The American Association of
A De artment of the Notional Education Association of the United States
Education awd the Development of
Hu w fd Natural Rcsources
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i L:..^DJA CURRICUL rJM inC;ASG 'J .-.4
COLLEGE OF EDUCATION U. OF FLA. A -'
STATE DEPT. OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
P*. K. YONGJS bC-HOOL GAINEAVIA-LLE FLA.,
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF
Education and the Development of
Human and Natural Resources
DRAWING ON COVER BY ELIZABETH MILLER
SUNDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 2, 1947
In Memoriam ........
Presentation of Honorary Life Memberships . .
On Being Alive to the Present . . . . .
SUNDAY EVENING, MARCH 2, 1947
The Challenge of Leadership . . . . .
Concert by the Toronto Men Teachers' Choir ..
MONDAY MORNING, MARCH 3, 1947
The Convention Exhibit . . . .
The Schools Are Ours .. . ....
Some Firsts in Educational Reconstruction
MONDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 3, 1947
Friendship Hour . . .
MONDAY EVENING, MARCH 3, 1947
International Understanding: An Undeveloped Human Re-
source . . . . .
The Age of Crisis and Its Impact upon Education
TUESDAY MORNING, MARCH 4, 1947
. -Shankland .
. -Scharfe .
. . 54
Five T alents . . . . . . . .
Presentation of the Yearbook, Schools for a NewI IWorl
The Association Plans for the Future . . . .
Presentation of the Report of the Planning Committee
TUESDAY EVENING, MARCH 4, 1947
Presentation of the American Education Award to James
Bryant Conant . . . . . . . .
Acceptance of the American Education Award . . .
Athletics in Education . . . . . . .
The Hour of Charm . . . .
WEDNESDAY MORNING, MARC 5, 1947
Educational Opportunity for \honm?-UNESCO's Answer -Drzewieski
\hose Country Is This, Anyw\ay? . . . . --lrnall
// ." /
II I I
WEDNESDAY EVENING, MARCH 5, 1947
The Educational Crisis: Time for an Offensive Program -Meyer . 131
America's Educational Dilemma . . . . .. -Conant .140
Presentation of Automobile to Sherwood Dodge Shankland -Hill . 148
THURSDAY MORNING, MARCH 6, 1947
Presentation of Past-President's Key to Henry H. Hill -Anderson 151
Building Unity through Understanding . . . . -Alpenfels 152
The Sound Basis for Federal Aid to Education . .. --Taft . 166
THURSDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 6, 1947
Concert by the New Jersey All-State High School Orchestra and Chorus 175
Our Kind of Music . . . . . . . aring . 175
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, MARCH 5, 1947
Eye Comfort and Efficiency . . . . . .. -Gibson .188
Annual Report of the Executive Secretary . . . . . .. 195
Report of the Planning Committee . . . . . . . .. 220
Report of the Board of Tellers . . . . . . . . 223
Resolutions . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Report of the Audit Committee . . . . . . . . 230
Certificate of List of Securities . . . . . . 231
Program of the Atlantic City Convention . . . . . .. 233
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
American Association of School Administrators
HENRY H. H-ILL, President, George Peabody College for Teachers,
CHARLES 1-I. LAKE, Superintendent of Schools, Cleveland, Ohio
W. FRANK WARREN, Superintendent of Schools, Durham, N. C.
WORTH MCCLURE, 1201 Sixteenth Street, Northwest, WVashing-
ton, D. C.
SHERWOOD D. SHANKLAND, 1201 Sixteenth Street, Northwest,
Washington, D. C.
JOHN L. BRACKEN, Superintendent of Schools, Clayton, Mo.
IRBY B. CARRUTH, Superintendent of Schools, Waco, Texas
HOBART AM. CORNING, Superintendent of Schools, W\ashington,
GEORGE E. ROUDEBUSH, Superintendent of Schools, Columbus,
The President, First and Second Vicepresidents, ex off;cio
OUR POLICY-The American Association of School Administrators
endorses no individual or group of individuals or any sentiment
expressed by any speaker or other participant in its programs, ex-
cept by resolution or by motion approved by a vote of its members.
FIRST GENERAL SESSION
Sunday Afternoon, March 2, 1947
P RESIDENT HILL: It is, I think, altogether fitting that we pause this
afternoon at this vesper service to render inconspicuous but sincere tribute
to those teachers of the United States who, along with many others, gave
their lives in the service of their country. I shall ask the audience to stand
for a moment of tribute and to resume their seats at the sound of the gavel.
(The audience arose and observed a moment of silence.)
We have the pleasure of having on this program the chorus of one hun-
dred voices from Westminster Choir College under the direction of Dr.
Carlton Martin. Dr. Martin.
DR. MARTIN: VWe think it is fitting at this time to sing a group of songs
to serve as a memorial for those who have died in the service of their coun-
try. The first song we shall sing is "Rodger Young." Many of you no doubt
know of the heroism of this young Ohio lad. The second number will be
"Open Our Eyes" by Macfarlane, and the last number the "Battle Hymn
of the Republic."
PRESENTATION OF HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIPS
S. D. SHANKLAND, SECRETARY EMERITUS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF
SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, WASHINGTON, D. C.
PRESIDENT HILL: This is our first national meeting since five tumultuous
years ago in San Francisco. The Association is therefore glad to have the
opportunity to recognize and honor past-presidents of our Association who
have retired from active service, those who have rendered unusual services
to our organization. There is no one, we believe, better suited to present
the honorary life memberships than our Secretary Emeritus, AIr. S. D.
Shankland. M-r. Shankland.
MIR. SHANKLAND: Ladies and Gentlemen, and Friends: Four major
incentives to great endeavor are money, duty, honor, and love of the doing.
Salary checks are not to be despised. It is hard for a man to exert leader-
ship when he must stand with his back to the wall because of the holes in
his pants. Duty and honor may inspire many, but the greatest achievements
are likely to be credited to the one who works for love of the doing.
The presidency of this great organization by tradition and method of
election goes only to those who in the judgment of their peers are deemed
worthy of leadership. Today we honor eight past-presidents whose span
of service covered more than three decades. By authority of the Executive
10 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Committee it is my privilege to present to each of them a certificate of
honorary life membership in the American Association of School Adminis-
trators. They served their profession beyond the call of duty and honor
because of their love of the doing.
STRATTON D. BROOKS
President, 1910-Former Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Brooks, you presided at Indianapolis in 1910. It was my first national
convention. For me the real thrill of the meeting came when you stopped
to shake my hand. Then, as always, your first care was for those beginning
ERNEST C. HARTWELL
President, 1919-Former Superintendent of Schools
Buffalo, New York
Courageous defender of sound educational procedure, you set standards
of professional responsibility which many a younger man has been proud to
emulate through all the years.
ELLIS U. GRAFF
President, 1920-Former Superintendent of Schools
At your convention in Cleveland in 1920, in spite of vigorous opposi-
tion, first steps were taken to reorganize the Department of Superintendence
on an effective year-round basis. The Department owes much to you and
President, 1924--Former State Commissioner of Education
A representative of the finest traditions of New England and a worthy
successor of Horace Mann. Few, indeed, are those who have served educa-
tion so courageously. I received a telegram just now from Dr. Smith advis-
ing of his inability to be present and expressing his regrets. Secretary
McClure, will you transmit this citation to him.
FRANK W. BALLOU
President, 1926-Former Superintendent of Schools
Washington, D. C.
For a quarter of a century a tower of strength in the nation's capital.
How often when the outlook was discouraging have your fellow superin-
tendents turned to you for wise and tolerant advice.
GENERAL SESSIONS 11
JosEPH Mi. GWINN
President, 192S-Former Superintendent of Schools
New Orleans, Louisiana, and San Francisco, California
Superintendent of schools in two of America's most glamorous cities, New
Orleans and San Francisco, you kept your poise and never lost the common
CHARLES B. GLENN
President, 193S-Former Superintendent of Schools
Southern gentleman, par excellence, you extended the gracious influence
of your life beyond the boundaries of your state for the lasting benefit of
the entire nation.
W. HOWARD PILLSBURY
President, 194.2-Former Superintendent of Schools
Schenectady, New York
At the San Francisco Convention, in the trying time just after Pearl
Harbor, you exhibited that strength of character which already had made
you the rock of public education of New York State.
Gentlemen, go in peace. The best wishes of six thousand superintend-
ents go with you.
ON BEING ALIVE TO THE PRESENT
DR. HOWARD C. SCHARFE, MINISTER, SHADYSIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH,
PRESIDENT HILL: Born in Ottawa, Canada, our vesper speaker received
his B. A. degree at Queens University, Kingston, Canada; his B. D. degree
from Union Theological Seminary, New York City; his M\. A. degree from
Columbia University; and he has also been awarded an honorary degree
of Doctor of Divinity by Grove City College in Pennsylvania.
From associate minister of a pastorate in Buffalo, New York, he became
minister of the First Presbyterian and Trinity Church, South Orange, New
Jersey, and a little more than a year ago he assumed his present duties as
minister of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
It was our feeling that some of the speakers at our convention should be
among the younger leaders of the country. Dr. Scharfe is such a person. It
is a pleasure to present him to you this afternoon, and also, Dr. Scharfe,
to present to you the representatives of school administration from through-
out the nation.
Dr. Scharfe's subject is, "On Being Alive to the Present." Dr. Scharfe.
DR. SCHARFE: During these past years in general and these past months
in particular, platform speakers and writers and commentators have shown
a disturbing propensity to expend their energy in attempting to find words
12 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
to describe the tragedy of our world. Words such as "war-torn," "devas-
tated," "disturbed," and "sorrowing," have found their way into our
vocabulary with such monotonous frequency that there are some of us who
are very tired of them, while others have become firmly convinced of the
absolute hopelessness of our world situation.
One man was not satisfied only with heaping denunciation on this day,
but he also went about the very morbid task of attempting to gather data
upon it. So, in our capital city of Washington he found in one newspaper
these headlines: "Prominent Society Woman Gets Ten Years for Mur-
der," "Fourth Marriage of Screen Star Ends in Divorce," "Chicago Judge
Declares Young Mother To Have Morals of a Rabbit," "Bobby-Soxer,
Aged Fourteen, Held as Kidnaper," "Soldier Husband Slays Wife's Lover
in New York Apartment," "Boy Thirteen Commits Suicide."
It is not a very pleasant picture, is it, and one would certainly be an incur-
able Pollyanna to look out upon his day and say that it could possibly be
described as pleasant.
But the fact is that we are not going to improve that situation by doing
nothing but weep over the ruins about us. That is the road to failure. It is
the road to despair. It is the opposite of a stubborn faith, and superintendents,
teachers, and ministers can never be in that business.
One has a good deal of sympathy with the young man that Dr. Park tells
us about, who fell into an excavation on the East Side of New York City.
One of his elders looked down into the hole and watched the frantic strug-
gles of the young fellow as he attempted to get up, and he said, "Don't
be foolish, my boy. Stay down there. You are better off." Finally, the young
fellow did get out, and he went to this man and said, "Did you really mean
that I was better off in the bottom of that hole than trying to meet the chal-
lenges of this day?" and the man said, "I meant just that." So, the man was
given a polite shove into the hole and, when last seen, he was sitting
comfortably on the bottom.
The fact is, you see, that you and I are dealing with youth, and youth
is not nearly so discouraged about his world as are his elders. Thank God for
that. They know that things are in a terrible situation. They know that the
war has not begun to solve the problems that are facing mankind. They
know that there is hunger and starvation in the world. But they also have a
tremendous courage. They also have enthusiasm, and they have a confidence
that they will be able to do something about their world. These are the
things that youth possesses even today. Probably we need to catch them from
them and then attempt to strengthen them within them.
The wisdom of the wise men of the East was in the fact that they were
not looking for the salvation of their day in any act of the Roman govern-
ment. They were not looking for their salvation in any uprising of the
Jewish people. They were not looking for it in any system of appeasement.
They saw the salvation for their day in a newborn thing, in a personality in
whom God lived, and that is still true for this year of 1947. The future of
this nation and of the world does not depend upon a United Nations; it
does not depend upon the development of atomic power. It depends, as
GENERAL SESSIONS 13
always, upon young personalities, upon those young people whose ideas and
ideals you and I have been given the privilege to guide. Or, according to the
theme of your conference, to develop human and natural resources and to
develop a few spiritual ones as well. Those are great words of YValt
Brain of the new world, what a task is thine,
To formulate the modern . out of the peerless grandeur of the modern.
Out of thyself-comprising science-to recast poems, churches, art.
By vision, hand, conception, on the background of the mighty past, the dead.
To limn, with absolute faith, the mighty living present.
It is the living present, and we need to be alive to it. Youth has fallen
into the pit that has been made by war just the same as the rest of us, but
he believes that he is going to be able to get out of it, and any who dares to
take the position that it cannot be done will be left sitting on the bottom of
the hole. Even those who believe that he can and will encourage his ideas
and ideals will be amazed at what we can do with our world. Think of it.
They are with us today as boys and girls. I never look down upon my con-
gregation that I do not get a realization of it. Tomorrow they will be men
and women, probably set in their ways, full of prejudices, prone to take to
themselves the cynicism and the unhealthful self-criticism that is so preva-
lent in their elders. Today they are teachable; they are pliable. Tomorrow
they are out in the world for better or for worse. What a responsibility! To
limn, with absolute faith, the mighty living present.
How to go about it? I still believe that the most that any boy or girl ever
gets out of school is an attitude toward life. WVe want to send boys and
girls from our schools who are going to forward science and medicine; we
want them to take their places, strengthened in an academic way, in some
business or professional field. But more than that, we must give them some
understanding of life; we must give them some underlying philosophy about
it, and we must give them a faith, rather than a cynicism, regarding the
world in which they are going to live. This is the thing that gives purpose
to their living. These are the things that undergird character. These are
the things that will help youth to answer that question, "Why?" Believe me,
ever since this war began and long before it, people have been asking that
question, "Why ?"
You probably know of the man who was engaged in operations at the
ship's rail in the midst of seasickness. The steward came over to him and
put his hand on his shoulder and said, "Young fellow, don't be discouraged.
No one has ever died of seasickness." And between gulps the young man
managed to answer, "Don't tell me that. It's only the hope of dying that
has kept me alive this last half hour."
It was his attitude toward life that saved him, you see, and believe you
me, there are times when nothing but that stands between you and me and
How help form that attitude? It means, in the first place, learning to
reverse the past. Being alive to the present always means being alive to those
things that have happened. WTithout such knowledge, we cannot know those
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
things which have been tried and have failed, and we cannot know those
things that have never been tried. No student should ever graduate from a
school without at least a bowing acquaintance with the old masters. Our
high-pressure publicity hounds make us conscious of the best-sellers that
come out from month to month. One is given to understand that he is a
moron if he misses even one. I have read quite a number of them, and the
more I read of them, the more I understand the statement made by the lit-
tle girl in the cartoon who said that she loved all kinds of reading except
the best-sellers. Where is there in this generation a writer that can speak
better to our day than a Robert Burns, a Sir Walter Scott, a Shakespeare,
a Thackeray, a Longfellow, or an Emerson? They have wise words for
this generation. They give us perspective.
As we read back over those things which they have said, we begin to dis-
cover that some of the problems we had thought to be distinctive and new
are not distinctive and are not new. They say, "We have come this far. Now
you take on from here."
I have always hoped that some group of educators such as this would
take it to their hearts to attempt to give to our young people a deeper hold
on the meaning of religion in life. We say that it is a good thing for our
students to know about Alexander and Hannibal and Napoleon, but as far
as Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Amos are concerned, we leave them to the
church. The result is that religion has been looked upon by too many genera-
tions of youth as something which is tagged on, as an extra. They go out
into life feeling that religion is not necessarily a part of life or a part of
I am not asking that the school do the church's job, but I am asking that
the school and the church cooperate in attempting to do a task which is too
great for either one of them. These personalities of history have something
to say to youth, and many of them are in the pages of the Old Testament
and the New. God help the generation that tries to meet this kind of day
without some hold on religious life. As one educator has put it, "We have
listened too much to the dead voices of the living, and not enough to the
living voices of the dead."
Then, too, being alive to the present means a willingness to accept change.
The solutions of yesteryear may not be solutions for today at all. Man is
just that kind of animal. Youth needs to be taught that times change, and
he needs to be taught that sometimes old problems have to be given new
answers or at least new attempts at those answers.
In Henrik Ibsen's play, Ghosts, he has the character Mrs. Alving utter
these words: "It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and
mothers that exists again in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds
of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. We are so miserably afraid of the
light, all of us." That statement has been proved in history only too fre-
quently. How fond we are of the old customs of the past! How we seem to
hold on to the faith of our fathers! Sometimes that faith needs a very definite
reinterpretation if it is going to catch fire with the present day.
