is the cause.
Can that be denied? We think of children being in the pri-
mary grade up through the third grade. Then we have 125,-
737 children who would be classed as primary, (3:13), and
there are only one hundred and thirty-two teachers in the
state who have primary certificates. (3:14.) There were
only thirty-four primary certificates issued in the state in
1920. In the same year eight hundred and sixty-seven teach-
ers accepted a third grade certificate to go out and experi-
ment with Florida's children, draw their pay, and thus do
their part toward keeping Florida's standard permanent.
(3:14.) It is doubtful if these teachers know that Florida
stands fortieth on the National educational list.
More than one-third of the teachers who took the exami-
nation for certificates in 1920 failed to make any certificate
at all. (3:15.) There seems to be only two reasons for so
many failures. First, the standards of the examination com-





50 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

mittee are gradually being raised. The second reason is the
construction that is being placed on teaching. Too many feel
that it is a little profession. The standards of examinations
are not being raised.
About 80 percent of the rural schools are one-teacher
schools where instruction in eight grades may be required.
A trained teacher could do very little in such a school and one
wholly untrained could do little more than stay for company.
(3:170.)
The untrained teacher is usually the itinerant teacher.
She has no real plan for her work. She has no goal. There
is nothing that calls her back year after year. She has nothing
to finish.
"Why poor rural schools?" finds another answer. One
could not expect much from a class of teachers when 97.7
percent go to a new place each year. (3:170.) The average
rural child has a new teacher almost every year and often
a change during the year. Nothing can be definitely accom-
plished in one year. The plan may be started, but it canno:
be worked out in one year. It is discouraging to children
never to finish anything. They can have no definite aim where
there is no definite plan.
Is a teacher capable of making a definite plan when she
is capable of making only a third-grade certificate? In 1920,
869 teachers accepted third-grade certificates to teach in the
Florida schools, and only 796 accepted State, first and second
grade certificates combined. There were 276 who took special
and 34 who took primary, but these do not very noticeably
affect the rural schools since most of the specials are for high
school subjects and very few high schools are found in the
rural districts. (3:15.) The teachers holding the primary
certificates are usually directors of primary departments in
the urban schools.
The rural teacher who has a plan guided by a great vision
is discouraged when she talks to the itinerant teacher who
tells her in bold terms why she does not stay longer in a place.
The teacher who has a moral standard for her work is shocked
and pained to think that a teacher could abuse her opportunity
so thoughtlessly.
It is safe to say that 95 percent of all the teachers who
attend the State summer schools are not sure whether they





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


are going back to the same place or not when school opens.
A greater percent of these are rural teachers. They are hold-
ing off to see if they can pick up something better. It is dis-
gusting to see the crowds who meet the visiting County Super-
intendents during the summer session at the State summer
school to look over their salary list. This is a common ex-
pression heard on the campus during summer school, "I
thought you were going to teach at So-and-So".-"I did tell
them I would, but I do not know whether I want to or not.
It pays only $75.00, and the schools in County pay
$85.00 and, too, I have been there a year and I would rather
change. One can have a better time in a new place. They
don't know so much about one. If I teach in this county I
know I shall have a good time, for Bill lives in this county.
It is only twenty miles to where he lives and he has a car and
I know he will show me a good time".
She finally decides to go to Bill's county. She has the time
she planned to have. She had her social plans well laid and
they worked, but she never made her plans for those young-
sters who look up in her face from day to day, demanding to
be shown the vision of the greater things in life. She gives
them no vision, for she is not thinking for them, neither is
she thinking with them or about them. The untrained, itin-
erant teacher is a menace to the school system. She is of the
class who stays on the job, but who does not really teach
school. The teachers who attend the State summer schools
are the state's best teachers.
4. Suitcase teachers:
The suitcase teacher is another type of Florida's low stan-
dard teachers. There is not another state in the Union where
conditions are more conducive to this type of teacher. This
is true especially of Peninsular Florida. The climate invites
the tourists. The towns plan to take care of the tourists and
give them entertainment. The tourist sections have the best
of good roads. These good roads encourage a good bus ser-
vice. Nearly every town in this section is connected by bus
lines. These bus lines are operated on a service basis, but it
is a paying basis. They have planned to catch the traffic.
The bus lines between the large tourist towns have a bus leav-
ing from each end of the line every hour between seven o'clock






52 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

in the morning and eight o'clock in the evening. The suitcase
teacher has every encouragement to leave her school behind
on Friday afternoon and live independently for herself until
Monday morning. She looks on her moral code and feels sat-
isfied that she is staying with her school for the time that she
is paid to stay. When she argues that, "This is all the time
that I am paid to give to the school", then the serious teacher
wants to ask, "Are you using all the time for the school that
you are paid to use?"
It is impossible to have two great interests and not have
one second to the other. She will cling to the one and despise
the other, for she cannot serve school and society.
Teachers are living or boarding in one town and going in
on the bus to school in another. They put up the plea that they
cannot live on what those people eat, but one has a right to
form an opinion of just why they live in town, when they are
forever talking about what they are going to do tonight and
never say what they are doing today at school.
The writer, while on her survey, met one of these bus
teachers. This teacher lived in a town eight miles from the
place where she taught. The bus put her at her school town
at eight-thirty in the morning and picked her up at five
o'clock in the afternoon. The teacher took it for granted that
the writer was a tourist, and began to talk as soon as she got
on the bus. The writer, seeing her lunch box, asked if she
were not a teacher She replied, "Yes, I am teaching. I did
not have anything to do, so I decided that I would teach to
kill time, but I don't like it". She said she had been a teacher
in the North before she married, so she decided that she
would teach when she came to Florida. She criticised every-
thing connected with the school, from the Superintendent
down. She was asked if they had beautiful school grounds.
To this she replied, "Well, I should say not. I don't suppose
the patrons have ever thought of the school grounds since
school opened. They have not even raked them". She was
given an opportunity to criticise all she wanted to, then the
writer told her of the beautiful campus of the Model Rural
School of the State. She was told of the rose garden, of the
fern beds, of the poinsettias, of the pot plants and of the
great space on the campus that had to be raked, and she





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


was also told that the teachers and children and not the pat-
rons kept the campus.
Is it possible that this teacher "killed her time" only-
that the ambition of her pupils was not killed also? Could
those pupils have pride in their grounds when she took the
stand that she did? Could she be an inspiration to those chil-
dren when she abhorred everything connected with the vil-
lage?
5. Poor boarding conditions for teachers:
It is true that the average home was not planned to take
care of the teacher. She was not included in the plans when
the house was built; but is it not ungrateful when the teacher
makes her list of criticisms and looks them over each morn-
ing lest she forget some of them?
The writer has been a rural teacher for ten years in
Florida. She not only boarded in a home of the community,
but she visited in other homes in the community and in other
communities. While in every instance, perhaps, there were
things that might have been added to increase the comfort of
the room, yet the comforts might have been made much less
by taking out some things in the room.
The women of rural Florida are good housekeepers. They
do not depend on colored help, but do the work themselves in
a systematic way. Their homes are nearly always clean. Many
of the houses are old and the lighting is poor, but they are
clean and they have the old-time comforts. The children are
taught to work, and to keep neat and clean in the home.
The greatest deficiency in the home is a lack of proper
heat. The average home has only one fireplace or heater.
The homes were planned for the family only, but the teacher
is given a welcome around the fireside. While this is their
best, yet every teacher desires and needs privacy. She must
plan her work for the next day. She must have time to think
over the day alone. Sometimes it is unwise to sit in the
family group around the fire, especially if the family deals in
neighborhood gossip to a very great extent. The cold weather
that is not expected to come to Florida always comes. It is
rarely ever cold enough for ice, but it is too cold to be safe
or comfortable sitting away from the fire. It is quite prob-
able, if there had been an extra room planned for the teacher





54 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

when the house was built, that heating would have been
planned for that room. The average rural home wants to
give their very best to the teacher.
6. Narrow, isolated patrons:
There is so much said about the narrow-minded patrons.
They are always trying to advise the teachers instead of ad-
vising with the teachers. Is it always possible to advise with
teachers? The trained teacher wants to talk over the school
problems with her patrons. She wants to do the best, and
she realizes that the patron, as none other, can help her by
cooperation. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Some-
times patrons are unreasonably narrow and self-satisfied. The
teacher who moves a case like this is the teacher who adapts
herself to the patron's views, instead of waiting for the pat-
ron to adapt himself to her views. Patrons question the
method used in teaching. They have not used that method,
and do not know the merits of it, but if the teacher would
have patience, the average patron is willing to be shown. A
greater part of the failures is because the patrons are made
to feel that the teachers are of a different life from them;
neither has met the other half-way.
7. Underfed and diseased children:
There have not been enough facts collected on the health
conditions in Florida to give an authentic report.
Alachua County is the only county in the peninsula that
has a Public Health Nurse. There are other counties that
have the nurses for certain sections, but the Alachua County
nurse works the whole county. Mr. R. H. Hixson, Secretary
of the Florida Public Health Association, says that the report
for Alachua County is typical of the peninsula.
Miss Katherine Murphy, nurse for Alachua County, gives
the following statement for work begun last September:
Total Number Inspected.......------....................------- ..........---- ... 2,084
Total Number with Defective Teeth--...-......--........-- .........--. 938
Total Number with Enlarged Tonsils.................................... 852
Total Number Hookworm Suspects........................................... 841
Total Number Cases Malnutrition-..---......-.. .........------- 669
Total Number with Disease of Eyes and Defective Vision.... 668
Total Number with Nasal Obstruction.......................--...... 318
Total Number Defects Corrected or under Treatment............ 344
Brevard County has a most proficient nurse, Miss An-
nette S. Malin, under the Child Welfare Organization. Miss





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


Malin reports that the work has kept down epidemics. Seventy-
five percent of the children had sore eyes, and sixteen and
two-thirds percent had hookworm. She has had three hook-
worm clinics and fourteen baby examinations.
The whole county is organized into Welfare Leagues. These
Leagues have bought six standard scales for school use. Dur-
ing the summer Miss Malin goes into the homes and takes
up cases from her records. At the baby shows the mothers
are told how to care for the baby.
Miss Malin says the organization is gaining favor with
the public. Now it is the exception to find a child with sore
eyes. A child at school will not sit by another child who has
"Florida sores". Now all the children have tooth brushes, and
take pride in showing that their teeth are clean and in good
shape. Miss Malin hopes to put in posture cards next year to
encourage proper standing and sitting.
The time has come when the whole child goes to school.
The time is coming when would-be teachers will have to be
qualified to look after the hygienic needs of the child, and
help him in his physical development just as much as they
are now required to know how to teach arithmetic and gram-
mar.
All time spent on physical exercise, on the heating, light-
ing, seating and posture of children is time spent on school
work, and is so considered by real school officials. Teachers
must get the health vision before they can impart it.
Dr. William J. Buck, ex-member of the State Board of
Health, gives a report from the southern part of the penin-
sula. He states that hookworm is found in 60 to 80 percent
of both children and adults, the percentage varying with the
locality. Rural districts carry the heaviest infection. Tra-
choma is found in about 20 percent of school children, and
is often mistaken for sore eyes. Accurate statistics are not
available for malaria, but Dr. Buck gives the statistics of a
phosphate mining town. There had been a strike on in this
town, and the town was filled with people whose living con-
ditions were very unsanitary. Dr. Buck did not have full
statistics for 1919, but there were 160 cases reported from
1200 people. The statistics are complete for 1920, and show
that in this town of 2,500 people, protected by mosquito con-
trol, quinine prophylaxis and screening, there were only





56 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

twelve cases of malaria. Six of those were brought from
other districts, three were chronic and three acquired in th,-
community.
These facts show what can be done for health improve-
ment if proper precautions are observed. While these are not
the combined statistics for the peninsula, they include three
distinct sections. Alachua County represents the northern
part, Brevard the East Coast section, and the mining section
the southern part. These sections are typical of the adjoining-
sections.
Florida could do more if she would only come out and
work boldly, but, as in everything else, the tourist problem
overshadows the efforts. The reports are not given to the
public for fear of hurting the tourist trade. The tourist ad-
vocators objected to official health work being done under th-.
name of the Tuberculosis Association, so the name of the
organization was changed to Public Health Association. There
could be so much more done if the Public Board of Health
could work boldly and advertise more. It is nothing but right
that the ignorant should be shown the conditions.