We are afraid of the light, all of us. Look back over history, and you
will find that those who first said that diseases could be transmitted by
germs were laughed at. Scientists had never heard of such a thing, and
because they hadn't heard of it, it couldn't be true. Of course, you never
have school superintendents who will talk that way. When vaccination
first came into being, there were those who opposed it because it was
blasphemy against God; and when the Panama Canal was first suggested,
there were many people who opposed it because, they said, if God had
intended a canal to go through the Isthmus of Panama he would have put
it there in the first place.
Frequently it has been said of the church:
Our fathers have been churchmen
Nineteen hundred years or so,
And to every new proposal
They have always answered, "No."
We don't dare do that in a day like this, because today we are being
attacked from every side by a barrage of new ideas, new ideas in politics, in
education, in religion, in everything you touch. We dare not draw back into
our shells of scorn and disdain. If we do, youth is going to march right
past us, whether we be school superintendents, ministers, or whatever we
may be, for he is moving on.
Albert Einstein, when asked how he discovered the theory of relativity,
answered, "I'challenged an axiom." Believe me, there are a lot of axioms
that need to be challenged in this day. May we get a generation of youth
with the courage to go out and do it.
I was in a USO in North Carolina about three years ago, and I picked
up a little card on which was written a prayer. I wish it could be put in the
hands of every convention member, in every school, and in every church
in this nation, and that Washington might be deluged with it. Here it is:
Dear God, give us strength to accept with serenity the things that cannot be
changed. Give us courage to change the things that can and should be changed.
And give us wisdom to distinguish one from the other.
That is a great prayer for this day, isn't it?
Moreover, isn't it our task in this living present to attempt to give to
youth again a faith in his fellow men? It is not easy. It is desperately diffi-
cult. Some of them have lost fathers or brothers in the war. Some of them
have been in the war themselves. They have seen what one man can do to
another, and they are thoroughly ashamed of this being called "man." In
Mark Twain's Mlysterious Stranger one of the characters speaks of man's
brutality to man, and Satan replies, "Why insult the brute creation? No
animal is capable of such cruelty as man. Even jackals and wolves would
scorn to do what men do to their fellows." How true it is! We have been
able to sink to depths of depravity that are unthinkable. How difficult it is
to bring men together once they have fought. That is why this convention
of yours is so important following the war. IWe are in this great strategic
period when the emotions of men are upset, when they are not thinking
clearly, and it is not easy to get business done under those circumstances.
16 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
One of your members came to me before this talk and said, "I have just
come from a meeting where they were talking about school administration
and the problems we are going to have to face in the next ten years." I
asked him what problems they had decided on. He said they couldn't decide.
That is the world now pretty much, isn't it? We have such difficulty decid-
ing on anything.
Some months ago there appeared in a column of our newspapers an article
with this title: "If Radar Could Only Make Better Contacts among
"It's quite a world," the article began. "We pick up the newspaper and
read the headline, 'Army Contacts Moon by Radar.' The signal corps which
performed this feat got an answer back across 477,000 miles in 2.4 seconds.
Could it be possible for the signal corps or somebody or something to get
contact among us down where we live? It would help a lot if we could
get contact all the way across a table between men who are fussing and
bickering about all sorts of things. Science is wonderful, but ain't human
nature something? Mr. Army Signal Corps, we don't ask for the moon-
just get us a contact down here, please."
It hasn't been easy to get that contact. Human nature is something, but
there is an affirmative side to it as well as a negative, and in your job and
in mine we have to place the accent on the positive.
There are some things that you and I must ever forget and must never
allow youth to forget. One is that if you liken geological time to twenty-four
hours, man is only a few minutes old, and his recorded history is only a few
seconds. Think of what he has done in the realm of education, in art, in science,
in religion. Think of the personalities that he has brought forth in that time
-a Confucius, a Lincoln, a Grenfell, a Florence Nightingale, a Jesus Christ.
Not bad for a few minutes of life, is it? All through that great procession of
history you find that man's reverence for man has been getting great. We find
that his conscience is becoming more sensitive about most things, with the
possible exception of teachers' salaries. We find that although man has taken
three steps ahead, he may go back two and seven-eighths, but he never goes
back the full three. Man is that kind of being.
In the last verse of the first chapter of Genesis there is a statement that
we need to be recalling for ourselves time and time again. Probably the rea-
son I am giving this text is that they used to tell us in seminary that regard-
less of where we were speaking, we should always throw in a verse of
Scripture because then we would be certain that there was at least one
statement worth listening to. In that last verse of the first chapter of Genesis
it says: "God saw everything which He had created and behold, it was very
We can take a long look back over history and test those words. There
have been wars, there have been rumors of wars, there have been suffer-
ings, and there have been tortures. The war clouds have gathered, and the
war clouds have broken. But look again. There are also hospitals, schools,
and churches that men have made tremendous sacrifices to build. There
is grave after grave dug for those young men who were willing to die for
GENERAL SESSIONS 17
an ideal. There is monument after monument that has been erected for
those who counted themselves as nothing in the face of the common good.
And there is progress after progress that has been built upon the broken
bodies of men and women who were willing to die because they, too, had
caught the vision of the glory of the Lord. That, too, is man. Don't forget
it. That is the being God created.
As you look back over history, can't you say to your students back home
as you try to bring the best out of them, "It is very good"? Let us not lose
that emphasis. We don't dare.
But there is one more thought. If we are going to be alive to the present,
you and I have to teach these students and these young people that come
under our influence to believe in an Almighty God. I don't say that just
because I am a minister. I say it because the world is pointing that way.
A few weeks ago I talked with the minister of one of the large Presby-
terian churches of Los Angeles. He said that following the bombings in the
Pacific a group of scientists had gone out to study the results. After they
came back he had luncheon with one of those scientists. He said that that
man told him the nearest parallel he could give to the meeting of those
scientists following their study of the atomic bomb was an old-time evange-
listic meeting. He said that after they had finished talking one of the most
respected of those scientists got to his feet and said, "Gentlemen, we have
finally found how to split the atom. Now what can we do to help the world
You can't be alive to the present without it.
I read some time ago about a minister who lived in a back country
pastorate, and this Sunday night a tremendous storm came up. He knew
there wouldn't be many people there, but he didn't expect to find what he
did find. His entire congregation-two elderly spinsters. It was too late
to change his sermon topic. He didn't feel that he had a creative enough
mind to do that. So, he started to preach. The sermon he had prepared and
the sermon he was giving to these two old spinsters was on the topic:
"Flee Youthful Lusts." He had no sooner started than one spinster leaned
over to the other and spoke into her earphone and said, "The parson's bark-
ing up the wrong tree tonight, isn't he?"
Believe me, we are barking up the wrong tree if we think that youth in
these days is not trying to learn something more about religious faith. I
know. We have three universities within three-quarters of a mile of our
church. Just the other night one of the boys' fraternities called me up and
asked if I would come over, that there were a couple of questions they
wanted to ask. I didn't know what I was getting in for, but I had a free
evening and I went over to that fraternity. There were about thirty-five
young men gathered in a common room, and far on into the night those
young fellows threw questions at me about religion, if you please. They
want to know because they know that it matters in a time like this.
I don't believe that any teacher is stepping beyond his authority if in
this tremendously significant day he gives his pupils to know that he be-
18 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
lives in God. If he doesn't believe in God, God help America, God help
our new generation, and God help that teacher.
Benjamin Franklin arose at the time of the framing of the Constitution,
and he said, "I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more
convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of
man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is
it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured,
sir, in the sacred writings, that except the Lord build the house, they labor
in vain that build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without
His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better
than the builders of Babel."
Those are great words to remember when the world is shaking at its
roots. They are great words for the church to remember. They are great
words for the school to remember. He that goes forward with a faith in
the omnipotence of an Almighty God has the assurance that is given by
Hopeful, in Pilgrim's Progress: "Be of good cheer, my brother, for I feel
the bottom, and it is sound."
These, then, are some of the things that we need to remember in this
living present as we would attempt to develop the human and the natural
resources of the young people who come before us: first of all, to be alive
to and revere the past; second, to be alive to disturbing ideas and change;
third, to be alive to the goodness in man; and, fourth, to be alive to a
faith in an Almighty God.
There is a picture in the Bankers' Club in New York City that I saw
a couple of years ago. It found its birth in the Battle of Jutland in the
last war. It is the picture of a young British sailor, John Travis Cornwall,
sixteen years of age, on H. M/. S. Chester. Her decks had been raked by
gunfire. All around the great guns of the mighty ship are the dead and the
wounded. One sailor alone is standing on that vessel, this sapling of a boy,
John Travis Cornwall. Under the picture are the words: "Thou hast set
my feet in a large place." One youth upholding the traditions of the entire
British Navy! There is something symbolic there.
We haven't been able to solve the problem of war; we haven't been able
to solve the problem of race relations; we haven't been able to solve so many
problems. Generation after generation comes and moves on with only par-
tial success. Now a new generation comes to you and to me, and we point
out to the world and we say, "There is the job. Go do it." "Thou hast set
my feet in a large place," but by the help of God, you and I can help him
to fill that place. Amen.
SECOND GENERAL SESSION
Sunday Eveniig, March 2, 1947
THE CHALLENGE OF LEADERSHIP
PEARL A. WANAMAKER, STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION,
RESIDENT HILL: Our speaker this evening, who is a very important
and busy individual, has to catch an early train. In the interest of get-
ting her off to her native state, I am going to forego all the many nice
things I could say about ler and just say that she is one of the leaders
in American education, as those of you who heard her speak the other
evening on the Town Hall Meeting can testify. She is state superintendent
of public instruction in the state of Washington. She was recently a mem-
ber of the Japanese Educational Mission. She is a member of the Edu-
cational Policies Commission and of a good many other commissions. I
am happy to present her this evening as being one of our leading school
administrators and also President of the National Education Association,
which I believe is the largest professional teachers' organization in the
world. I am happy to present Mrs. Pearl A. Wanamaker.
MRS. \VANAMAKER: Mr. Hill, Distinguished Guests, and Members
of the American Association of School Administrators: I sometimes believe
the children of pioneer parents, who came to these shores from foreign
lands, carry in their hearts the afterglow of the inspiration kindled in their
parents by the Statue of Liberty. My own parents came to the United
States from Finland and Sweden. They reached out for the opportunity
presented by our land of freedom. Through the years they never forgot
the hope and promise of those famous words sheltered by the Statue of
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shores,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
To those people coming as strangers to this country the words were a
welcome and a symbol of freedom.
I think of those words often. Not only in connection with my parents and
the thousands of others who came as they did, but also in connection with
my own profession and the thousands of men and women leading the pro-
fession. Those words symbolize the hope and promise held forth by our
public schools just as truly as they symbolize the welcome to our land.
To many of those people coming from foreign lands the opportunity of a
free democratic education in our country was a beacon in the darkness.
Such opportunities did not exist in the land of their hirth, and they deter-
mined their children would be given that advantage.
20 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
To our public schools come all the children. Our schools are the guardians
of America's ideal of equal opportunity. The leaders in our schools are
offered a matchless opportunity to assist materially in making this ideal a
That is our challenge of leadership in the development of human and
School administrators are managing the greatest enterprise of today, and
because of this responsibility we face the greatest challenge. We do not
manufacture cars, washing machines, or radios. We mold the most potent
material for leadership in the world-the children of America.
World War II taught all of us to think in terms of big numbers. We
grew accustomed to the concentration of millions of people in a single enter-
prise. We dealt in such large sums of money that even the word "bil-
lion" lost some of its glamour. For this reason many statistics relating to
national industry seem a little bit unimpressive, especially if they deal with
mere thousands and millions.
But even in this postwar day when inflation seems to have affected the
statistician as well as the banker, there is still one industry with magnitude
enough to impress even the most jaded reader of facts and figures. This is
the job of education.
Public education is big business. It is the biggest business in the United
States in terms of people affected. In the year ending June 30, 1944, public
education had twenty-three and one-half million cash customers. That
is the enrolment of elementary and secondary schools. It wasn't so very
long ago that Henry Ford used a lot of advertising space to tell the world
about his millionth customer. A million customers wouldn't make a ripple
in education. These customers were served by a trained staff of eight hun-
dred fifty thousand men and women-the public schoolteachers of America.
That's a big staff for any business. It is about 1 Y percent of the working
force of the whole country.
These figures deal only with people. Here are some financial figures about
public education. The school plant consists of over two hundred thousand
school buildings, which cost approximately eight billion dollars. That is a
big plant in any business. The cost of operation was two and one-half bil-
I doubt if anyone grasps readily how much two and one-half billion dol-
lars is. Perhaps it will help if you think of it as approximately 1 Y percent
of the total national income. While this may seem like a lot of money, it's
a small investment for America's future.
What are the prospects for education? Will we continue to have as many
customers? In the five years after America entered World War II, thir-
teen million babies were born in the United States. Population experts had
predicted that there would be only nine million. The sharply increased
kindergarten enrollment you noted last fall was just the beginning of a
great tide of customers. The year 1964 will have passed before the bumper
crop of cash customers born since the war will have passed through our
elementary and secondary schools.
GENERAl. SESSIONS 21
This will require vastly greater sums of money. Additional teachers
must be hired for these new customers. New buildings must be erected to
house them. Our nation will have to increase its present allocation of
If2 percent of its income to this huge business. We could spend 3 percent
and not exceed the effort of nearly bankrupt England, and I am sure that
all of us who heard MIiss Ford's report last night will realize the tre-
mendous effort that England is making to do the job there. We would have
to spend more than 13 percent if we were to surpass Russia.
Because this is big business and because we are the managers of this
business, we must recognize that business is only as efficient as its top leader-
ship. Leaders must have ability to inspire their associates. They must have
vision and foresight for the future.
Superintendents must inspire in their teachers the feeling of being a vital
part of this great enterprise, must make them feel the precious sharing of
responsibility. Success for the administrator is dependent on the teachers,
who, sharing the work, should also share the glory. We all know that good
teachers go to the school systems where teachers share in the policy-making
and even in the budget-making. In this kind of atmosphere everyone gives
his best and grows better. I would like all of you, as superintendents, as
leaders in your various school systems and in your various schools, to feel
this tremendous responsibility that you have as leaders to make the work-
ing organization good. Let us not make some of the errors that have been
made in industry. Let us make it a united effort-not superintendent and
schoolboard, not principal and superintendent, but teachers, superintend-
ent, principal, schoolboard, children, parents, and community, all working
together to do the job, this tremendous task that we have of building leaders
I want to go on a little with the thought of the feeling of working to-
gether not being restricted alone to the superintendent and the teachers.
The children must accept as a natural part of school life that they, too, are
important in the successful operation of this business. From the day the
pupils enter kindergarten they must feel within themselves that this is
their school, a part of their lives as much as the familiar home surroundings.
Only the teachers who feel themselves a "part" of the school can give the
children that assurance. Only the superintendent who gives to the teachers
confidence that they are working together toward the same goal can expect
such teaching from his staff.
Children in the elementary school must learn through their teachers to
accept the feeling of continuity in school living-the relationship between
the elementary, the secondary, and the extended secondary. The fact is that
they are all contributions to the mosaic of the school pattern. Thus children
achieve a feeling of balance and security that carries them forward into
better citizenry for the world.
A respect for personality and the creation of freedom are among the ideals
that characterize American people at their best. Certainly education must
serve these ideals effectively.
The one who must take the lead in establishing a feeling of one pur-
22 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
pose throughout the entire faculty and school population is the adminis-
There has been too much division of interest among superintendents,
teachers, parents, and children, too much working at cross purposes. Par-
ents have accepted the school as a basic part of Johnny's life, but of small
concern to them except when Johnny came home with an unsatisfactory
report and then they were annoyed. Teachers and superintendents have
gone their separate paths and many times blocked each other's path. Chil-
dren accepted school as an irksome part of their lives to be disposed of and
forgotten as soon as possible.
What business concern could prosper or even survive under those
This situation does not exist in all schools. If it did, we would immedi-
ately forfeit our right to leadership.
It has been a matter of a relatively few years since education climbed
down from its ivory tower and joined the Rotary Club. It has been a
matter of many years over which education could have "sold" itself to
Scholars, traditionally, were supposed to be reserved and severe and to
speak a language unfamiliar to the man in the street, whether he be
plumber or banker. We now know that no more fallacious reasoning ever
existed and we now pay the penalty for it.