B. WHAT THEY NEED.
1. Enforced attendance:
Since the purpose of the school is to educate the children.
then the first need is to put the children into school. There is
only one way to put all of them in, and that is by enforced
legislation. This State has had legislation for compulsory at-
tendance for two years, but its purpose is defeated by pro-
visional clauses. These provisional clauses serve as gaps for
the very people for whom it was made. The increase in en-
rollment and attendance in the September following the pas-
sage of the law was beyond expectation. The people thought
they had to put their children into school. Some of the primary
rooms were fitted with tables and chairs to accommodate
boys and girls of fourteen and fifteen years of age. They
went because legislation said "Go". In most cases there wa--
no excuse to offer. The parents were not interested and the:.
had made no effort to put the children in school before. Such
parents are not always people who are entirely illiterate, but
they are usually not good citizens. The writer has in mind





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


a family who had a daughter fifteen years old. When the at-
tendance law was passed the mother did not know the weak
points in the law, so she put this girl in school for the first
time, in Gainesville. They soon moved away. When school
opened the following September and the writer made a cen-
sus of her town she found this family. It took repeated visits
to this home to get this family in school. There were also two
little boys in this family in the primer class. They were al-
ways absent from school and the writer would go out and
look them up, but she was helpless, only for persuasion, for
that mother knew every weak point in the law and she knew
that she was safe.
It is ridiculous that the law should allow the children
to be absent from school one day in every week, or allow them
to take the four days' leave of absence at one time. The at-
tendance officer in one county reports a very broad use of
the gap. She said that they used the last four days in one
month and the first four in the following month, thus getting
an eight days' leave of absence from school. They could go to
grandma's for a ten days' visit and the law could not touch
them. The law as it stands is a joke with those whom it was
made to protect. If the children cannot be put into school
and kept there, why pay an attendance officer? There is so
much red tape about convicting an offender that the efforts
are usually entangled in the tape and stopped. It seems
ridiculous that a parent should be served a notice that the
child was absent from school so many days. The notice of
the child's absence is not turned in to the attendance officer
until the end of the week. Some time during the next week
the officer notifies the parent that the child is out of school.
He waits until he gets the teacher's report the next week-end
before serving official blanks to the patron. If the officer is
successful in making out a case against him, the papers are
turned over to the sheriff to serve. One officer said that his
papers lay for weeks with the sheriff. There are no pro-
visions for financial backing in this law, therefore we need
not expect service.
Mrs. Bass, the attendance officer of Hillsboro County,
whose work is principally in Tampa, suggests that, "A notice
of the child's absence to the parent should be a notice to ap-
pear before court". This would save at least two weeks of





58 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

school for the child, and the court would tend to impress tih,
parents with the graveness of this error.
Mrs. Bass suggests further that, "All disabled children
should get exemption in writing before school opens". T-i-
would be a fine regulation, for then the teacher and officer
would be saved the task of checking up and could explain t,.'
the children just why that pupil is out of school.
Mrs. Bass says that the greater part of this problem is niit
with the children but with the parents. They lack interest,
they lack energy to cooperate and they lack the desire to co-
operate. If the parent stands in opposition to the school, tlih
child is likely to take the same stand. The matter of attendance
is not a problem in the home where the parents give their
children a real home and where the parents are school co-
operators. It is not natural for children to dislike the ming-
ling together at school.
The Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of Flor-
ida shows for 1920 that there were 36,421 children in th..
first grade and only 1,509 in the twelfth grade. (3:13.) Flor-
ida is no exception to the national rule of dropping out. Ther.-
are great exoduses at the close of the fourth and the eighth
grades. There are reported 2,458 more children in the fourth
than in the fifth grade. Where did they go? The attendance
laws did not give them permits to be out, neither did it keep
them in. It is noticed in comparing the reports of t\\wo.
years back that there is some improvement in attendance.
In 1918 there were 4,742 who entered high school, and 1,231
in the twelfth grade. In 1920 there were 5,754 who enterUd
high school and 1,539 in the twelfth grade. This increase i
caused by one of two things. The population of the state has
increased or the popularity of the high school is increasing.
The attendance law does not affect those in high school, for
there is not even an attempt to make education compulsr'ry
above the eighth grade in this state.
The law as it stands is practically worthless, for increasing
attendance, and it encourages children to have a low concep-
tion of the enforcement of the state's laws.
2. Closer expert supervision:
Rural schools can never be what they should be until
they are supervised. The State provides supervision for ,:.ur





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


high schools, but they do not need it as badly as the rural
schools. The high school principals are usually trained men
and they supervise the work of their teachers, while the rural
teacher has no one to advise her and very few of the rural
teachers are experienced teachers. The superintendents are so
tied down with clerical work that they have very little time
to spend out of the office. They do not really know their
schools. The average length of the rural school term is more
than two months shorter than the urban school term. Miss
McDonald, State Rural School Inspector, in her report sug-
gests that, "Inasmuch as these men are elected without any
consideration for their educational qualifications for the of-
fice, it seems that they should not be expected to supervise
the teaching, but that their work should be with the financial
and clerical side and that expert supervisors should be em-
ployed. One look into the counties where this plan is followed
is enough to convince anyone of its advantages. The counties
which employ expert supervisors are doing much better edu-
cational work than those counties where the county superin-
tendent attempts to supervise the teaching". It is easy to
see that expert rural supervision will bring up the standards
of the schools in the county. The rural schools must be super-
vised, if they are to improve. That is the best thing that can
be done for the schools until there is some legislation that
will require educational qualifications of the superintendents.
If the superintendent is to have the direction of the school
system, he might prove a millstone about the neck of the effi-
cient supervisory teacher. If there can be only one expert in
the county, let it be the superintendent, and let him do the
supervising of the rural schools and employ enough office help
to do the clerical work. The efficient superintendent has an
idea of what kind of teacher is best fitted for different sec-
tions of the county. The law would not give the supervisory
teacher power to place the teachers. Her work would be to
suggest what is needed, but the superintendent can act. The
schools will never improve and have a standard goal until
the superintendent is an efficient school man. The efficient
school man will have plans for his schools, and direct the
teacher in putting those plans into action. We have men who
are making plans that look well on paper, but if they do not
go out and direct those plans they are worthless. For a plan





60 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

to achieve the most, the teacher must be able to see \h:lt it
would be as a finished product. Can an untrained teacher \\ hI..
has never made plans take them and see a finished product ?
A man cannot supervise something that he knows ii,:thinig
about. Those superintendents who have never taught. a:n
who have never been schoolmen are figure-heads in the v-
tem. The superintendent should be the chief superviur. I.,nlt.
there should be rural supervisory teachers paid by the. co.nit.'\.
These rural supervisory helpers should give full lime to:
the rural schools. When the rural schools have expert -Liujler-
vision, then, and not until then, will there be improvieentc in
the rural schools.

3. Rural consolidation:
The right kind of consolidation will help the rural schlI-'
as nothing else will. It is almost impossible to have expei:
supervision when a county has a great number of one-teaclier
schools. Consolidation for the rural school should I:e c.n-
solidation in the rural schools, and not consolidation of coun-
try in town. When the school is moved to the town the in-
terests of the neighborhood follow the school. The pie',ile
cease to have their old schoolhouse as a neighborhood center.
They cease to plan for their old-time amusements. Their h.,.
interest in their neighborhood and it soon goes down. Con-
solidation for rural schools should be for the purpose of .ile-
veloping interest in the rural neighborhood.
Some of the one-teacher schools can never be conso:lid.Iit,'.d.
They are too far removed from each other. In the lake aind
Everglades region will be found schools of this type. Tlier,
are no railroads and practically no dirt roads in some of the .-
sections. One Superintendent said that it was impossible to:
drive an automobile in some of these neighborhoods. C'.n-_.liila-
tion would be impossible there. It seems a shameful waste e of
opportunities to consolidate the rural schools of good formingii
sections with those in some big town. The good farming s, ,:-
tion is the ideal place for consolidation. The school \\ill ide-
velop the neighborhood and a course in agriculture may be
put into the school. This will encourage the boys tio ?tay
on the farm and build up the country. The consolidated ch ool
in the country makes a satisfied farming people. They are





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


living well at home, getting a bank account and giving their
children the advantages of a good school.
There is no state that has the climate that Florida has.
She has twelve growing months in the year, with a soil that
will produce if treated right. There are a great many failures
in farming in Florida because the farmer does not know how
to treat the soil.
The Government sent a representative down to look over
Florida to estimate the possibilities of the bee industry. He
spent several weeks in the state, and then reported to Mr.
C. K. McQuarrie that this is the best territory for bees in
the Union. He crossed near the central part of the Peninsula
from East to West Coast and found there two very rare
plants that produce a wonderful food for bees. The specialist
was much surprised to find these plants in Florida, for he
thought they grew only in Central America. The specialist
said further that no section of the United States furnished as
great a variety of bee feeding plants as Florida, yet there
are very few sections that are really trying out the bee in-
dustry. Mr. McQuarrie says, "We get less than 10 percent
of the actual nectar of the state". The Agricultural Exten-
sion Division would be glad to aid the county superintendent
in finding out just what is best to put in the rural sections
of his county. The superintendent should lead in developing
those interests in his schools. Consolidation that has in view
only the opportunity of putting the pupils in the classroom
to recite is narrow and dangerous. It produces a discontented
people. There is formed a dualism between school and the
life they must live. Consolidation in the country is a con-
solidation of school and the life about them. Consolidation
may be on a small scale at first, but hold on to it, keep it in
the right place and build on it. It will broaden out. Give
the rural neighborhood a high school, and do not send the
children in to town for this work. The consolidated school
should be a consolidation of every interest in the neighbor-
hood. If it is a bee section, form a bee club. Encourage the
children to grow new vegetables. Have a strong affiliation
with the work of the County Agent and the Home Demon-
stration Agent, and thus lead the children to see that they are
a part of the county and that their record does its part in
giving the county its rank in the state.






62 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

4. Cooperation with County Agent and Home Demov,sh~n-
tion Agent:
The brightest vision given the rural schools as they staindi
today is given through the Cooperative Extension Work: in
Agriculture and Home Economics. It has given more vision,
more uplift, more competition and more real joy than anyi
other one thing. The earnest teacher, who watches the in-
terest of these rural children as they grasp and use the first
opportunity given them for putting forth personal efforts.
is impressed with the zeal of these children. They are getting
in touch, for the first time, with life outside of the neiglihli-
hood. They are finding that their neighborhood is a part of
the county, and that their county is really related to the
State.
Those who are not interested in this Cooperative Exten-
sion Work are those who do not know, or who do not care to
be bothered. The writer can never forget the interest -.if
these rural boys and girls in the coming of the County and
Home Demonstration Agents. That was a calendar da:y ot
the month. Every pupil in school knew which membeti. of
the clubs had chickens, pigs or something that had been pre-
pared for the county exhibit. They eagerly asked, "Did y:ou
get a prize?" We all knew what the exhibits looked like. lnd
we all knew which were selected for the Tampa and for the
Jacksonville Fairs, and we all anxiously watched the mails to
see which one won. The trips that these boys and girls ha\ e
had given them to Gainesville and Tallahassee are the biggest
opportunities that they have ever had. Eighteen counties. in
Peninsular Florida have county agents and fourteen counties.
have home demonstration agents. Three of these countie-
have one assistant each, making 17 home demonstration
agents in this part of the state.
The home demonstration agents have gone into the h.,nme-.
They have taught the mothers to make bread; they have ta;,glit
the girls to sew and do other needle work. Some of the bol-s
and girls are in the contest for the best garden. They are en-
couraged to try out new things. New vegetables are plantedl
and they are taught new ways of preparing vegetables for
the table. They are given canning weeks in which the agent
goes out and superintends the canning of vegetables, truits