Considering the credit side of the ledger, we have made promising
progress along those lines since we realized the error of our ways. We have
convinced a sizable group of our population that teachers, administrators,
even college presidents are human and entirely acceptable members of
society. It remains for us to convince the other parts of the population of
the same facts and all they imply.
No more propitious time was ever at hand for the acceptance of a chal-
lenge to leadership. The world is sick today. We have only to think of
Nagasaki and Hiroshima, of Warsaw and Rotterdam, to realize what will
happen if this sickness is not healed. Here in this auditorium we have but
one point of view, I am sure, and that is that education can and will be the
means to this end.
Educators, at the present time, find themselves in a brilliant limelight.
The whole world is looking to education for assistance and leadership.
Here in the United States the trials of the teaching profession are receiv-
ing more serious comment through the editorial columns of newspapers
and periodicals than ever before in the history of our country. Great
Britain and Russia have appropriated unprecedented sums for their schools.
The limelight, however long delayed in our opinions, is cast upon us from
all directions of the international theater. Do the American adminis-
trators-the superintendents from Maine to Washington, from Long Is-
land to California-have stage fright? I don't think so. But regardless
of some measure of stage fright, education is in center stage, front, and
the curtain has gone up.
Mention has been made of the abundance of editorial comment con-
GENERAL SESSIONS 23
cerned with the teaching profession. You may be thinking, "Is this any time
to take on a challenge for more than our own nation? If our own education
business is not in order, can we reasonably be expected to do more than
solve our own problems?"
To me there is no choice. The challenge accepted here is the challenge
accepted for the world. We can have no enduring system of free democratic
education in the United States without extending that system to the chil-
dren of the world. The rocket plane, the jet plane, the atom bomb answered
the isolationists for all time.
The problems facing us in our business are grave. One out of seven
teachers in the United States is employed on a substandard or emergency
certificate right now. We have promise of scant replacements in the com-
ing years, and we have an increasing school population due to the rise in
birth rate. We have teachers striking-something unknown to the United
States before. We have miserably inadequate salaries for the teaching pro-
fession. Our school plant is overcrowded and in need of modernization.
There is a necessity for expansion of the school program to provide educa-
tion for all the children of all the people so that we may democratically
develop our human and natural resources.
The recurring question of federal aid is another fundamental challenge
to educational leaders.
The average administrator is discouraged and shares the insecurity of the
times when he surveys his list of problems. Some superintendents have
avoided the responsibilities of leadership and are now reaping the harvest.
Let me give you some illustrations of what has been termed leadership
from the rear.
One superintendent I have in mind has been occupying the same position
for several years. He has dischaged his duties in a conscientious, uninspired
manner. He has occupied the office labeled "Superintendent" and has limited
his vision to the walls of that office. Recently his teachers called a meeting
on their own initiative and requested that he attend. The purpose of the
meeting? The teachers had outlined expected salary raises and a complete
program for the superintendent to endorse. Leadership? From the front or
Another instance: A letter reached my desk not long ago wherein the
writer, himself a superintendent, advocated that "school administrators
place themselves squarely behind our teachers in their efforts to secure a
better economic position." To the best of my knowledge, leaders in any
endeavor do not function behind their forces. Whenever they maneuver
themselves into that position, they find themselves the "led" and not the
"leaders." The time is past for just average administrators. Every one of
us has to do better than average to insure success for our schools and our
On this question of leadership I like to think of the story about a general
in this last war who, when he instructed his young men in leadership, would
take a string and put it out on the table. Then he would try pushing it,
and of course the string just doubled up. Or, if he didn't happen to have a
24 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
string, and they were eating and were having some spaghetti, he would take
a string of spaghetti and push that from the rear. You know what hap-
pened to it.
That is what I mean. Are we going to lead or be led? These are times
when the job is not going to be easy, when we are sometimes going to won-
der why we are in it. I say this for myself as well as for all of you in front
of me. These are times that are going to try us, and we are going to know
whether we can meet the situation as it comes to us. We have got to use
every technic, every available good thing that we can find in the way of
leadership, to keep on top of the job.
Federal aid for education. The subject has been viewed with alarm, it has
been hush-hushed, it has been acclaimed, and it has been fiercely fought. It
has been squarely faced as an issue.
Federal aid for education is nothing new or novel, although the very men-
tion of the words has given us nervous indigestion. Federal control is the
significant factor and one which should occasion severe attacks of thinking.
Federal aid without federal control for education, channeled through
existing state and local agencies, can act as a financial transfusion to our
Federal aid for education started as far back as 1802 when Ohio received
land grants for school purposes, and I don't need to tell you that this was
followed by the Morrill Act in 1862 for agricultural colleges, the Smith-
Hughes and George-Deen Acts, the Lanham Act, and others.
All of this was federal aid, and I dare say the majority of the adminis-
trators in this audience have worked with different phases of this federal
aid. Consequently, every school superintendent in the nation should under-
stand the fundamental issues of federal aid. First, it is possible to have fed-
eral aid without federal control. We have had it for one hundred fifty
years, and it can go on and be set up as it is proposed in the National Edu-
cation Association Bill. Second, we cannot have equal educational oppor-
tunity in the United States without it. Certainly one of the tenets that we
hold to is that we have equal educational opportunity in the United States.
Third, the current crisis in education will not be solved unless the taxing
power of the federal government is used for education. The federal gov-
ernment is the only one that can tax where the wealth is and distribute the
money where the children are.
May I just say briefly that Senate Bill 472 has been introduced in the
Congress by Senator Taft and seven others, and you are going to hear
from him later in this program. It is a basically sound bill. It authorizes up
to $250,000,000 a year to assist public schools in the neediest states. It
apportions these funds on the basis of need, determined by the number of
children and the wealth of the state, and it guarantees that every child in
every school district of every state shall have at least a $40 per year educa-
tion-little enough. It guarantees local control of the public schools, and
it provides for fair distribution of the federal funds in the education of
That is fundamental. As leaders in education, we might just as well
GENERAL SESSIONS 25
face the issue and know it thoroughly. We have written this bill so that it
brings the federal money to public schools only, and the issue of whether
it shall go to public or private schools is one that we must face squarely
and understand as American educators. It is a basic principle in American
education. We must know these issues if we are going to accept the chal-
lenge of leadership in these United States so that this job can be carried out.
State and local school agencies experienced in the distribution of school
moneys are already functioning. Business methods certainly indicate any
additional funds, whatever the source, should be channeled through these
already operating agencies, rather than incurring expense and duplication
of effort by setting up new systems.
More state and federal financial support for education is imperative.
That is one reason I am going back to the state of Washington as soon as I
can, because the state of Washington is just one example of the more than
thirty-five states in which legislatures are in session and where the whole
educational program is being presented by our professional organizations, to
increase the amount of money from the states to the local school districts so
that we may be able to work out of the crisis in which we find ourselves.
This job must be done by the local, state, and national governments if we
are going to be able to carry out the kind of educational program that we
believe in. We need to give every attention and every effort to obtain these
funds from our state legislatures and from our local agencies, and we, as
administrators, must be out in front doing this job. We can do it. We can
take into our confidence the men and women in our communities.
The parent-teacher associations, the state congress of parents and teach-
ers, all of the lay agencies that are interested in education will work with
you if you take them into the sharing of the responsibility. You know, every-
body likes to have an opportunity to make a contribution, and you will be
amazed at the assistance and the help that you will get. You are getting
that, I know. I have heard a lot of stories of the fine cooperative effort that
you have been able to get in your local communities and in your states. We
are working it out at the national level the same way. It is our job as leaders
to see that that is carried out.
It is a conclusion that educators of the entire nation have reached that
more state and federal financial support for education is imperative, and
I am quite certain that it is not only educators that have reached that con-
clusion. I am quite certain that the general public has reached the same
conclusion, and unless we take the initiative in leading our school and
community in a sound, practicable program whereby we can accept federal
aid and get additional state aid and still keep these funds coming through
our present regular school agencies, we will again stumble before the chal-
lenge to leadership.
May I say here that we, too, have a job of building our professional
organization. I know I don't need to say very much to this group, but I
think there are some issues that we need to face as school administrators in
the matter of organization. Sometimes we are a little bit afraid to have an
organization of teachers in our school system. I don't believe there are many
26 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
administrators that feel that way, but if there are, I am sure that you are
going to work with your teachers and with your principals to develop a
sound professional organization.
Now I am going to say one very significant thing to you as leaders, to all
of us, because I think it is tremendously important that we understand the
issues in the forming of teachers' unions and in affiliation with labor organi-
zations. I think that problem should be understood clearly by all of us and
that we should make our decision in the light of that understanding.
I believe that the future of the profession and of the country gives us a
clear mandate that we shall not form unions and affiliate with labor organi-
zations. [Applause] I say this to you because America has many problems
within it-business, industry, agriculture, labor. We respect all of these
organizations, and we know that they have done a fine job of advancing
their own particular group interest, but teaching is a profession and, of all
the professions, holds the highest obligation to impartiality and universal
service. Its task is to serve all humanity and to advance the general wel-
fare. I don't go along thinking that we should affiliate with any one organi-
zation that will tie us to any particular group; I say that we should keep
clear and free because we are the teachers in our free public schools,
employed by all the people, paid by all the people, to teach the children of
all the people, to foster the search for truth and good living, without bias
to any party, creed, or class.
I think that we, as leaders, owe it to our profession and to our teachers
to talk through this problem with them so that they may understand the
These problems facing the profession, which I have sketched briefly, are
not unsolvable, and in every section of the United States some progress is
being made in solving them. The progress may seem discouragingly slow at
times, but each problem solved in each school is proof that it is progress.
Educators have realized the seriousness of many of these problems for
years, but the average citizen is just now learning them-through the lay
press. We know that American citizens, roused to action, move with speed.
The practical leadership in this action must originate with you.
The problem most prominently before the public at the present time is
inadequate salaries for teachers and its corollary-lack of adequate teach-
ing personnel. This condition exists on all levels, but most seriously at the
elementary and secondary levels. That is the most grievous part of the
The responsibility of the teacher in developing a true concept of demo-
cratic education and international cooperation is greater at those levels.
The child in elementary school is least biased by prejudice. Consequently,
his mind absorbs the teachings of understanding and cooperation. He has
fewer preconceived ideas to dislodge.
In correcting these problems, we reasonably enough resort to "selling"
education. We know from surveys and experience that young people of
today avoid a career in education for two reasons-the low salaries and
the lack of respect the profession commands.
GENERAL SESSIONS 27
However interested in education as a profession and means of service,
few young men and women are going to enter that profession when they
know their streetcar conductor or garbage collector receives more for his
efforts than they as teachers can be guaranteed. Likewise, the man and
woman now teaching are likely to desert their chosen profession to accept
a position that will double their income.
In my own state of Washington, we have felt that we have done a pretty
fair job of raising teachers' salaries in the last five years, and it came as
somewhat of a shock the other day to realize that actually the teacher
today is getting less recompense in buying power than the teacher in 1940.
In 1940 we paid an average salary of $1700. Today we pay an average
salary of $2500, but whereas the salary in 1940 was paid in dollars, today
it is paid in 50-cent dollars. So, today's teacher receives something like
The cost of education increased from $113 in 1940 to $180 in 1946 in
my state. Actually, each pupil benefited less in 1946 than the 1940 pupil
because those, too, were 50-cent dollars in 1940 buying power.
The argument that teachers' salaries must be increased to meet the higher
cost of living is faulty reasoning. Superintendents must take the lead in
pointing out the error in the theory. The cost of living is not the basic
issue. The entire teaching profession must be raised to a higher relative
professional plane and increasing salaries merely to meet the rising cost of
living is no solution.
The teacher, considering preparatory training and service rendered, has
been underpaid since the days of Queen Elizabeth and probably before.
In these days the level of payment is absurd. Throughout the nation the
teachers now in service are bitter about this inequity, and the men and
women preparing to choose an occupation shun teaching as a plague.
Without workers, industry fails. The biggest business on earth could
Teachers must receive the increases in salary commensurate with their
training, ability, and value to the community. The public must be educated
to the recognition of the teacher as a personality, a contributing individual
in the community, and not as a functional adjunct to the school building.
Administrators must identify themselves with their faculties and their
schools as a working, participating unit.
We are all familiar with the errors we have made in the past. The pro-
fession has been both meek and voiceless. Our unity in times of stress could
well be questioned. Those are tendencies we can and must correct within
our own profession before we can expect to gain rightful recognition.
Better salaries and professional stature in the community will attract
our young people to teacher-preparing institutions. The desire to teach
is far from dead. How many girls have turned to business rather than
teaching careers when their preference indicated the latter cannot be com-
puted. How many boys have turned to other professions even though they
felt an almost unacknowledged desire to enter teaching is also unknown.
When teachers no longer feel set aside in their communities through
28 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
stingy salaries and unwritten social restrictions, we will have our schools
staffed with teachers who will fulfil to the utmost the demands of their
profession. Until that time arrives we will have teachers in our schools
who are not equipped to teach either by training or temperament. As long
as that condition exists, our schools are in a dangerous position.
One feels mixed emotions as he reads the headlines so frequently seen
of late: "Education Faces Complete Breakdown," "School System of
Nation Imperiled." You have seen them, and, if you feel as I, we may term
it a healthy indication of the concern on the part of the general public.
The seriousness of the situation is not to be deprecated, but a funda-
mental faith in the democratic principles of the American people and their
institutions guarantees that the American schools are in no immediate dan-
ger of breaking down completely, or that the children of the coming decade
face teaching so deficient they will be unfitted to join a world democracy.
An analysis might reveal some slight trace of wishful thinking there, but
when hard work and a concentrated will are back of wishful thinking, it
becomes purposeful rather than wishful.
More impressive words are seldom penned than those embodied in the
Preamble of the Constitution of UNESCO. I know you have read them,
but may I repeat: "The Governments of the States Parties to This Con-
stitution, on Behalf of Their Peoples Declare that since wars begin in
the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must
be constructed . ."
If those words can be completely lived, the hope for lasting peace can
be realized. Those of us who attended the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization meeting in Paris in November believe
the words can become a formula for peace in the world. We believe just
as sincerely that unless the defenses of peace are constructed in the minds of
all men, catastrophe for all the world will be the inevitable outcome.
One of the coincidences that lends encouragement to educators and to
all the world by its very connotation of progress was brought to our minds
in Paris. In 1919 Fannie Fern Andrews, outstanding educator, appeared
before the committee drafting the Covenant of the League of Nations to
ask that international cooperation in education be given rightful recognition.
Her plea failed. In 1946 our own delegates to UNESCO met daily in the
same room in which she made her original plea.
How much of the failure of the League of Nations and how much of
the resultant World War II may be blamed on this exclusion of education
as a factor in world peace will never be known. We do know that men and
women of intelligence throughout the world believe education must have an
outstanding place both in the planning and functioning of world peace.
Before we have done more than lay the groundwork for the pursuit of
democratic education on an international basis, we should acknowledge our
present progress must serve only as an incentive and spur to greater efforts.
We as educators have been recognized as having an outstanding part in
the peaceful progress of the world, and we will have to "deliver the goods"
in order to maintain our place.
The history of the world offers us innumerable instances where educa-
tion has been warped to suit the aims of despots and dictators. Hitler's
Youth Movement was pursued under the guise of education. Hirohito's
adolescents were thoroughly trained under the Imperial rescripts. The
effects of the resulting wars will be with us for generations. There still
exist in the world the conditions that may foster the restricted education that
produces war and not peace.
It rests with all people-not only the individuals who work directly with
the United Nations organization-to save the true ideals of democratic
education from corruption by such intellectual tyranny.
Attending and participating in the UNESCO meeting in Paris was a
privilege and responsibility enjoyed by a few. Assisting in realizing the
aims of UNESCO is the privilege and responsibility of the many.
Preparatory work in the field of textbook revisions has been named as
one of the 1947 aims of UNESCO. My studies both in France and Japan
convinced me of the importance of this undertaking. If the textbook con-
tains ideology inimical to a peaceful democratic society, the child of any
nationality will necessarily absorb that ideology during his most formative
years. Our present difficulties in the reeducation of Japanese and German
adolescents who received their early schooling under dictators' rule should
provide all the illustration we need.
One of the other aims in education of UNESCO was the development
of the technics of teaching international understanding at the elementary,
secondary, and higher levels. That, I think, is the most significant and the
most important job that is ahead of us.
We who stayed at home during the last world war may learn a lesson
in this international understanding from the boys who fought overseas.
The majority of those lads had never before visited a foreign country and
had never seen the different races or observed the customs and habits of our
allies or the men they were sent to kill. Many of those boys returned to
these United States exhibiting more tolerance for these people than many of
us who stayed at home.