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


and meats. The table is the same, but the menu is different
and it has not increased the expense either. It was merely the
waste conserved.
Florida has less milk than any other Southern state. These
agents have plans for the year. They talk these plans so much
that they sound like hobbies; every agent in the report told
of her milk drive. One agent staged the drive so well that the
children have carried it into the homes and parents are con-
cerned enough to consult the agent about getting cows. The
children are being weighed and they are ashamed of under-
weight, so that they are telling the parents what can be
done.
An agent told this incident of her milk drive. She and
Miss Morse, the State Dairy Agent, were in a home that had
few comforts, but the people were able to have a comfortable
home and plenty of wholesome food. In this home was a little
boy about twelve years of age. The agent said that he could not
have been more than three and one-half feet tall and greatly
underweight. They asked the mother if they had cows, and
she replied, "Yes, we are milking several, but we don't save
very much milk for we want to raise the calves". Miss Morse
asked the little underfed, underweight boy if he liked milk.
The mother replied to the question by saying, "No, he never
did like milk". The little boy added, "Why, Ma, I don't know
whether I like it or not; I never tasted it".
Is it not tragic when the mother is more interested in
feeding and raising calves than in feeding and raising her
own children?
In another county the Home Demonstration Agent told the
following incident: This agent had come in from a long trip
in the country and this incident had happened that morning.
She had gone out to give a bread-making demonstration.
These people were able to have comforts. She went with them
over the farm to see the corn, and she said that they had a
fine crop of everything. She asked if they got plenty of milk.
They replied that they had several cows, but they had to
keep up the calves so they gave all the milk to the calves to
keep from hauling water for them. This man had married
children and had lived on this place as a boy, yet he was still
hauling water in dry seasons. This agent said this family






64 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

had nothing in the way of screening or any sanitary equip-
ment. They did not even have an old-time privy.
Some short-sighted people have wanted to discontinue
the work of the county agent and of the home demonstration
agent on the plea of hard times. If the commercial side is the
only thing to consider, they are a paying investment. They
are the farmer's best friends. It is through these agents that
the rural boys and girls are connecting their lives and in-
terests with the lives and interests outside of their own neigh-
borhood. It would be almost criminal to take these agents
from the rural districts.
5. Efficient, trained, satisfied teachers:
If Florida had efficient, trained, satisfied teachers in her
country districts, she could feel sure of progress. The best
teachers are put in the urban schools and the rural child never
gets the benefit of their experience until he is in high school.
Very few of these children reach high school. Mr. Price of
Putnam County has the best record of this. Four years ag.:
there were four rural pupils who came into Palatka to take
high school work and this year there are sixty-two. He give.
uniform examinations to the rural children, and the paper'
are graded in his office and certificates granting entrance to.
the ninth grade are issued. There have been over one hundred
certificates issued this term, 1921. These children are given
transportation, or the Board allows them so much for board
money to spend to attend high school. This is good only for
the individual child. The neighborhood is not benefited unless
that pupil is satisfied to go back and build up her home neigh-
borhood.
There are places that cannot be consolidated, but the
children in these places are given an equal chance with the
children in the county for high school work. But where they
can be consolidated, it is better than to send the children from
home. If there were better trained teachers in the grades, the
number entering high school would greatly increase. This
would be especially true of the country, for so few of the
country teachers are trained. It takes the children so long
to finish the eighth grade and then there is not much to it.
It has not been presented in a way to correlate with the life
about them. They know a few facts, but they have never





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


thought that these facts had any relation to the life about
them .
It is hard for the teacher of a one-teacher rural school to
be satisfied. She may be trained and efficient, but it will be
hard for her to be satisfied. There are so many things to do,
so many obstacles to overcome, that she becomes discouraged.
She may not be dissatisfied with the place or the people, but
she may feel that her work is not counting for enough. How-
ever, very few teachers with so much concern for their work
ever fail. The people will recognize her value and she will
stay.
A better standard of work must be realized down in the
grades. The trained superintendents are recognizing this
need. Throughout the state undue prominence is given to
high schools. Much inspection and supervision have been cen-
tered there that should have been done in a very intensive
manner in the lower grades. Four years of high school work
can do little good to a child who comes up through the gram-
mar grades with weak training. Then there must be encour-
agement given the rural teacher. The report from the United
States Bureau of Education shows that the average salary
for the country teacher is $361.00, while the average salary
for the urban teacher is $649.00, nearly twice as much. (11:5.)
The rural teacher has no supervisor and she must have had
experience and training if she is a success, while the urban
teacher is closely supervised and may make a success with-
out training. The rural patrons must meet the demands.
They must be made to see that it is a paying investment to
keep their school in touch with their neighborhood. They
should be led to see that the best, most proficient teacher is
not too expensive for their children. The writer is of the
opinion that if we had superintendents who did expert rural
supervision, we would soon have rural neighborhoods de-
manding the best teachers and willing.to pay for the best.
If they have never had an efficient, trained, satisfied teacher,
how can they know her value? If they do not know her value,
are they likely to offer salary inducements? It is natural for
one to want a vision of what his money will buy. The expert
superintendent can tell them what their money will buy, and
the trained teacher can show them the results of a good in-
vestment.