For masses of the world population, the language of statesmen provides no
common ground for understanding. Consequently, education must teach
international understanding and cooperation on all levels. It cannot be
wedged in the curriculum between the eleventh and twelfth years of high
school. That way lies disaster.
I warn you against smug thinking. Beware of being trapped by the
thought your school is small, your district unimportant, and your teachers
few in number when viewed on a worldwide basis. Your school is vitally
important because you are turning out citizens of the world; your school is
important because it is a part of our democratic educational system; your
teachers are important because they are contributing members in a society
dedicated to democratic rights and privileges.
The American school administrator has the greatest opportunity life can
afford now open to him. He must inspire and work with his teachers by
straightforward cooperative leadership. He nmut contribute to the progress
30 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
of his community by his own fair-minded but firm leadership in his own
school and by his participation in the community enterprise.
In closing, I would like to quote from a play in which it was said about
George Washington that "There are some men who lift the age they
inhabit 'til all men walk on higher ground in that lifetime." I hope that it
may be possible for all of us to lift the age that we inhabit so that all men
will walk on higher ground for the contribution that we have made.
I thank you.
CONCERT BY THE TORONTO MEN TEACHERS' CHOIR
ELDON BRETHOUR, DIRECTOR OF MUSIC, TORONTO PUBLIC AND SECONDARY
SCHOOLS, TORONTO, CANADA
PRESIDENT HILL: At this time I am quite happy to present the Toronto
Men Teachers' Choir, who will be led by Mr. Eldon Brethour, director
of music, Toronto Public and Secondary Schools, Toronto, Canada. We
appreciate the cooperation of our Canadian visitors. I must say it is a good
idea that the members of the board of education and the director came
with them, because there are persons around on the Atlantic City Board-
walk that would almost bribe teachers like these to go home and work for
them. However, since they are guests, they need have no serious fears on
that account. I now have the pleasure to present Mr. Brethour. (See page
235 for complete program of music.)
THIRD GENERAL SESSION
/Monday Morning, March 3, 1947
THE CONVENTION EXHIBIT
R. E. STEWART, NEW YORK, NEW YORK; VICEPRESIDENT OF TIH E ASSOCIATED
EXHIBITORS OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
PRESIDENT HILL: I have the pleasure of presenting a representative of
the Associated Exhibitors, without whose cooperation this meeting
would not be the success that we hope it will be. This is the first time that
we have had a full dress show of exhibitors of school supplies and equip-
ment since 1942 in San Francisco. Unfortunately, MVr. E. J. Sheridan, the
president of the Associated Exhibitors of the National Education Associa-
tion, is ill and cannot be here, but we are happy to have MIr. R. E. Stewart,
vicepresident of the Associated Exhibitors, to say a word to us about the
convention exhibit. I am glad to present Mr. Stewart.
\IR. STEWART: Mr. Hill, Distinguished Guests, Ladies, and Gentle-
men: The members of the Associated Exhibitors feel privileged to partici-
pate in your first unabridged convention since 1942, and they bid you wel-
come to the display of what they make to help you do, more efficiently and
more effectively, a better job of making desirable citizens of the youth of
these United States.
It is more than unfortunate that there are still some who do not grasp
how vital your job is. It is a sad reflection on our society. It is just as
tragic that some who grasp it do nothing about it. Then there are others-
few, fortunately-who recognize it, yet can do little or nothing about it.
The representatives of the products exhibited here have something deeper
than a monetary interest in this convention and in your profession in gen-
eral. They have children of school and college age. They, as all parents
should, want American school children to have every possible educational
advantage. That which they are showing was prompted by such a motive.
Then back of these representatives are the people who make the products
and prepare the services exhibited. Their number is rather large, and
although they are scattered over the nation, if assembled they might make
a city the size of Cleveland, or Philadelphia, or Detroit. They, too, have a
stake or an equity in education for some of them still go to school and many
more of them have children who are being educated. As parents, they want
their children to have every educational advantage, and as good citizens
they want all children to have every educational advantage. In making the
products you see here, they, too, are making a contribution to education, not
as much as you professional educators, to be sure, yet enough to make them
feel an obligation that the youth of this and of every country have nothing
less than the best.
The obligation you feel to use the best in education extends through meth-
ods to equipment and services and beyond. You are constantly experiment-
32 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
ing with new methods to discover and use the best. So it is with the tools
of your profession-the equipment and services. It is these devices, products,
and services that are designed to conserve and develop our human and
natural resources which the Associated Exhibitors cordially invite you to
examine during what we hope will be profitable and enjoyable days for you
during this convention.
We have another invitation to extend. It is for you to attend the program
given by the Associated Exhibitors here in the auditorium tomorrow night,
Tuesday, March 4, at eight-thirty. Those who prefer to spend all their time
at this convention in the realm of education will find something in it for
them. Those who feel the need of relaxing for an hour or two will find
something in it for them. Those for whom music hath charms will find them-
selves charmed by musicians who do not offend the eye.
I thank you.
THE SCHOOLS ARE OURS
MRS. L. W. HUGHES, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL CONGRESS OF PARENTS AND
PRESIDENT HILL: It has been our feeling that in the atomic age we
must cooperate or perish. We thought, therefore, that in this, the first
national convention since 1942, we would be privileged to have the presi-
dent of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers on our program
as an expression of our interest in and appreciation of this great organiza-
tion and also, I may add, because the president is in her own name and
right a great supporter of our American public schools. This organization
represents well over four million members, and Mrs. Hughes tells me that
in all probability it will be five million before the end of this year.
I am not going to take the time to recite all of the accomplishments of
our distinguished speaker. It is sufficient for us, I think, to say that it is a
great pleasure and honor to present a native of my adopted state of Ten-
nessee, the distinguished president of the National Congress of Parents
and Teachers, Mrs. L. W. Hughes.
MRS. HUGHES: Mr. President, I am just wondering if this is the first
concession to the atomic age. If so, I want to express appreciation for it.
Like thousands of other men and women in all parts of our far-flung
country, I have looked forward to this first postwar convention of the Ameri-
can Association of School Administrators with more than the usual eager-
ness. To begin with, I have been attending your conventions for more
years than I shall admit, and the habit was a hard one to curb. Moreover, it
has been a profitable habit, for I have never returned from your meetings
that my mind wasn't enlarged and enriched by the experience. Then, too,
as president of the Tennessee Congress of Parents and Teachers, and later
as a member of the National Board of Managers, and still later as the first
vicepresident of the National Congress, I have always felt a strong kinship
with your group-a kinship born of our common interests and objectives.
GENERAL SESSIONS 33
This feeling is especially strong as I stand before you this morning in
the capacity of president of the National Congress-an organization that
today numbers four million members, of whom more than five hundred
thousand are teachers. The obligation to do justice to my topic "The Schools
Are Ours" does not rest lightly upon me. Not because I harbor any doubt
about the truth of these words. On the contrary, I am firmly convinced that
the public school is an institution of the people, by the people, and for the
people, and that educators can give their best service only when they have
the complete understanding of the people they serve. It is just because I
hold these convictions that I want to take full advantage of the opportunity
you have given me to share them with you. And because I represent an
organization made up of a true cross section of the American people, I feel
a responsibility to reflect, to the best of my ability, what these people think
about their schools and why.
The words that we hear most often today in connection with our public
schools are educational crisis, teacher shortage, and inequality of educational
opportunity. You hear them, and we in our organization hear them. What's
more, we pay heed to them. I could easily spend the entire time allotted me
simply demonstrating to you that education has long been a central concern
of the parent-teacher organization. I could take you back through the past
half century-to those dreary years after 1929, for example-and sketch
for you what PTA's in rural and urban areas alike did to combat the
depression. But all that is past history. I merely mention it so you may know
that we are not novices when it comes to fighting for the preservation of
our schools. We've had many years in which to work out our strategy and
train our recruits-many years in which to learn who are the foes of our
public schools, who its friends.
Today, in the second year of the atomic age, we are again confronted
with a major crisis, one unequaled in the history of American education.
This crisis might have been averted, but that is now beside the point. What
is important is that we must, through our combined energies, ward off the
immediate dangers and build so broad and so firm an educational structure
that it will never again be threatened, never again even be vulnerable to
Not that we have been idle these past months. Far from it. The PTA
working hand in hand with various educational groups, especially the state
education associations, has already shown its power to make a frontal
attack when offensive warfare is necessary.
Take Oregon, for instance. Last April the Oregon Congress of Parents
and Teachers voted unanimously to act as one of the sponsors of an initia-
tive measure to be known as the Basic School Support Fund Bill. The
other sponsors were the Oregon Education Association, the Oregon State
Association of Schoolboards, and the president of the Farmers' Union, act-
ing as an individual. The bill, designed to raise a sum equal to fifty dollars
for every child in the state, was drawn up by a member of the state tax
I won't dwell on all the obstacles that confronted the sponsors of the
34 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
measure. It should be noted, however, that before the bill could even be
placed in the voters' ballots, a petition signed by twenty-three thousand
citizens had to be filed with the secretary of state. Well, the petition was
drawn up, circulated, and publicized in every possible way, with the result
that nearly forty thousand signatures-seventeen thousand more than
needed-were obtained. An intensified drive took the members of the
sponsoring committee into communities throughout the state. In a report
by the president of the Oregon Congress, we are told that never before had
there been such organized, unified effort among the people of Oregon-
doctors, teachers, farmers, housewives, men, and women from every walk of
But even a united stand was not enough. Money, a commodity always
to be reckoned with, was needed to wage the campaign. Again in the presi-
dent's report we are told that manipulation by the ever present opposition
caused a large portion of pledged financial aid to be withdrawn. Parent-
teacher members rolled up their sleeves-or perhaps I should say lifted up
their feet, for funds had to be solicited from door to door-and the deficit
was not only made up but oversubscribed.
Finally, after an educational campaign to make sure that every citizen in
Oregon understood the issue at stake (parent-teacher members even mounted
placards on stakes and lined the sidewalks along all arterial streets), the
bill was passed. "Give Every Oregon Child an Even Chance," the slogan
of the sponsors, was now more than a battle cry. It was an idea soon to
become a reality.
Before we leave the West Coast, let's take a look at the magnificent work
California has done. Keenly aware of the need to attract into the teaching
profession young people of outstanding ability and sincere purpose, the Cali-
fornia Congress has established a state scholarship fund of $115,000 to be
used for teacher education. They started out with $15,000 and then raised
it to $50,000, and a letter that I received just before I left the office stated
that they had raised it to $115,000. Every spring thirty-five scholarships of
$300 apiece are awarded to high-school graduates and junior-college or four-
year college students who plan to teach in the elementary schools of the
state. Even college graduates are eligible if the course of study they are con-
templating will enable them to fulfil California's certification requirements
for elementary schoolteachers. And each scholarship may be renewed from
year to year to permit the completion of a full teacher-training course.
After completing the course, the scholarship holder must agree to teach in
the public elementary schools of the state for a number of years correspond-
ing to the number of annual scholarships received. Otherwise the award will
be considered a student loan to be repaid to the California Congress of
Parents and Teachers.
Nor is the West the only part of the country in which PTA's are taking
decisive steps to secure for every child an equal opportunity for self-develop-
ment. What about the South, a section I should know quite well? Here we
can use Louisiana as a sample. In spite of the fact that in the 1940 U. S.
census Louisiana ranked forty-eighth in literacy, Louisiana was able last
GENERAL SESSIONS 35
year to enact a compulsory school attendance law that many educators
regard as a criterion for other states to follow. It is significant that for nine
years preceding the enactment of the law, tile Louisiana Parent-Teacher
Association carried the entire responsibility for arousing public interest in
the problem. It is also highly significant that it was the legislative com-
mittee of tile Louisiana Parent-Teacher Association which wrote the first
draft of the bill for compulsory attendance, after a member of the commit-
tee had consulted with the legislative expert of the federal Children's
W\e can also point with pride to Alabama. Nearly two years ago the Ala-
bama Congress took a poll of all the high schools in the state to find out
just how many students planned to be teachers. The results were appalling.
Only a handful reported the slightest interest in teaching as a career. There-
upon the Alabama Congress entered upon a remarkable statewide pub-
licity campaign to give young people and their parents some notion of the
real facts about the profession. In addition, scholarships are being awarded
to teacher-training colleges, and plans are being made to increase teachers'
salaries and to improve the living conditions and social life of teachers.
Then there is my own state, Tennessee, about which I always brag. The
schools needed money-much more money-for teachers' salaries, for teach-
ers' sick-leave pay, and for a nine-months' term in all our elementary schools.
Under the Tennessee Constitution the only possible way of raising the
revenue was by levying a 2 percent sales tax. Nobody wanted a sales tax.
It is a perfect nuisance. But the Tennessee Congress of Parents and Teach-
ers and the Tennessee Education Association banded together to pass a bill
that would bring the schools about $14,000,000 a year. The legislative
campaign brought thousands of PTA members into action-and very
effective action it was, too. The issue became, in fact, a battle between
business interests and the interests of child welfare. I can honestly say that
the tax bill was passed without dissenting vote because the Tennessee legis-
lators backed by parents, teachers, and administrators put the needs of
schools and school children ahead of pressure from the opposition. Beginning
with 1937, every biennium Tennessee has passed increased appropriations
amounting to millions of dollars for its schools, and never has there been
a dissenting vote in the legislature.
I could go on and give dozens of other examples equally exciting in their
promise not only to maintain present educational gains but to win new
ones. I am sure, however, you will agree that even if this much were the
whole story, it would be a highly creditable one. Yet it is by no means all;
it is scarcely more than a beginning. Add to it the successful efforts of the
Nebraska Congress and two state educational organizations to pass a con-
stitutional amendment supplying financial aid to the schools; the Kentucky
Congress' legislative drive to improve many aspects of education within the
state; the campaign of the Minnesota Congress to secure a more equitable
school tax bill; and the same militant action on the part of many other
state congresses-Maine, South Carolina, Georgia. Add all these, and you
have something that cannot be estimated in figures or evaluated in words-
36 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
something that has made the PTA a reliable sentry, ready at a moment's
notice to protect America's free, tax-supported public schools.
Let no one think, however, that we of the parent-teacher organization
consider our efforts on behalf of the schools extraordinary-that is, in the
sense that they represent activity outside the realm of our enduring
The very opposite is true. One of our chief objectives, from our earliest
beginnings as an organization, has been to familiarize parents and the pub-
lic in general with the aims, methods, and practices of the American public-
school system. Anyone at all familiar with our organization knows that we
have, for more than a quarter of a century, maintained a national Committee
on School Education, with corresponding committees in state congresses and
local PTA's. This committee studies school legislation, teachers' salaries,
retirement and tenure policies, curriculum building, the allocation of state
and federal funds for educational purposes, school facilities, the status of
teaching as a profession, and all other matters directly related to public
instruction. It then recommends to the National Congress, on the basis of
its findings, such projects and programs as seem adequate to meet the needs
revealed. The National Congress in turn presents the final conclusions to its
state branches, and the actual work is done within the states in the local
One of the points of the present administration's four-point program,
now in full swing-health education, world understanding, parent educa-
tion, and home and family life-is none other than better school education.
In this area the four specific objectives toward which twenty-seven thousand
local PTA's are directing all their initiative and ingenuity are these:
1. To strengthen community support of local and state legislation so as to obtain
adequate funds for public schools and equalize educational opportunities
within the state; and unite all forces to pass current legislation providing
federal aid to the states on the basis of need.
2. To secure community support for establishing a local teachers' salary schedule,
beginning with at least $2400 a year for four-year college graduates with full
professional training and increasing each year thereafter to a level of $5000-
$6000 for experienced, efficient teachers.
3. To work for the establishment of conditions that will make teaching more
attractive to talented young people as a life career and that will retain
qualified teachers in the schools; and conduct an active teacher-recruitment
campaign in the community, emphasizing the public service aspects of teaching
as well as its professional advantages.
4. To encourage and give financial support to the elementary schools and high
schools in plans to modernize their programs, their equipment, and their
facilities so that all children may have the best educational advantages; and
advocate more active lay participation in school planning, thereby creating a
more effective home-school partnership.
Why this consuming interest in education? Why all this concentrated,
consecrated, and concerted effort on behalf of the schools? I could give you
many answers, all relevant, all important. Yet today I shall give you the
simplest kind of answer. To begin with, the parent-teacher movement is
exactly what it says it is-a movement comprised of both parents and teach-
ers. Second, we parent-teacher members are first, last, and all the time con-
GENERAL SESSIONS 37
cerned with tie schools because our children are in them. Led by such
great laymen as Horace Malnn, Henry Barnard, Gideon Hawley, and
Caleb Mills, Americans have created the finest democratic school system
on the face of the earth. Finally, because we believed and still believe that
the spheres of home and school are interlocking, we founded the parent-
teacher organization whose only prerequisite for membership is an interest
in the child's welfare. Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said that we need to
build a society in which no one would be left out. Ours, I am proud to say,
is an organization from which no one needs be left out. No college degree is
needed; no professional training is required; only an earnest and abiding
interest in the future of America, for the children of today will be America
True, we maintain that the responsibility for education rests where it
properly belongs-in the hands of professional educators like yourselves,
persons trained to administer our schools. On the other hand, we have never
intended that the public should relinquish its particular obligations to pub-
lic education. But somehow, somewhere along the line-it would be waste-
ful to stop now for analysis-the people and their schools have drifted apart.
Yet if ever there was a time when this country cried aloud for intelligent
lay leadership, that time is the present. To whom shall we look for direc-
tion if not to you, the guardians of our schools?
I believe to the utmost that you understand our needs and that you want
to help build that leadership. I believe, too, that the present educational
crisis has awakened all of us to the stern necessity of making the home-
school partnership a truly functioning one. To do so, we must know clearly
and fully what each expects of the other. I have already given you an ac-
count of the ways in which we parent-teacher members are fulfilling our
part of our partnership. May I, then, now be so bold as to speak of some of
the things we feel that we have a right to expect from you?
In the first place, we want to be informed about the needs of our schools
more immediately and more concretely than we have been in the past. Fur-
thermore, we want to hear about these needs directly from you. Is this ask-
ing too much? No, not if we are the chief stockholders in the largest and
most important business America has-its public schools. No, not if we are
in earnest when we talk about home-school cooperation and what a marvel-
ous force it is. We should have known that a crisis was pending in our
schools before that crisis broke; the time to meet danger is before it strikes,
not afterward. Moreover, we should have been informed at the earliest pos-
sible moment by you-not when it was almost too late by newspaper edi-
torials and magazine articles, important as these channels are for reaching
our eyes and our ears.
I know it takes time out of your busy lives to attend parent-teacher meet-
ings and to participate in them. You do not have to tell me how long some
of you have had to wait before you were given a chance to speak, the long
reports you've listened to, the endless reading of minutes, and the like.
I should be the last to deny that many of our PTA programs could stand
considerable improvement, just as many of your educational programs can.
38 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
At the same time I would not for a moment become irked and try to hurry
the democratic process because it cannot be hurried. Force-force by a few
persons trained to push things through-sometimes looks good, especially
when we are impatient with the slow process of giving as many as possible
a chance to be heard, a chance to participate, a chance to reach an intelligent
decision. Yet it is this very process upon which depends the survival of
what we call the democratic way of doing things.
The point I want to underline is this: It is the function of the school
administrator, aided by the teacher, to keep parents in close touch with all
that is happening in the schools. People tend to be distrustful of the things
they don't know or don't understand but very seldom of the things they
have been informed about. And since most parent-teacher members have
joined the PTA because their children's education means something mighty
important to them, you will, nine times out of ten, find them sympathetic
to your views and your needs. In fact, you will find them eager to do all
within their power to make their schools adequate in every essential.
Nor is their power to be minimized, as was evidenced in the examples I
gave you earlier. Whether it be local effort, state effort, or national effort
that is required, theirs is the security of knowing they are part of America's
largest and most articulate group of lay citizens. And so, for the future,
make it a point to work more closely with your PTA's-to take them into
your confidence when the first cloud crosses the horizon, not after the sky
has become completely blacked out.
What I have just said is in no way to be misconstrued as a general indict-
ment. I know a great many school administrators personally, hundreds more
by the fine work they are doing. To all these I make grateful acknowledg-
ment. My plea is for an extension of such work on a countrywide scale, for
more conferences and councils where parents and teachers and school
administrators and even, in some cases, students sit down together to pool
their ideas and thrash out their problems.
I was delighted to read the pamphlet Laymen Help Plan the Curriculum,
that new publication of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Development in which Helen C. Storen tells how parents and other citizens
really do enter into the important business of shaping a school curriculum.
Such specific suggestions as those advanced by Dr. Storen should pave the
way-a broad, smooth, and beckoning way-toward a closer cooperation
between laymen and professional educators.
Next, we have a right to expect that those who administer our schools
shall, by their own high example, inspire all who work with them to act
in accordance with democratic principles. I wish with all my heart that there
were no need for me to speak of this. Yet speak I must if I am to keep faith
with the many teachers who have confided their hopes and fears to me. For
a good many years now, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers has
encouraged a meeting of minds between parents and teachers by holding
workshops, institutes, and conferences not only during the summer months
but for short periods during the academic year. Last summer, at North-
western University, a three-week course on parent-teacher leadership was
GENERAL SESSIONS 39
attended by as interesting and challenging a group as ever I have been
privileged to work with. In this group were quite a few teachers. They were
all educators. From them as well as from many others I heard such words as
these: "Yes, Mrs. Hughes, we want to establish a closer link between home
and school. And we do indeed appreciate the fitness of the PTA as a
cooperating medium. But what would you do, Mirs. Hughes, if you had a
principal who wanted none of the PTA in his school?" Or, "What would
you do if your superintendent, because he once had an unfortunate experi-
ence with one PTA, was adamant about what he termed interference on
the part of meddling parents?"
What would I do? I think there are quite a few things I might try. If
they failed, well, I suppose I'd do all I could to get myself transferred to a
more progressive school administered by more enlightened principals and
But what I would do if I were a teacher is at best a theoretical matter.
My task at the moment is to call this state of affairs to your attention and to
ask you to right those wrongs wherever they exist. I do not ask this for your
sake, although no superintendent can persist in such a stand for very long-
that is, unless he wishes to destroy himself and his work with him. Nor do
I ask it primarily for the sake of the teacher. My main interest is in the
children, for it stands to reason that boys and girls born to freedom can
most effectively be educated by those who themselves know the taste of
freedom. And they cannot know it if the schools do not reflect, both in
structure and in spirit, the essential elements of true democracy. If our
children are to learn what democracy is all about, they must sense it and see
it in the schoolrooms in which they spend so large a part of their young lives.
In this connection may I share with you a few observations about the
most human side of your profession. Doctors and lawyers realize that much
of their success depends on their personalities. We may laugh all we will
at the doctor's bedside manner; yet, to tell the truth, we know that it has
helped effect many a cure. He builds his reputation on it. As for the judicial
manner of the counselor-at-law, I need not dwell on the influence of the
well-modulated voice, the dignified demeanor, and the air of wanting to be
genuinely helpful. And this is as it should be, these people are all working
with the human being, and the more human he is the more he appreciates
the gracious, the good, and the beautiful in others.
But what about our teachers, those persons whose manners of speech,
whose very walk and toss of the head may be imitated by millions of impres-
sionable youngsters? What chance has the teacher to develop his per-
sonality until it shines like a gleaming shield? Very little, if he belongs to a
system in which conformity is absolute and ultimate. Very little, if he must
bow submissively to a school principal who stopped growing twenty years
ago and refuses to tolerate new ideas because new ideas demand fresh
energies, fresh hopes. Wherever such stagnation exists, there the torch of
learning is easily extinguished. I believe, therefore, that we have every
right to expect schoolteachers to be superbly themselves, to explore their
own talents, and thus to fashion their lives into beauty and meaning. They
40 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
should be given time to do it. In short, the superintendent who wants teach-
ers truly inspired to teach will give them ample opportunity for both pro-
fessional and personal growth. What is involved in the first, you know bet--
ter than I. For an illuminating discussion of the second, may I direct you to
the National Parent-Teacher, our official PTA magazine. There Bonaro W.
Overstreet tells us, far more eloquently than I can, how we may all of us
stay alive as long as we live.
Finally, we want a voice in determining the kind of education our chil-
dren shall be given. I am not proposing that we help write another Harvard
report on general education or that we set up a list of one hundred great
modern books to challenge Chancellor Hutchins' doctrines. But the day has
come for all of us to agree on certain basic tenets. Here again is where I
believe we, the people, have much of importance to contribute. By what-
ever technics you achieve it, we want our children trained to think aright
about their place in the modern world. We want instilled into their hearts
and minds a positive attitude toward life-an attitude that will make them
unafraid of the challenging future.
Gladly do we leave it to you to determine the best method by which to
teach them how to read and write and calculate. What we cannot leave to
you is the substance of their thoughts. We could not if we would, for build-
ing the ideal citizen is not the task of parents or of educators alone. It is
true that, fortunately or unfortunately, children take their emotional cues
from us, their parents, and the foundations of character are laid in the
home long before the child enters school. Nevertheless, it is still incumbent
upon the schools of America, those citadels of democracy, to do all that
education makes possible to build into our children willingness to share in
the work of the world-build into them, too, the highest regard for their
birthright and the deepest desire to preserve the American dream intact.
To be as specific as I know how, we want our children taught self-dis-
cipline and self-management. More, we want them emancipated from the
domination of those ideas that diminish the love of humanity rather than
enlarge it. It takes a quickened imagination and a warmth of feeling to
experience a kinship with others. Very well, then, we want the schools to
provide situations that will stimulate both.
I am not depreciating knowledge. Happy is the individual who possesses
it. But knowledge in and for itself is not enough. That was proved to us
beyond the shadow of a doubt by the highly skilled and highly trained
youth of the dictator-ridden countries. That Germany or Japan didn't dis-
cover the coveted secret that lay hidden in nuclear fission before we did
was not due to a lack of knowledge, although I admit that we had the good
sense to marshal the keenest minds in the world for the dubious honor of
splitting the atom. What we need is a generation who knows how to use
knowledge for the benefit of mankind, not for its destruction.
There is no need for me to linger over the values that must be trans-
mitted to our children. All of us know what they are; we have only had
two thousand years in which to learn them. But this time we must teach
GENERAL. SIEssIONS 41
them in a way that will make them stick. I say this not because I am
frightened of the divisible atom that scientists tell us can annihilate the
whole human race. Such a fear is a fallacy. It belies our faith in the worth
of the human being. I am just as afraid of an evil force that can destroy
a hundred lives as I am of a force that can destroy hundreds of thousands
of lives. One of the things wrong with our civilization is that it tends to
think in terms of statistics. Men are no longer men; they are pin-points on a
chart that focuses our attention on classifications, on categories; so many
wounded, so many dead, so many alive. And the individual spirit, the cre-
ative being, the very essence of life, is blurred out in the process. No, I say
again that if education is for anything it is to enhance the worth of each and
every human being. It is to give him insight into how to build the good
life for himself and to help build it for all others in body and in soul.
What if there are those who would thwart us? There are, still, more than
enough good people, thinking people in the world to make sure that the kind
of education we want shall prevail. If such an education is more expensive,
let me assure you that the National Congress of Parents and Teachers is
fighting with all its resources to procure federal aid for our tax-supported
public schools, and that we intend to get it. Just because we have never had
an all-embracing federal aid bill is no reason why we must be afraid of it.
In its turn, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers pledges itself
anew to build the kind of public opinion that will give the teachers of our
land the status and the salaries they so richly deserve. WVe pledge ourselves
to continue creating a public opinion that will not tolerate a halfhearted
support of our school system ; that will not permit the voice of the politicians
to drown out other voices; a public opinion that will, in short, brook no
interference with the raising of school standards.
At our last board meeting in New Orleans a resolution was passed to
establish a minimum salary of $2400 for all beginning teachers. You remem-
ber, this was one objective in our present nationwide school education pro-
gram. Even before that meeting the state of California had put this resolu-
tion into effect, and other states, with the help of their respective branches of
the National Congress will shortly reach this goal. Concluding may I
leave you with this assurance-Education has a priority with us. Wherever
the scales are tipping you can count on us, your partners in the educative
process, to weigh the balance in favor of the kind of education thoughtful
Americans want so desperately. All we ask of you is a more militant leader-
ship, clearer blueprints, stronger and bolder direction. The outcome will
more than justify your efforts.
There are those who tell us we haven't too much time. I, for one, am
not disheartened. We didn't have nearly enough time to prepare for the war
we have just won. But action for tomorrow begins today, and we are already
a few yesterdays behind. And so, I beg of you let's get busy, let's make every
moment count. If we act now, and act together, I for one am certain we
shall win all that the war was worth fighting for-the chance to build,
through a truly educated citizenry, the only kind of world that can make
possible a lasting and fruitful peace for all mankind.
42 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
SOME FIRSTS IN EDUCATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
ALEXANDER J. STODDARD, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, PHILADELPHIA,
PRESIDENT.HILL: I am sure our next speaker needs no extensive intro-
duction to you. I suppose if I were to rate his list of contributions, I would
put high on the list his leadership of the Educational Policies Commission
for so many years. He has recently been a member of the United States
Mission to Japan. He was quite active in raising the War and Peace Fund,
far more active than perhaps most of you know. He is a man with a lot of
ideas. I have been a close associate of his and sometimes have not agreed
with every single one of his ideas, but I have always enjoyed disagreeing
with him. Also, he has prodigious energy. I have followed him around a
few times, and I know about what it takes to keep up with him. Just one
day last summer, for example, he played two or three sets of tennis in
Philadelphia, then flew down to Nashville, about eight hundred miles,
and then along about midnight he joined another yeoman and me in con-
suming a fifty-pound watermelon, of which he ate half.
It is a very great pleasure to present to you Dr. Alexander J. Stoddard,
sometimes more familiarly known to some of us as Jerry Stoddard. Dr.
DR. STODDARD: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Convention: This is the
first nationwide meeting of our great Association since the spring of 1942.
The San Francisco convention seems ages ago. As we sat in the Top of the
Mark and gazed out towards the setting sun, we wondered restlessly what
was about to happen in that vast ocean. Five years are a short time in the
calendar of the stars, but since we were all last together an old world has
died and a new one has been born.
As always happens after a war has ended, nature is busily engaged
again trying to hide the battle scars. Grim and determined peoples over
the earth are struggling valiantly to establish the firm foundations upon
which abiding peace may be built. Cynicism and complacency, bigotry and
hatred are not dead, but they have not yet destroyed, and may not destroy,
our resolute faith that this time we may stop war forever.
We want to stop war partly because of the terrible thing it is in itself.
More people in the world now than ever before are determined to pay what-
ever price is necessary to stop this kind of destruction. Whether the high
hopes of this day will end in just another abortion or whether there will
come a new birth of freedom for mankind only time can tell.
Also, we want to stop war because it is the supreme deterrent in man's
attempt to make progress in solving his other problems. We want so much
to make a good world, but always we are consuming our time and strength
and material resources in waging war. What a wonderful world this might
How have the schools come out of the war? In the first place, there has
been one big gain. Probably never before have the American people had as
high a faith in the potentialities of education as they have now. This war
GENERAL SESSIONS 43
exploited the services and the products of the schools and colleges to a
degree and in a manner that was never before so true.
The eagerness with which millions of GI's are taking advantage of edu-
cational opportunities afforded by their Bill of Rights is heartening evidence
of a confidence in education, a confidence developed under a thousand varie-
ties of far-flung practical experiences. This widespread faith in the schools
and colleges is at one and the same time our greatest inspiration and our
greatest challenge. Whether that faith will continue indefinitely will be
determined not so much by the past excellence of our educational program
as by the extent to which the program can be developed to meet the needs of
this new and in some respects startlingly different day that lies ahead.
The schools face this challenge in a weakened condition and under grave
handicaps for the battles ahead. At a time when all of our educational
resources should be at peak strength, the schools have emerged from the war
period with an expanded program, both present and potential, involving
financial support so large that it cannot be provided through traditional
sources of taxation. The schools meet an enlarged demand for service with
depleted and discouraged personnel; with a curriculum that needs thor-
ough overhauling; with a school plant that is grossly inadequate and in
bad repair; and with a philosophy of education somewhat confused both
as to objectives and procedures.
Some of these problems would not be so serious if attitudes and phi-
losophies rather generally were not quite so abnormal and self-centered.
For five years and more we have accepted the fact that we could not win
except through blood and sweat and tears. Is it any wonder that we now
want to find some easy way to win ? 1Maybe the natural successor to the high
spirit with which we met the Battle of the Bulge is the ignoble spirit with
which so many are now waging the Battle of the Gouge!
Much, possibly too much relatively, will be said in this convention about
the financial plight of the schools, but there are a few facts that cannot be
ignored as we consider problems of reconstruction. Before the war, out of
a national annual income of approximately eighty-five billion dollars, the
sum of about two and one-half billions was spent for schools. That is, we
spent for our schools about 3 percent of our national income. Now our
income has grown to one hundred sixty billion, representing largely a
depreciation of the purchasing power of the dollar of about one-half. If
we were to spend annually on our schools now twice as much as before the
war, or five billions, it would just about bring us up to where we were then.