66 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

6. Teacherages:
The teacherage has not yet become popular in Florida.
There are less than one dozen in the Peninsula. Lee County
probably holds the honor for the first teacherage in this sec-
tion, located at Alva, while Polk County comes first in the
number of teacherages. Those in Polk are not all owned by
the district; in fact, none of them are owned entirely by the
district. Polk County is in the heart of the phosphate region.
These mining corporations have put in teacherages because
they know that the satisfied teacher is more proficient. These
mining towns usually keep their teachers from year to year.
The principal of one of these towns has had the appointment
for nine successive years and the principals for two others
for five and three years respectively. They are satisfied, for
they are given a home furnished free of rent. There are a
number of other favors shown to the teachers. These towns
are rarely ever found hunting teachers, but teachers are
hunting them. This is the one educational movement of the
Peninsula that is leading in the rural districts. Teachers often
rent furnished apartments in town and do light housekeeping,
but School Boards do not own furnished homes for the teach-
ers. Board is very high in tourist towns. Teachers pay as
high as sixty dollars per month for board in these towns. A
member of the Board said that Dade County has two teach-
erages, but they have not proven a success because the teachers
could not live peaceably in the same home. If teachers can-
not agree in the same home, they cannot agree at school.
Volusia County has one teacherage and Orange County has
two. A number of the superintendents are interested in teach-
erages, and the movement is growing in popularity. There
will be a marked improvement in the schools when the satis-
fied teacher is given a home and she is made to feel that she
is building up her own neighborhood.

7. School activities leading children to beautify their
homes:
Every time the question of campus conditions was asked,
superintendents replied immediately on the conditions in the
high schools. When they were told that the question had ref-
erence to the rural districts, the reply was invariably changed.





FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


There is very little pride taken in the school grounds. Some
of the high schools do not have pride along this line. When
the grounds are kept in the high schools it is done by the
janitor and not through the efforts of the teachers and pupils.
Pinellas County put on a campus contest last year. A
prize was offered to the school that had the prettiest campus.
The school that won spent $1500.00 on their campus. A cam-
paign like that encourages campus pride, but there is a more
loyal pride when the children help to build it up, and the
Board is not responsible for results.
More than half of the rural schools are not even fenced.
They have no pride at all. The teachers are largely respon-
sible for this lack of pride. Children will eagerly enter into
beautifying movements if they are only led.
Many of the superintendents are not interested in the
school grounds. Only one reported that he considered the
grounds as one measurement of the teacher's efficiency. The
general neatness of the whole school property should count
toward a teacher's efficiency.
This is the best avenue the teacher has of giving the
children ideas of beauty to take into the home. The children
will want flowers in their homes if they have them at school.
The right kind of pictures should be used in the schoolrooms
and these pictures should be studied with the children. The
framing and hanging of the pictures should also be com-
mented on. Different color schemes for rooms should be
brought out.
The Rural School Inspectors have aroused much competi-
tion in schools by their system of grading the rural schools for
standardization. Pupils are anxious for their school to stan-
dardize, and they enter into the prospect with zeal. Several of
the points for standardization are points of neatness and im-
provement that the children can be responsible for. This is a
strong point of the standardization table. The children, the
patron and the teacher have standards to meet.
8. Organized and directed play:
Organized and directed play is more neglected than any
other school activity, but it has more of the elements for
character-building than any other one thing in school. The





68 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLOr,'I.-

average teacher does not realize what the mingling thrli'o li
play would mean to her. She feels that she wouli rather
spend the play-time away from the children. There is \ver
little organized play. The stronger children atr likely to
domineer over the weaker if the play is not dire..ted. Tli
principals of the larger schools have the teacher, take turnil-
at play-ground duty, but that is not really superviedi '1 lay. In
the small schools, play is supervised only when .ailh t-a.l.her
goes out and directs the play of her own room. Some teaclivi-r
of the one-teacher schools direct their play. In tiis survey
of these counties, only one school with several teachers \as
found that has really organized and directed plav. This is
in the Model Rural School of the State at Brewster. In this
school every teacher is expected to go on the grounds at recess
and to play. The comradeship of teacher and pupil. is 'er;
strong. The pupils have an opportunity of knowing the te~;h-
er through play, as well as through work, and the teacher
really learns to know her pupils by this double interio:ur-ce.
People are just waking up to the fact that play -lhould be
directed. It has been the custom to direct play oly as a
coach for different ball games, but to direct play io that it
will serve a greater purpose is a new reason for its direction.
The selection and training of the best players for nmatt:h games
is not directed play. The ones who really need to p1:lay -'ar left
out and the stronger ones often injure themselves b:,y ,vr-
play. The coaching for match games should not be at tlhe
recesses. That time should be used for all of the children.
Each county in North Carolina has a play director \vh*-e ditty
it is to teach games to the children. There are 'very fe\: of
the peninsular superintendents in favor of such a dlirectur.
There are few play enthusiasts, just as many oplioer- anIl
quite a few neutrals among the superintendents visited. There
were many neutrals because they did not know cl:nouLgli to
oppose or to take a stand for it.
9. Parent-Teachers' associations:
There are some fine school and home organizations in the
different counties. Several counties have them in the rural
districts. This is especially true of the counties that harl
progressive Home Demonstration Agents. Thest agents art
organizers of home and school interests. These organizations






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


are proving very helpful to teachers who are anxious to serve
the people. The mothers know the teachers better after they
have met them in these organizations. In every instance where
there is play-ground equipment in the rural districts, it was
put in by some associations of patrons. The organization
serves its purpose when the parent recognizes the needs of
the child through the teacher.

C. SUMMARIZED COMMENTS.
Definite information along some lines considered in this
discussion is very meager. The superintendents were inclined
to want to sugar-coat their reports. It took numerous ques-
tions to find out the things that they did not want to tell.
One superintendent was asked about the conditions of the
school grounds. He replied that they were well kept by a
janitor. He was then asked if they were well kept in the rural
districts, and he replied, "Very nicely kept". He was asked
about flowers. He replied, "Some flowers". The writer then
asked, "Are they all fenced?" He replied, "Mostly". The
next question was, "About what percent are fenced?" He
finally reached for his record book and found by actual count
that there were four out of fifteen rural schools in the county
with the yards fenced. This is an example of attempted sugar-
coating. In some instances the superintendents did not know.
They had been in office only a short time and seemed to know
absolutely nothing about their counties. They seemed to have
no idea of what was needed and therefore had no plans.
The writer was impressed with the bonds that are tying
the educational system down. So many of the superintendents
are keeping their hands on the pulse of the county board, and
the leading men in their county, that they have no time to
make and work out plans, and they are afraid to try. The
tourist problem is over-shadowing everything else. No super-
intendent dares to say anything that will give his county a
low rating from a tourist standpoint. Only one county, Palm
Beach, admits that there is a tourist problem, and they are
trying to do more than any other county to solve the prob-
lem. The opportunity teacher is used in that county when
they have funds. The reader may say, "How does this apply
to the rural districts?" Just here. These conditions are true
in the rural towns and most of these tourists' counties have






70 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLOPID.-A

rural demonstration teachers and when the funtil. run lrw'v
these are the first teachers who are taken off t-ie teaching lit.
thus leaving rural teachers without supervision. These (.ou1-
ties are hopelessly in debt, and the funds are not tsuf iciit to
run schools for their own children. (3:29.) Then v.-:ihe the
tourists come and crowd the schools there must be a break.
Florida has the county unit system, so the rural sIhooIls stiTer.
This expression is often heard, "They certainly d :l. bleed
the tourists in that town", meaning that they charge them
such extortionate prices. The rural districts are living under
the same price mark. The people are not happy. They are
always feeling that they are not getting a square deal. This
standard of living is developing the chance-tal.er. He plans
to "do them first".
There is little real home life in the tourist -ectiinc. The
owners of homes will probably rent out all of tihe h Nou~ e exiept
the kitchen and dining room, and they crowd tip in these
little rooms all winter. It is claimed that th-e t'o:ri-ts; leave
30,000,000 dollars in the peninsula yearly. (26:5.) W\hat doe-
$30,000,000 mean when everything in the comrnirii, t ti pricWed
so high-when our schools are crowded out-\\ hen our Ihoimes
become rooming houses-when our children tare I.'r:ilught tul:
to adopt floating financial systems of business ? The tourist
problem is so new and is growing so rapidly that the people
are overcome with the greatness of it. They like the excite-
ment of it, and are cultivating the tourists. They are il tting
them before their children in school, and before their fam-
ilies at home.
Some of the County School Boards are hopelessly in debt.
caused chiefly by spending beyond their mean? to:' serve the
tourists. (3:29.)
The writer tried to find out just how much of tlie county
funds were spent on the rural schools, and how many annual
visits the superintendents made to the rural school., Ibut there
were not enough replies to tabulate. One man rellie.il by say-
ing that he did not have time to tabulate. One man replied
by saying that he did not have time to get up the data. Oth-
ers did not reply at all. A full report of conditions in the rural
schools cannot be obtained until the county sul:eriiitenderits
have records of which they are not ashamed.






FLORIDA RURAL SCHOOL PROBLEMS


The writer made every effort to get definite statistics on
the health conditions of Peninsular Florida, but there is very
little organized material and what there is is not given to the
public. The health officials, too, think of the tourist first.
The whole thing seems a plan that more tourists may come.
Following this chapter is a list of questions which the
writer asked the superintendents, and a table of replies, also
graphs, illustrating rural school conditions in Florida. The
table of replies is not absolutely authentic for the men, not
knowing their counties in some cases, made estimates. These
estimates were not always correct, for some superintendents
reported no libraries when they had standardized rural schools
in the county, and one point required for standardization is a
library, the minimum value of which is ten dollars.
D. QUESTIONS, TABULATED REPLIES AND GRAPHS:
Questions asked County Superintendents:
1. How many senior high schools in your county?-12
grades?
2. How many intermediate high schools in your county?
-11 grades?
3. How many junior high schools in your county?-10
grades?
4. How many and what types of rural schools have
you?
5. What salary is paid?
6. Do you have teacherages? This led up to price of
board and accommodations.
7. What is the length of term?
8. How many grades in the average rural school?
9. Do you have domestic science and manual training?
10. Are the high schools well equipped?
11. Are the rural schools well equipped?
12. Do the teachers and pupils take pride in the campus?
13. Do your teachers have flowers at school?
14. Do your schools have play-ground equipment?
15. Is the attendance law helping in this county?
16. How many pupils in the county?
17. How many graduates in the county?
18. What percent of the graduates go to college and where
do they go?






72 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

19. Are you consolidating, and how is it working?
20. How many are you transporting? Do the pupils
like it?
21. Do you have a county nurse?
22. Do you have a Home Demonstration Agent?
23. Do you have a County Agent?
24. Do you have libraries in your school?
25. What kind of toilets do you have?
26. Do your teachers supervise play?
27. What county organizations do you have?
28. Have you a tourist problem in this county?
29. What are you planning to do for the schools v\hile
in office?
30. How are you going about it?







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74 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA


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76 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA



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78 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA


CHAPTER V

CONCLUSION
The most important medium for judging nations and coun-
tries of the past has been and is now through their literature
and the written records they have left; then, if we judge
Florida by the same system, we must take the records that
she is giving out. After a few of the following statistics are
compared, it will be easy for the writer to substantiate the
statement that Florida is measuring herself on the dollar basis
and not in terms of educational progress.
In the last decade the school enrollment has increased about
58 percent. (3:13.) The average salary of the teacher has
increased only 51 percent. (3:16.)
The assessed valuation of Florida increased 94.5 percent
from 1910 to 1919. The bank deposits of Florida have in-
creased 205 percent in the last five years. (26:10.)
Florida has three great interests in which she leads the
other states of the Union. These interests, turpentine, phos-
phate, and the manufacture of tobacco, put millions of dollars
into the state every year. (26:5.) The tourists spend in the
state thirty million annually, while the produce sold from
the farms per annum amounts to $80,000,000.
With all of these millions of dollars that come into the
state and the millions that are made in the state in a year,
we find rural children getting as low as five months of school
per year, and there is a decided movement to shorten terms
for the school year 1921-22, and to pay the teacher less per
month.
The statistics of 1920 show that Florida had 71,811 il-
literates. There has been an appreciable decrease since 1910.
In 1910 the statistics show that 13.8 percent of the popula-
tion were classed as illiterates. In 1920 there were only 9.6
percent in this class. There is more illiteracy in the rural
districts of the state than in the urban, the percentage being
12.2 for the rural population and 5.4 for the city population.
It is disgusting to one who really knows the extreme needs
of the rural schools to see so many inducements offered to
the tourists. When the city school suffers the rural schools
must suffer also, for Florida's school system is built on the