But we dare not think only in terms of standing still. Certain advances
are essential if the schools are to be improved to meet the educational
demands involved in preparing boys and girls to live in the present and in
the world to be, and I propose to speak to you at this time concerning some
of those advances. I know most of the men and many of the women in this
room, and I hope that as I speak to you this morning, I am expressing the
thinking on these subjects of most of the people here.
The question of teachers' salaries has now become a subject of widespread
public concern. The solution of the many problems involved has assumed
44 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
considerations of crisis proportions. It is becoming increasingly evident
that salaries must be raised to whatever point is necessary to accomplish:
First, sufficient teachers must be brought into the service annually not
only to fill badly depleted ranks, but also to provide the additional per-
sonnel necessitated by new needs and improved standards.
Second, the quality of teaching must not only be maintained but raised.
But it is exceedingly important that this problem of teachers' salaries
should also be considered from the standpoint of human justice. While
agreeing with President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he said in 1937, "A
strike by public employees . .is unthinkable and intolerable," it should
be said here and now, often and emphatically, that most schoolteacher
strikes have arisen and are likely to arise out of situations and conditions
that are also "unthinkable and intolerable."
It is to remedying such conditions and situations that we all, both within
and without the schools, should give our best thought and concerted action.
First, a school strike may result from a failure of school employees to
think through clearly the responsibility of the public schools and the rights
and obligations of those who become employees in these schools.
Second, school strikes may result from a lack of effective administrative
Third, school strikes may result from confused mixtures of educational
and political controls.
Fourth, school strikes may result where schoolboards fail to plan con-
structively in meeting school needs.
Fifth, school strikes may result from too little vision on the part of lay
and political leadership in anticipation of the development of critical
situations and proper action to prevent such situations from reaching a
Or school strikes may result from a combination of two or more of
these five conditions. But, ladies and gentlemen, whatever the cause, the
school strike is not the answer. Such strikes may possibly gain certain
immediate advantages more rapidly, but the long-term result is apt to be
one of "disservice to the cause of underpaid teachers everywhere and a
blow to the whole ideal of public education." 1
However, those within our profession and citizens generally who con-
demn teachers' strikes have a duty and responsibility to provide effective
means for giving special consideration to teachers' claims for equitable
treatment. Possibly government boards of mediation with power to enforce
decisions, or some other machinery for providing not only a hearing but
action to remedy inequity in pay of public employees, may be necessary. To
deny such a public group as teachers certain means of redress of grievances,
and then fail to provide other means for their cases to be heard fairly and
adequately considered will result, first, in a large-scale exodus from that
form of employment both in number and quality of employees and, second,
in a breakdown in the services themselves.
SEditorial, "Higher Pay for Teachers: Yes-But No Strikes!" Philadelphia Inquirer, February 26,
GENERAL SESSIONS 45
The first of these results is well under way. America dares not allow the
second to happen. If our public-school system breaks down and disintegrates,
we may find far more than a casual relationship to exist between our schools
and our very form of government itself. This statement is not meant as a
threat-a warning, ye.. There must and there will be, 1 hope, far more
statesmanlike consideration of this whole problem of teachers' salaries by
local, state, and federal governmental agencies than has as yet been gen-
erally the case. It is a subject far bigger than can be treated effectively by
palliative measures or improvised playing-by-car.
This convention should consider, suggest, and possibly adopt practical
methods for awakening the American people, especially their leaders who
are in position to take action, to a realization of the fact that nothing less
than a major crisis threatens our teachers, who are really our schools. Pos-
sibly we school administrators have not been as insistent and persistent as
we should have been in dealing with this problem of salaries. We have not
done all that we should have done in merely warning society of the crisis.
There was a time when the educational program consisted largely of
teaching a limited amount and kind of facts, knowledge, and skills to those
young people who were able and rather willing to be a party to the process
without too much extrinsic inducement. Today we not only conceive of
education in terms of all the children of all the people; the school objectives
have been expanded to include the habits, attitudes, and appreciations of
not only the individual child but also those of his parents, his brothers and
sisters, his playmates, his grandparents and theirs, as well as his uncles and
aunts. In addition, we expect the teacher to know how much and where each
pupil slept the night before, what he eats, what is the condition of his health,
both mental and physical-and we expect this to be done effectively with
forty different boys and girls whose patterns of behavior and ways of react-
ing are never the same from one minute to another.
There may have been a time when one teacher could teach such a large
group on a non-functional basis the facts, knowledge, and skills necessary to
equip them to live rather successfully in a somewhat simple social situa-
tion; but there are few, if any, teachers that can do all that is expected
of a modern teacher with forty different pupils who present not only a
variety of new frontiers but, in addition, an equal number of vastly changed
hinterlands every day!
We need more regular classroom teachers, more remedial and adjustment
teachers, more counselors, more psychiatric workers, more doctors, more
nurses, and more secretaries. We need more workers of many kinds to do
effectively a job that has become and is becoming increasingly complicated
and extensive in a social situation that is very complex and intense in its
implications for the educative process.
The additional adjustment in salaries of employees required to recruit
the desired quantity and quality of service, plus the expansion in staff neces-
sary to raise standards of efficiency, will entail a sizable increase of about
two billion dollars in the school budget, based on present dollar values.
What of the school curriculum? Some improvements have been made
46 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
here and there during the war period, but on the whole the school program
of service is in need of nationwide study and revision. Our great national
professional organizations should furnish the drive to bring about a gen-
eral consideration of curriculum changes. Otherwise, the school program
may just drift along unchanged because of the many other somewhat more
dramatic problems confronting the schools.
There is no question that boys and girls and adults will need to know
more in the future, know how to use better what they do know, and be
able to find readily what they do not know, than was true in the past.
Facility in using the means of communication, the ability to speak and to
read, have become the essence in our school program. The last few decades
have added hundreds of pages to our history books; an extensive and func-
tioning knowledge and understanding of mathematics and science have
become musts for the average citizen; the little community of our boyhood
days has grown into a world in which speed and distance have made
geography one of the most important subjects in the curriculum.
As we revise the subjectmatter of our schools, the expanding educa-
tional needs of life in the tomorrow must be considered. The schools will
need to teach more in the same time and teach it better than ever before.
In order to do that, the right kind and quantity of textbooks, library and
reference books, and other instructional materials and supplies should be
available. Aural and visual aids to instruction, especially instructional films
on a scale hitherto not yet approached, and other scientific devices must be
provided and used without prejudice or fear of impact on vested interests.
Any broad and adequate consideration of the school curriculum takes us
far beyond the usual concept of subjectmatter. For instance, there is the
field of safety education. Our homes, our community facilities, our highways,
our gadgets, and machines could and should all be made safer in their physi-
cal construction and uses. There is much to be done beyond what we are
now doing to prepare our people, young and old, to live efficiently in this
world of speed, crowded housing, and power-driven machines.
Partly, the job is one of teaching millions of human beings right skills in
the use of their material things and a feeling of responsibility not only for
their own safety, but also for the safety of others. How to multiply the
complexity and speed of our gadgetized lives and keep the machines from
destroying us is the dilemma. First, it was the automobile on a grand scale.
Now it's the airplane. Both have been misused by mankind, through care-
lessness and mistaken adaptation, to bring destruction to an extent that
makes us at least question their blessings.
The deciding of relative values in the midst of an environment highly
complicated with a vast variety and kind of material things constitutes one
of our most serious problems. Just as an individual may live an unbalanced
life and develop those tensions which result in time in what we call a
nervous breakdown, so it may be with society.
Many of us hoped fondly that our automobiles, those speedy and com-
fortable means of transportation, might enable us to see more of the hills
and valleys and streams and green fields instead of just riding past and
GENERAL SESSIONS 47
through them with bumper-to-bumper concentration. We thought maybe
this machine might reduce such ugly things as intolerance, provincialism,
and bigotry, because we could enlarge our concept of neighborliness.
So with the airplane. We thought that as people came to live almost next
door to one another, they would understand one another better and learn
to live together in peace. But we have found that the machines are, after all,
only machines-the means of either good or bad living, depending on how
we use them in relation to the other considerations of life.
A society that invents the telephone without stepping up its emphasis on
the quality of what the telephone exploits; a society that develops the record-
ing machine, the radio, and television without stepping up its emphasis on a
better understanding and appreciation of oratory, the drama, good music,
and the allied arts, that develops the automobile and the airplane without
teaching its people how to appraise and claim the beauties of the world,
including the ability to live successfully together in spite of our differences-
that society is riding to a fall just as surely as individual human beings have
nervous breakdowns because they, too, have developed unbalanced lives.
Broken homes, juvenile delinquency, many kinds of crime, the multiplica-
tion of institutions for the mentally and physically unfit, are some of the
"chickens coming home to roost" in a society that is approaching a "nervous
breakdown." What shall we do about these tensions that are developing?
1. Give more attention in the schools not only to the better uses, but also to the
abuses of the material things in our lives so that they may become our servants
instead of our masters.
2. Increase the emphasis in the schools still more on such subjects as music, fine
and industrial arts, physical education, homemaking, the drama, poetry, architecture,
nature study, and good reading.
3. Divert a larger percent of the national income to step up the efficiency of
schools, churches, social agencies, and community youth-serving organizations.
4. Open school buildings and playgrounds day and evening, the year around,
and establish additional facilities for recreational purposes both for young people
5. Develop within our school systems counseling and other special services as our
contribution to the early detection and prevention of maladjustment, both neurotic
and delinquent, and assist pupils in finding themselves and achieving inner security
in these times of increasing tensions.
6. Increase psychiatric clinical services in the community along with hospitals
and the usual health clinical service.
7. Make it possible for hundreds of thousands of families in America to move
out of the miserable shacks in which they now exist into places that have at least a
chance of becoming semblances of homes.
One more word should be said about the school services. It has to do
with our health program. Ve now know enough about health, the discovery
of defects, and providing of remedial processes, to know that good health for
most people is a "purchasable commodity." This is true, provided we dis-
cover potential difficulties early enough and apply remedial procedures vigor-
ously, continuously, and efficiently.
We dare not go on dealing with our health problems in as desultory a
manner as we have in the past. Here again the stresses and strains that
48 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
affect health have been stepped up without providing adequately the balanc-
ing countermeasures. Our hearts, our lungs, our kidneys, our eyes, our
ears, our nervous systems are not lasting as well as they should. It is not
likely that the age of gas, steam, and electricity will decrease the demands
upon our bodies. The problem is to strengthen the bodies to withstand he
greater impacts upon them.
What is involved in an adequate health program? Three things at least:
First, a thorough and complete physical and mental health examination of
every pupil and employee in all schools annually, or at least once in every
three years as a minimum, with a full record of all conditions discovered.
As far as practicable, parents should be present while examinations are
made, and both the pupil and parent'instructed and even indoctrinated con-
cerning what should be done.
Second, there should be an adequate follow-up of the examinations on
the part of pupils, parents, doctors, dentists, nurses, teachers, principals,
superintendents, and all others concerned. This follow-up should be per-
sistent and continuous. Related to and a part of this program, there should
be carried on an effective, frank, and realistic program of health instruction
for all pupils. Also, the programs for controlling communicable diseases
should be made far more effective than they are in most of our communi-
ties, especially on the preventive side.
Third, school playgrounds and city parks and other recreational facilities
should be provided in such number and so located as to make possible for
all boys and girls a supervised program of dynamic play, so that muscular
soundness and tone may be developed. In addition, study should be given to
the development under school auspices of all-year camps for use in connec-
tion both with the health and general education program. [Applause]
There is increasing evidence that the race of the nations will be won
in the long or the short stretch of the years by the nation composed of the
These expanded school services that have been described rather sketchily
should not be regarded only as protective measures either for the individual
or for society. We do not want strong people and a strong country just
because we know that basically they constitute our surest means of defense
against enemies both within and without our country, but we want them for
another reason. Our country differs from some others in that we regard
the individual human being to be of surpassing worth. We have agreed to
pool our resources in order to insure for each individual certain inalienable
We seek to provide an adequate, effective school program in all its details
not only because we find increasingly that such a program pays good divi-
dends, but also because our schools are one of the best means we have found
to carry out the promises we have made to one another about those in-
alienable rights. The right kind of school program not only promotes life
and liberty, but this program and they add up to at least a reasonable
expectation or even guarantee that some success will be attained in the
pursuit of happiness.
GENERAL SESSIONS 49
In order that these problems of school programs may be regarded realis-
tically, their implications for the school budget should be considered. More
and better aids to instruction, an adequate film service for every classroom,
school libraries, safety education, increased health services, expanded use of
buildings and grounds for all-year recreational purposes may involve the
expenditure of at least an additional half billion dollars annually.
What about the school plant? There has been practically no school build-
ing construction throughout the country for nearly ten years. There has
accumulated a need for repairs to buildings, for replacement of existing
structures, and for additional buildings to meet the new demands of an
expanding program that reaches a staggering total. To complicate the
situation further, the present costs of both repairs and new construction
have increased from 100 to 150 percent of what they were before the war.
As a result of all this, a tragic choice confronts educational administra-
tion: either, on the one hand, to fasten upon school systems excessive bur-
dens of bonded indebtedness that may hamper school progress for years and
generations to come or, on the other hand, to build badly restricted struc-
tures that lack the facilities necessary for a modern educational program.
Already there is some evidence that the latter alternative is being adopted,
because local school authorities cannot reconcile themselves to paying more
than a dollar per cubic foot for new construction! It would be nothing short
of a national calamity if the present high building costs would cause the
construction of many buildings that would not only be inadequate to accom-
modate the present program, but also that would hinder the expansion of
that program to meet the needs of a considerable increase both in kind and
extent of school services.
At least a few words should be said about another side of the expansion of
the school program, namely, the extension of the chronological range of the
persons served. Child care centers during the war have demonstrated more
forcibly than ever before the contributions that can be made to child
growth and development if children can be brought into contact with school
services at an earlier age.
Miay I say parenthetically that there are no two groups that I would
prefer to have represented on this platform, backing up this program this
morning, than the two that are here-the Educational Policies Commis-
sion, that has nobly attempted to give articulate expression to the best
thinking of our profession in the last decade, and the parent-teacher as-
sociations, without whom the modern school system could not operate.
The Educational Policies Commission has advocated the extending of the
school age downward for many children as low as three years of age.
Then there is the extension at the upper level. It is to be hoped that the
great growth in college enrolments is not a temporary phenomenon that
will pass in a few years with the completion or tailing off of the GI edu-
cational program. It is reasonable to believe there is beginning to take
place at the college level a movement somewhat similar to what has taken
place at the secondary-school level. Hereafter, there will be less and less
asking, "Is this person college material?" and more and more asking the
50 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
question, "What changes must be made in the college curriculum to serve
the needs of new types and degrees of ability?" [Applause]
All of this will cost money, much more money than we have ever thought
of spending on our schools and colleges. Maybe the added costs for per-
sonnel, program, and plant will cause the total annual bill to approach
approximately eight billion dollars, or 5 percent of our present national
annual income. This large amount cannot be raised on local and state bases
unless new sources of revenue are discovered and boldly levied. It is un-
doubtedly true that our states have not exhausted their resources for meet-
ing this problem.
Not only do the people as citizens of communities and states have a
great stake in education, but this is also true of all the people as a whole, as
a nation. It is likely that some form of federal aid, probably on the equaliza-
tion principle, will be provided through national legislation within the near
future. This should be followed by some kind of subsidy for the education
of youth and young men and women in which the federal government will
meet its responsibility for the education of its young citizens as it has done
through its veterans' education program.
The local community, the state, and the nation all have an interest in
education in America, and some formula should be devised for determin-
ing respective responsibilities. It is not expected that we should think im-
mediately of increasing school and college expenditures to a total of eight
billion dollars annually, but increases have been made and are being made
at a rapid rate the last year or two. The slack due to the increased cost of
living or the lowering of the value of the dollar is being taken up to some
extent by rather general and substantial salary increases throughout the
country. More of this will need to be done if the value of the dollar
stabilizes at or near the present figure.
We have never really given education a chance to show what it can do
to promote the general welfare of our country and its people. Always we
have given lip service to education, expressing our faith in its potentialities,
but we have failed to provide the resources to exploit fully its potential con-
tributions to our people individually and to our country as a whole.
We have plenty of wealth in America to pay the cost of an effective pro-
gram of education. The problem is to relate the felt need to the sources of
wealth. When the people really want something, our leaders find a way to
pay for it, provided the people tell them of that want. Such questions as
"Where will we get the money to provide federal aid?" or "Do we want
federal control of our schools?" are merely forms of shadow-boxing.