CONCLUSION


county unit plan. The "Tin-Can Tourist" can hardly be classed
short of an intruding nuisance. Some towns, during the last
tourist season, gave these people camps with free lights and
water, while often these tourists lived in the camps and
worked in competition with the men who were tax payers
in the towns.
It seems that the towns, in trying to advertise themselves,
are neglecting home interests. There are times when one can
do more for strangers than the strangers expect to have
done. The writer is of the opinion that this is being done
now in Florida when parents rent their homes from the chil-
dren, when they allow their children to be crowded in school
and when the wage scale of the community is lowered by
unfair competition. Money should never be a medium of ex-
change for a child's opportunity in life.
The list of questions given on pages 71-72 was used merely
as a guide in getting reports from superintendents on school
conditions in their respective counties. These questions led
up to other discussions, and the writer usually spent a full
morning with each superintendent. In some cases the super-
intendent seemed reluctant to give data and appeared bored.
The writer also took notes from discussions with the
home demonstration agents, county nurses, attendance of-
ficers and talked to various other persons about rural condi-
tions. The replies to the questions tabulated on the attached
folder are far from being definite and complete, yet they give
a fair estimate of conditions as they exist, and represent
an earnest effort toward that goal.
If the child's home life is practically given up; if at-
tendance is irregular; if the children are crowded in school; if
the school term is shortened; if the teachers are untrained;
if there are no educational requirements demanded of county
superintendents; if the salaries of teachers are lowered; if
schools are not well equipped; if the state schools cannot fur-
nish adequate training for the teachers; if the legislators are
not men broad-minded enough to see the educational needs of
the state; if our state officials are satisfied with our educa-
tional standing; how can we educate our children? The solu-
tion is with the legislators. It is they who will give or take
away this opportunity.






80 A STUDY OF THE RURAL SCHOOLS OF FLORIDA

Our legislators should be educated men, men who are con-
cerned enough about the educational standard of the state
to stand out fearlessly for the promotion of every child's
good; then, and not until then, will Florida lose her rank of
fortieth in educational standards.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
1. Ayres, Leonard P.-An Index Number for State School
System, N. Y., 1920.
2. Bagley, William C.-A Competent Teacher for Every
School. School and Home Education, June, 1920.
3. Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction of the State of Florida, 1920.
4. Bonner, H. R. Compulsory Attendance Laws Lack
Vigor. School Life, January 1, 1921.
5. Brevard, Caroline Mays, and Bennett, H. R.-A History
of Florida. N. Y., 1904.
6. Bruere, Martha Bensley, and Bruce, Robert W.-Increas-
ing Home Efficiency, N. Y., 1912.
7. Buell, Jennie-One Woman's Work for Farm Women,
1912.
8. Bush, George Gary-History of Education in Florida.
Washington, 1889.
9. California State Board of Health, Monthly Bulletin, Feb-
ruary, 1920.
10. Cartwright, Everette E.-An Educational Situation. Ed-
ucation, Sept. 1919.
11. Claxton, P. P.-U. S. Commissioner of Education, Pri-
vate Letter. June 2, 1921.
12. Crissy, Forrest-Saturday Evening Post, September 11,
1920.
13. Crowell, Chester T.-Why the Young Folks Leave the
Farm. The Independent, February 1, 1920.
14. Curren, Margaret Craig-Holding Students up to Stan-
dard through Follow-up Work and Extension Activi-
ties. N. E. A. Report, 1920.
15. Driver, Lee L.-The Organization of Public Education
for Service in the New Democracy. N. E. A. Report,
1919.






BIBLIOGRAPHY


16. Editorial-Illiteracy in Florida. Citrus County Chronicle,
July 8, 1921.
17. Editorial-Memories. Delineator, March, 1920.
18. Editorial-Cultivating Our Parents. Outlook, Vol. 122,
July 3, 1919.
19. Ga!pin, Charles Josiah-Rural Life. New York, 1918.
20. Herrick, M. B.-Teacherages. School and Home Educa-
tion, April, 1921.
21. Holliday, Carl-What's the Matter with the Country
Schools? School and Society. December 13, 1919.
22. Hood, William K.-New Laws Relating to Education.
School Life, May 1, 1921.
23. Jewell, J. R.-The Education of the Feelings. School and
Society. February 7, 1920.
24. Keith and Bagley-The Nation and the School. New
York, 1920.
25. Kirkland, Winifred-The Mountain Mother. Ladies'
Home Journal, December, 1921.
26. McRae, W. A.-Some Suggestions of Agricultural Op-
portunities.
27. Osborne, Grace-The Modern Health Crusade. School and
Home Education, June, 1920.
28. Report of Board of Control for State of Florida, 1918.
29. Report of Board of Control for State of Florida, 1920.
30. Sheats, W. N,-Compiler of Digest of the School Laws
of the State of Florida, 1915.
31. Sheats, W. N.-Compiler of Laws Relating to Education,
Enacted by the Florida Legislature of 1917 and 1919.
32. Sheats, W. N.-Compiler of Laws Relating to Education,
Enacted by the Florida Legislature of 1921.
33. Thomas, Augustus O.-The State of Maine Plan. N. E.
A. Report, 1920.
34. Vogt, Paul L.-Introduction to Rural Sociology. N. Y.,
1916.
35. Vogt. Paul L.-The Church and Country Life. New York,
1916.

































































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