Maybe there are many people in America who want good schools and
other forms of social service more than they want to reduce taxes, desir-
able though that may be, or maybe a majority of the people in America
want good schools and other social services and think that our budgets,
national, state, and local, could be reduced materially by eliminating some
other forms and types of expenditures. Time will provide the answer.
Political leaders will do well to study very carefully the significance of the
last election majority before concluding that that majority necessarily man-
GENERAL SESSIONS 51
dated a program of economy at the expense of social gains either in process
or regarded as highly desirable by the people! [Applause]
The battle to make the schools instruments or agencies for interpreting
and promoting the American way of life, to make them places where the
principles of freedom are understood and practiced by our boys and girls as
they actually live together day by day, constitutes the most important and
fundamental of all the "firsts" in educational reconstruction. Many great
leaders have pointed out the relationship that should exist between the
schools and our way of life, but it was the Educational Policies Commis-
sion that gave practical form and substance to the movement in its publica-
tions of the last ten years, in which our educational institutions were shown
to be powerful instruments through which our country's purposes could
be and were being attained.
All the children of all the people are increasingly in the schools. If
democracy as a way of life involves basically a respect for the individual
human being, as you and I believe it does, where could boys and girls learn
and practice that respect better than in the schools? That is, this may be
true provided the schools are places where boys and girls, their teachers, and
all others concerned with the school, are deliberately trying to live together
successfully, with due respect for one another's rights to be different.
There is much to be learned about political democracy. MIany of our
students, both those who drop out of school and those who graduate, know
altogether too little about our government, its form, its structure, and its
practical processes. The schools should remedy that condition and do so
now. There is no excuse for underteaching our own civics. No amount of
leaning over backward to teach about the forms of government of other
countries constitutes a defense for doing a poor job in teaching about the
government of our own country.
But we do know that there is much to be learned about democracy in
addition to its political forms. Boys and girls must learn about its processes
as well as its forms. Practical means should be devised for enabling young
people to assume increasing responsibilities in community and civic affairs.
These young people of ours can and should contribute to the material im-
provement of life around them through real participation in actual duties to
be performed. We make a big mistake in failing to utilize the creative
ability and constructive help that our young people could contribute to-
wards community building. Moreover, these young people have a right to
participate far more than they do.
The schools cannot escape a large share of responsibility for the alarm-
ing extent to which the voting privilege is not exercised in America. The
schools can and should do more than they have done to build democratic
attitudes towards minority groups and to reconcile on a democratic basis
the economic, social, and intelligence differences among human beings.
Democracy as a way of life becomes real as human beings learn to live
the democratic way wherever they are at the time they are there. We may
learn the democratic way of life as we sit together in this great auditorium,
as we play together as children on a kindergarten floor, or pool our think-
52 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
ing in a classroom with due regard for one another, or as we learn to con-
duct ourselves properly on the dance floor, or as we learn to play according
to the rules as members of school teams. We may learn to live the democratic
way of life as we ride together in streetcars, as we drive our cars on the
roads, as we eat together in restaurants, as we play together-as we live
together, wherever we are at the time we are there.
In no place can this be done better than in a good school under the leader-
ship of a good teacher, who herself is trying to learn to live according to the
philosophy of mutual respect. The status and position of the teacher should
involve democratic relationships. The organization and administration of
the school should provide opportunities for all concerned to participate in
democratic processes. It is inconceivable that in 1947 there should be any
school system in America that should operate on any other basis than one
in which every person connected with the schools should have an appropriate
voice in the determination of school policies and procedures. [Applause]
I want to make this next statement very carefully because I have an
amusing word which I want you to hear particularly. Professional organiza-
tions of school employees on a non-divisive basis of membership increase the
effectiveness of the voice of the individual employee in dealing with subjects
affecting personnel as well as the school program.
"Freedom" and "democracy" are closely related words. There are men
in all parts of the world who love freedom. Many of them live under
political governments that deny the blessings of freedom to their people.
Even in a democracy there are some men who want freedom for them-
selves but would deny it to others. Our schools are free to help boys and
girls learn the philosophy of freedom and also to learn how to live together
as free people by living that way wherever they are at the time they are
There is much confused thinking among us concerning that word "free-
dom," which can and should be cleared through the schools. First, freedom
is not the opposite of discipline, as so many believe. Rather, discipline is now,
always has been, and always will be the only price of freedom. We some-
times fondly think that the teacher, our parents, the policeman, the law,
those influences that frequently make us do what we do not want to do,
control our freedom. The opposite is true. Boys and girls in school can find
numerous illustrations of that fact. A good student council promotes
freedom for all. Rules for games enlarge the freedom of participants.
Sacrifice involved in the discipline of much practice enlarges real freedom
in the orchestra. In the right kind of school, boys and girls learn that the
right kind and amount of discipline makes the difference between individual
license and the chance for all to live more freely.
Second, freedom is positive, not negative. Freedom is not something we
have when something else we do not like is not present. At the time the
Educational Policies Commission was conducting its investigation on learn-
ing the ways to democracy, we asked a girl in a part of the country some-
what distant from here what she thought the word "freedom" meant. She
said, "Freedom? Let me see. Freedom, that is what you have when the
GENERAL SESSIONS 53
teacher goes out of the room." \\ell, "freedom" is not the word that we
use to describe a condition where something we don't like is not present.
"Freedom" is, rather, the word that we should use to describe the oppor-
tunity that each individual should have to become his own best self. As
each one of us struggles to bring himself to his best, lie becomes free. In
other words, freedom is something which each person builds for himself.
Third, freedom is not something which one person does for another. A
parent cannot free his child, nor can a teacher free his pupil. In forming
our government, our forefathers did not make you and me free. But par-
ents and teachers can help boys and girls find freedom for themselves.
Because of our kind of government, you and I have a better chance of
becoming free men and women in America if we are willing to pay the
price that freedom entails. W\e must pay. In a thousand and one ways we
can help one another find freedom, but no person can make another free.
Finally, freedom is something that we can have individually only as we
help others find it. Freedom thrives in a society of free men, and sooner or
later dies among slaves. Men do not become free by climbing upon the
shoulders of others, but they become free, rather, as they walk together
towards freedom. We have learned that poverty, disease, famine, and even
war sooner or later become the common lot of all mankind. A land of
plenty cannot be maintained in the midst of a starving world. WVe become a
free people or we become individually free as we give ourselves to help
others gain their own freedom, and only that way do we become free. Amer-
ica will gradually become a land of freedom through the long centuries as
America does everything within her power to build a brave, free world.
These and other concepts concerning freedom can and must be taught in
the schools and wherever our young people and our old people live and
play together. i\an never has been and never will he entirely free, but he
struggles eternally towards that goal. This struggle has been and always
will be the most thrilling adventure in living. Without this struggle, life
becomes an insipid continuity of experiences, void of challenge or destiny.
Responding to the challenge to become free lifts man beyond the lower
forms of life and casts his role in the stars.
Yesterday the battlegrounds of freedom were in the streets, in the fields,
on the beaches, in the mountain passes, on the snowcapped mountains, in the
trees, in foxholes, in the trackless jungles, in the seas, on the seas, in the
skies-all over the world. Today the battlegrounds of freedom are in our
schools, in our places of business, on our highways, in our factories, in our
clubs, on our play fields, in our homes, in our churches-wherever we are at
the time we are there. As we learn to live together as free men in the every-
day affairs of life, large and small, we shall build the kind of country of
our dreams. We can have the kind of community, the kind of city, the kind
of world we want, if each generation can have a patient enthusiasm for and
a faith in the next steps in the right direction.
I close this address with a bit of poetry that some of you have heard,
that some of you have used, but I would like to write it into the record in
connection with this address for it summarizes all I have tried to say and
54 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
what I hope you would want to say on this subject. This simple poem was
written by Mary Frances Butts. First, the poet is talking to the water lily on
the breast of the river. She says:
O Star on the breast of the river,
O Marvel of bloom and grace,
Did you fall right down from heaven,
Out of the sweetest place?
You are white as the thoughts of an angel,
Your heart is steeped in the sun;
Did you grow in the Golden City,
My pure and radiant one?
Then the water lily makes the reply, which I leave with you:
Nay, nay, I fell not out of heaven;
None gave me my saintly white;
It slowly grew from the darkness,
Down in the dreary night.
From the ooze of the silent river,
I won my glory and grace,
White souls fall not, O my poet,
They rise to the sweetest place.
Monday Afternoon, March 3, 1947
PRESIDENT HILL: (At close of Third General Session, Monday
Morning, March 3) The program either speaks for itself or it doesn't,
and I shall not bore you with pointing out what is ahead. However, there is
one comment I do want to make about the Friendship Hour this afternoon
from 4:30 to 6:00. Nobody except you is responsible for that program,
whether it is good or bad. It is informal. There is no receiving line. There is
no program. There are light refreshments, and there is a background of
music. I would like you to follow one little procedure there this afternoon, if
you will. Just leave good old Bill Jones of Podunk, who is rooming with
you, whom you have known all your life and who knows everything about
you, go in the opposite direction and meet the young superintendent who is
up here for the first time and introduce yourself. Nobody is going to intro-
duce you except yourself. I suppose I have spent as much of my life going
to teas as anyone here. I never went to one with a great deal of anticipa-
tion, and I am glad to say that I never left one without having enjoyed
myself for the most part. So, try this Friendship Hour. It is your program
and does not belong to somebody on the Executive Committee. Nobody is
going to be there unless you are there. I commend it to you as an experi-
ment in some of the things that our two very able speakers this morning
have been talking about. (See also program note on page 237.)
FOURTH GENERAL SESSION
Monday Evening, March 3, 1947
INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING: AN UNDEVELOPED
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM BENTON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE,
WASHINGTON, D. C.
CHAIRMAN VWARREN (WV. Frank Warren, superintendent of schools,
Durham, N. C.) : I would like to say that the American Association
of School Administrators for years has been a leading advocate of the idea
that teamwork among the common schools of all nations is the indispensable
foundation for all efforts to build a lasting peace and a stable world. For
many years, long before UNESCO was even a dream, the convention plat-
forms and the publications of this Association have emphasized and reem-
phasized this note.
It therefore seemed to your President and the Executive Committee
especially appropriate that this first national convention, following the close
of armed hostilities, should be international as well as national in character.
Accordingly, letters of invitation were sent to ministers of education in
forty-eight nations. Official and unofficial representatives of some of these
nations, along with the United States Commissioner of Education, are our
platform guests tonight.
Our first speaker is a native of MIinneapolis, a graduate of Yale Uni-
versity, formerly connected with the Lord & Thomas advertising agency.
He was president of Benton & Bowles advertising agency. He was vice-
president of the University of Chicago from 1937 to 1945, and now is
assistant to the chancellor. He is chairman of the Board of the Encyclo-
paedia Britannica, is chairman of the Board of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Films, is a member of the Advisory Committee to the Coordinator of Inter-
American Affairs. He is vicechairman of the Board of Trustees of the
Committee for Economic Development and is vicechairman of the U. S.
Commission of Inter-American Development.
Among other responsibilities while at the University of Chicago, he was
responsible for the University's radio activities, including the University of
Chicago Round Table.
I am very happy to present the Honorable William Benton, Assistant
Secretary of State, on the subject: "International Understanding: An
Undeveloped Human Resource." Mr. Benton.
MR. BENTON: Mr. Chairman, Members of the American Association of
School Administrators, and Honored Guests here on the platform: My
assignment tonight is to tell the many thousand educators here about the
state of understanding among the two billion inhabitants of the earth. My
willingness to face such an audience on such a subject would seem to mark
me as a man of rare innocence or at least rare audacity.
56 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
I am more intimidated by my theme, however, than I am by even such a
distinguished audience. There is no task in today's world more important
or more urgent than the task of understanding and achieving understand-
ing among peoples.
Only last night Secretary Marshall said, "We have a very sick world.
Its needs are not only physical but in many cases, I think, spiritual or
psychological." Last Saturday Prime Minister Attlee said, "What the
world needs today is the mutual understanding of peoples, not merely good
relations among governments."
Such understanding has, of course, always been desirable, but today it is
indispensable if we are to have any assurance that our civilization will
survive. We Americans are only beginning to grasp the immensity of the
task and to make the first tentative, small, stumbling steps toward it.
Thus, I address myself to this theme with humility, but with the consola-
tion that there are no experts in this field and that all of us are equally
new to it.
You don't have to be an expert to know that worldwide understanding
among ordinary people is our most important and least developed re-
source. There isn't much of it today anywhere. We don't know its potentiali-
ties because we have never tried to develop it, but we do know this: We had
better work at international and intergroup understanding very hard and
very fast. World Enemy No. 1 isn't the atomic bomb, as some seem to think.
World Enemy No. 2 isn't communism or what the Communists call monop-
oly capitalist fascism. World Enemy No. 3 isn't disease and disaster. World
Enemies Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are ignorance, misunderstanding, and unwarranted
I heard Secretary Marshall just this morning before a congressional
committee state that these are the principal conditions in today's world
which magnify the risks of war. These have always been breeders of hate
and of war.
One reason I am not disconcerted by you experts on education is that
I know you will agree with this thesis. Another reason you don't disconcert
me is that my family, as I have been telling Mr. Carr, boasting about it
tonight, for several generations back has consisted of teachers, missionaries,
and school administrators, although I am still trying to find out just exactly
what a school administrator is. I have, in fact, as the chairman told you in
introducing me, attempted to be one myself, and there may be some of
you who may feel that I atoned in part at least for my many years in busi-
ness and my many business interests today by serving for eight years as
vicepresident of the University of Chicago, which in itself is in a sense an
educational institution. [Laughter] Certainly my role there can in a sense be
said to be educational administration, as my present role in the State Depart-
ment can perhaps be said to be educational administration at the interna-
Because international understanding begins at home, I was alarmed,
as I am sure this group must have been, by Benjamin Fine's remarkable
report on the state of American public education in the February 10 issue
GENERAL 'S FssIONS 57
of The New York Times, and I am sure that report has received much dis-
cussion in your conversations today and will come in for more discussion.
Dr. Fine reports that there has been a virtual stampede of teachers from
our classrooms in the last five years. lie reports that there are 70,000 unfilled
teaching positions in the United States, that 125,000 practicing teachers
have emergency or substandard certificates, that 6000 schools will close for
lack of teachers. Dr. Fine attributes the threatened disintegration of our
schools to grossly inadequate salaries and to a decline in the prestige of
As I read this Times report, I could not help but think of my mother,
about whom I was talking to Dr. Carr tonight. When my father died-
and he was a professor at the University of Minnesota-Mayor Humphrey
and I were saying that you are going to get a heavy dose of Minneapolis
tonight-my mother was left at the age of thirty-nine with two boys and
a tiny Carnegie pension. She moved out to Montana to a newly opened
frontier to try to prove up on a homestead, and I went along. I haven't
yet run into anyone else in Washington who has personally filed and proved
up on a homestead. She began to teach in a one-room pine-board school-
house. The community didn't even have enough money to give it a coat of
paint. Her salary was $40 a month, eight months a year. The total, for those
of you who are too tired by the day's activities to multiply: $320 a year.
She worked out of Montana to the high school of Fergus Falls, Minnesota,
and out of Fergus Falls back to Minneapolis. Her friends thought her ill-
advised when she decided to give up that secure Minneapolis position and
enrol as a graduate student at Teachers College, where she took her degree
while I was an undergraduate at Yale. Soon she was heading a famous girls
school, of which she used to boast to me, "I have the highest tuition west of
Pittsburgh." Certainly, before she was fifty, she was one of the highest paid
women in American education.
I tell this story not because it is unique. It could be paralleled by the stories
of countless dozens of you here in this room. But I tell it because it is rep-
resentative of a splendid tradition in American education, a tradition of
faith in education and of personal dedication to education and of oppor-
tunity for the individual with drive and ability in education.
Dr. Fine's study indicates that this kind of devotion and that kind of
opportunity are disappearing from American education-the challenge and
the deep interest that sent tens of thousands of our teachers to summer
graduate work every year and that twenty-five years ago led more than a
fourth of our college graduates every year into teaching and into school
Of course, it is disappearing at the worst possible time. It is dwindling
while the need for an educated citizenry is becoming ever more acute. It is
receding just as America emerges into responsibility for world leadership,
just when we are required to assume responsibility for solving new and
baffling international problems, just when our example becomes of para-
mount importance to the world, and just when civilization has indeed be-
come a race between education and disaster.
58 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
I hope what I have said up to now won't make any of you think I am
trying to use this phrase, "understanding among peoples," in a vague or
pious sense. Understanding is, in fact, not as tangible or as easy to measure
as a factory or a division of troops, but it is an even more real force in
world affairs. Even dictators have had to acknowledge that.
True understanding among peoples can be a powerful force for peace.
Misunderstanding can be a powerful force making for tension, conflict, and
Evidence pours into my office daily that the United States is being pre-
sented to the peoples of many countries as reactionary, imperialistic, mili-
taristic, lawless, politically immature, unstable, rich but strife-ridden, long
on mechanical ability and short on culture. Such stereotypes about America
appear with insistent and monotonous regularity in all countries under
Soviet influence, but they appear also, with variations, and in less violent
form, in countries with which we have a freer exchange of information,
and they are potentially dangerous. Again, Secretary Marshall this morning
described in detail to this congressional committee his feeling of the great
potential danger in what I have just described.
What I have said about foreign images of America has its counterpart
in American stereotypes about foreign peoples. The volume of news and
information from abroad now available to the American people through
our press and radio is tremendous, contrasted with what is available to for-
eign peoples about us, but we in America still tend to think in cliches and
interpret the news in terms of cliches.
Latin Americans are too often Gauchos who dance the rumba and indulge
in periodic revolutions. Russians, too often, are enigmatic, stubborn, and
mechanically inept. The British are a stolid though decent folk, and the
Chinese are philosophic coolies.
These are pleasant myths, but we can't afford them any more. We must
learn that human beings everywhere are very much like us. They have per-
sonal problems very much like our own. We must learn that foreign nations
have economic and social problems that may or may not be solved as we
solve ours. We must learn that the political institutions of other nations
have their roots in history, as have ours, and we must learn both the institu-
tions and the history. We must learn from philosophy what is desirable,
from history and politics what is possible, then apply all our resourcefulness
to devising ways to make the desirable possible.
Such learning was once the province of scholars. Today it must become
part of the equipment of a citizen. I am not asking for a curriculum built
around courses on peace. The kind of knowledge needed by a citizen today
tends to develop, as it always has, out of a sound, liberal education. But
we must be conscious of the fact that the problems of peace and of relations
among nations now supersede in importance all domestic problems. Peace is,
in fact, the paramount domestic issue.
In facing the world, we have been particularly proud of the educational
opportunities we offer our youth, but you would be disappointed, if you sat
where I sit, to find that respect for our good works by observers abroad,
GENERAL SESSIONs 59
and admiration for our social, moral, and intellectual qualities, lags far
behind knowledge of our economic power and our military might. Our
leadership is accepted less because of our virtues than because of our physi-
To me the most interesting and significant statement in Dr. Fine's report
is the following: The United States is spending 1.5 percent of its national
income for its schools; Great Britain is spending 3 percent; the Soviet
Union is spending 7.5 percent. Every major power except the United
States is sharply increasing its budget for education. The contrast between
the United States and the Soviet Union applies to absolute figures as well
as to percent. The current Soviet budget, Dr. Fine tells me, shows eight
billion dollars for education, compared with the two and one-half billions
we are spending for our public elementary and high schools. This Russian
figure does not include items for physical education, scientific institutes,
and various cultural activities.
There seem to be some things we can learn from Russia. One of them
is to take education more seriously, and to take ideas more seriously.
The figures Dr. Fine cites for domestic education in the three countries
are roughly paralleled proportionately by their expenditures to project their
ideas and information about themselves to foreign countries. The United
States today, in a program under my direction, is spending nineteen million
dollars a year through our overseas information program to explain our-
selves to foreign peoples. Great Britain is spending two to three times that
much for the same purpose. Figures are not available for the Soviet Union,
but from the scale of their activities I should judge that more money is
being spent to promote Russian ideas than by all other major powers
combined on their information and cultural programs. The Russians take
ideas very seriously indeed.
Much of what the Russians do in the field of ideas, both at home and
abroad, we would call indoctrination and propaganda, rather than educa-
tion and information. As a matter of fact, they would call it that, too. They
frankly regard facts and ideas, and the means of communicating facts and
ideas, as instruments and weapons of national and revolutionary policy.
Russia's leaders claim they have found in dialectical materialism something
close to the final and absolute truth about history, economics, and the
good society. They are intolerant of error or divergence, either in philos-
ophy or tactics. Why should they encourage error if they claim they have
the truth? These leaders go to great lengths to spread their ideas of the
truth and to attack and suppress what they regard as error.
The western democracies place the burden of determining the truth
upon the individual. Dr. Beeby and I were discussing this at dinner tonight.
Through education the western countries hope to provide the individual
with the tools of reason that will enable him to recognize truth. Through
a policy of freedom of information they present the issues to him in judg-
ment. The western method is, we believe, the surest road to the truth for the
long run, and the only one which is appropriate to human dignity. It is by
nature slower and more expensive. Yet we in America find ourselves slight-
60 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
ing education at home, minimizing ideas, failing adequately to explain our-
selves to other peoples, and blinking indifferently in the midst of what Secre-
tary Marshall calls "a riot of propaganda."
I have emphasized the dark side of the picture. There are encouraging
signs as well, streaks of light in an overcast sky. One is the creation of
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Or-
ganization, about which I am told Dr. Carr spoke to you this afternoon.
Another is the establishment in the Department of State of the Office of
International Information and Cultural Affairs. A third is the passage of
the Fulbright Bill, under which a portion of the proceeds of the sale of our
overseas surpluses may be used for educational and cultural purposes. A
fourth is the developing pressure in support of worldwide freedom of
I want to mention UNESCO and our State Department's Information
Office briefly. As I am sure you learned from Dr. Carr, UNESCO is a
David facing a Goliath of ignorance. UNESCO obviously is not going to
bring about, in a few years, the moral and intellectual revolution that is
required by the age ahead of us. It can now move gradually toward a more
modest goal; to help dispel, in some degree, the unwarranted fears, suspi-
cions, and hatreds that hang like a fog over the world today.
UNESCO will undertake a major effort to reduce the barriers that now
obstruct the free flow of communications among peoples. We know from
bitter experience that even highly literate peoples, when they are cut off
from a full, honest, and continuous account of developments among other
peoples, can be propagandized and bullied into aggressive belligerency.
UNESCO is to survey the restrictions of the flow of information and
ideas across international boundaries, and the suppression and distortion of
information and ideas by any influence. It will stimulate the flow of stu-
dents, teachers, scholars, and scientists across national boundaries.
I am sure Dr. Carr told you of its proposed worldwide attack on the
problem of illiteracy.
In cooperation with the United Nations, UNESCO will explore
the possibility of creating a worldwide broadcasting network, under inter-
national auspices. Such a network might bring to ordinary people every-
where, and in many languages, an account of the history, the achievements,
the problems, the hopes and the aspirations, the music and the literature of
You should interest yourselves also in the new Office of International
Information and Cultural Affairs in the Department of State, the OIC.
This office is designed to accomplish, on a national and bilateral basis, what
UNESCO is designed to accomplish on an international and multilateral
basis. Its function is to project to foreign peoples a full and fair picture
of American life and of the aims and policies of the United States Gov-
The OIC observed its first birthday on January 1. It has maintained small
information staffs abroad and United States information libraries used by
three million people in sixty-two countries last year. It exhibited non-
GENERAL SESSIONS 61
commercial documentary motion pictures about American life to some one
hundred million people overseas last year. It furnished background material
and full texts of official statements to editors throughout the world. It
broadcast by short wave around the clock in twenty-four languages. Two
weeks ago today a twenty-fifth language was added-Russian.
This office has also been the focal point for a program of scientific and
cultural cooperation, and of exchange of students, with the other American
republics. It awaits congressional authorization to extend this work to
the rest of the world. The lack of this authorization, which will be requested
in a bill to be introduced shortly, is one of the great gaps in our program.
It is a gap which I hope Congress will shortly fill.
Our budget for these OIC activities is less than one-quarter of one
percent of the budget of the Armed Forces. Yet one who studies this pro-
gram can only conclude that it is a program designed for national security.
There was a time last year when it seemed likely there would be no budget
at all. As a matter of fact, that time is here again right now, this very
minute. These new activities are still not recognized by Congress and our
people as an important and integral part of the conduct of our foreign
The exchange of students is an example of how we must raise our sights.
No single activity in the field of international understanding promises so
much over the decades as the exchange of students and teachers. If such
exchanges are to be fully effective in the sense that, in the issue between war
and peace, they could actually weigh the balance for peace, they must be
undertaken on a scale never before attempted. I am glad to say that despite
the overcrowding of our educational institutions, eleven thousand foreign
students were enrolled here in 1946, and I look forward with confidence
to the day when the number will be fifty thousand a year. If its full
potentialities are realized, the Fulbright Blill will make it possible for tens
of thousands of Americans to study abroad during the next twenty years.
This year seventy-four British and seventy-four American elementary and
secondary schoolteachers traded positions for a year. I should like to see
such exchanges greatly increased and extended to other countries, and I
would hope that an organization such as this would find this field suitable for
We Americans have always spent cheerfully on the cure of our diseases.
We have been extremely niggardly in spending on prevention. Every ad-
vertiser knows how much easier it is to sell a cure than to persuade people
to take preventive action. The new realities of international life demand
prevention. The cures of international illnesses have become too costly.
The proposed federal budget for 1948 calls for 7.3 billion dollars for
the Veterans Administration-three times Dr. Fine's figure of 2.5 billions
for elementary and high schools-which is a heritage of our past interna-
tional illnesses. It calls also for five billion dollars to service the national
debt, most of it due to the same illnesses. It provides 11.2 billions for the
Armed Forces, in the event major surgery may be needed in the future.
Those three items add up to two-thirds of the proposed federal budget.
62 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
It would seem we Americans should now have learned to take seriously
the adage about the ounce of prevention, if only on a dollars-and-cents
basis. There are those of us who believe that education and the cultivation
of understanding among peoples offer the big chance for prevention. Yet
the amounts our nation spends for domestic education are declining relative
to the economy, and the amounts we spend to promote international under-
standing are a pittance in total and a pittance compared with the need, with
the opportunity, and with the alternatives.
Chancellor Hutchins of the University of Chicago says the task the
world faces is a colossal educational task. He remarked recently, "It looks
hopeless, but it is not as bad as it looks. In the first place, we do not know
what education can accomplish because we have never tried it. In the second
place, the means of communication are now so numerous, rapid, and cheap,
we can communicate it to the ends of the earth."
Our military leaders, like our political leaders, are increasingly aware
of this. General Eisenhower has said, "I am convinced that the world can-
not stand another global war and, as I see it, the thing which can prevent
such a tragedy happening is education." Admiral Nimitz has said, "Ameri-
cans must be led to understand the benefit of information and cultural
Perhaps I could conclude by asking this group what contribution you can
make to this colossal task. You can act in your individual roles as citizens.
Through this and other organizations you can help our fellow Ameri-
cans to understand the nature of the problem. You can cooperate with
educational groups in other countries, through UNESCO or independently.
Your invitations to our distinguished guests here tonight indicate your
There are concrete steps you can take in your own communities. You
can ask local editors and radio stations to give greater attention to foreign
affairs. You can arrange teacher exchanges with foreign schools in your own
high schools, and teacher and student exchanges through your local colleges.
You can organize study groups. You can undertake surveys to determine
the nature and extent of the misconceptions about foreign peoples and
foreign affairs in your town or city.
Every conceivable step we Americans can take to advance understanding
among peoples is not a step too many. If I have a message, that must be it.
All of us realize that a new role has been thrust upon our nation,
involving new responsibilities and unprecedented new risks. We are not
yet following this realization to its consequences in action. Only a mere
beginning has been made in fashioning instruments appropriate to the new
realities-instruments of action. Let us use them boldly and imaginatively.
Understanding, confidence, and example, the bulwarks of community
and national life, now become the bulwarks of the world community. As
our globe becomes, perforce, one great community, you can bring to bear,
in an ever larger sphere, your talents, your training, and your devotion, as
citizens and as educators, to the building of peace in the minds of men,
and in the minds of men everywhere.
GENERAL SESSIONS 63
THE AGE OF CRISIS AND ITS IMPACT UPON EDUCATION
THE HONORABLE HUBERT II. 1IUMIPIIREY, MAYOR OF
CIIAIRMAN \WARREN: I think we have a rare treat in our next speaker.
He became the mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in July 1945. He has
the distinction at thirty-five of being one of the youngest men ever to
serve as mayor of a large metropolitan city. He came into office with the
united support of organized labor, church groups, business, professional,
and educational organizations. His program embraces every aspect of city
government, and his dynamic personality has made possible tremendous
He has a noteworthy record in labor-management relations, has personally
negotiated ten major labor disputes, involving schoolteachers and hospital
workers. He possesses unusual talents as an administrator combined with
an educator's appreciation of human values. He has the respect of all
political parties in making democracy work at the local level.
He was chosen as the outstanding Minneapolitan of 1945, was selected
as the man of the year in M'innesota, and the outstanding young man of
the year in 1945 by the MIinneapolis Star and Tribune and the Minnesota
Junior Association of Commerce.
He has been honored by being appointed to many national committees,
which I will not name here.
Prior to his election as mayor, he was professor of political science at
Macalester College, and previously was a member of the University of
MIinnesota political science staff. He has degrees from the University of
Minnesota and Louisiana State University.
I am glad to present the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, mayor of
Minneapolis. His subject: "The Age of Crisis and Its Impact upon
Education." Mayor Humphrey.
M'IAYOR HUMPHREY: Thank you very much, AMr. Chairman. Ladies
and Gentlemen, Delegates to this Conference of the American Association
of School Administrators, and my Distinguished Friends and Honored
Guests on the platform: You know, folks, if I could get all my people
back in M'inneapolis to believe all that has been said about me in this
introduction, I wouldn't have any worries the next three or four months.
What I am doing down here in Atlantic City when I have a campaign
for re-election is more than I know. I don't see five votes in the audience.
But, then, every once in a while, you know, misery loves company, and
every once in a while an old broken-down schoolteacher like myself gets
a little bit lonesome to meet some good school people, and I thought that
even if I had to travel half-way across the continent to do it, it would be
an inspirational moment for me. I have found it that already.
First of all, as I said to our very able superintendent of schools of
Minneapolis, who was kind enough to take me out to dinner tonight-he
is doing quite well; he took me out to a good dinner. "AMr. Goslin," I
said, "you know, it isn't bad for a boy from South Dakota to walk up and
64 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
down the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. I never thought I would be able to
do it." As a matter of fact, when I lived back in the middle western area
of South Dakota before I came to Minneapolis, I didn't believe that there
was that much lumber in the whole country.
Then when I came to this meeting tonight and found that the Assistant
Secretary of State was a former Minneapolitan and that he had folks all
over Minnesota with the name Benton, and not a Swede or a Norwegian
in the bunch, I was more than happy and more than privileged to know that
I could be a part of this program.
This is the first time, by the way, that I have ever been in a meeting
where I have heard so much talk so far away about Minneapolis. It is
really wonderful. As a matter of fact, I have had many a person stop me
during the day and ask me if I were from St. Paul. I don't know whether
I looked hungry because I had been on strike or what it was, but they
asked me about it. I am motivated at this particular time to tell you a
story which is characteristic of our people, because it is so good to know
that you can come away from home and hear so much about your home
town and so little about your rival-so little that is good, anyway.
Back in Minneapolis many years ago when our schoolboard was having
its difficulties (of course we have none now), there was a great argument
in the schoolboard as to whether or not we should put the Bible in the
Minneapolis schools. One of our schoolboard members was none other than
that distinguished citizen of Minnesota of some time past by the name of
Magnus Johnson. We called him "Yonson" back in our state. As Magnus
sat on the schoolboard day after day, he found that his was the deciding
vote as to this most important question. The superintendent of schools at
that time was terribly disturbed because he couldn't get a definite answer
from his board members, and finally on the last day he said to Mr.
Johnson, "Mr. Johnson, I would like to have you give me your answer as
to whether or not you think we ought to have the Bible in the Minneapolis
Magnus, with his Scandinavian brogue, said, "I tell you, Mr. Superin-
tendent, I have to take that book home and look it over over the week end."
So, Mr. Johnson, with characteristic Scandinavian speed, took the book
home over the week end, and he spent a good deal of time reading it from
cover to cover and chapter to chapter. When he came back on Monday
to report, the superintendent said, "Well, Magnus, what are you going to
say about the decision as to the Bible in the Minneapolis schools?"
Magnus said, "I tell you, Mr. Chairman, I been reading that book from
cover to cover, from verse to verse, and chapter to chapter, and I see a
whole lot in there about St. Paul but not one damned word about
So, my friends, we made a decision, and may I say that was one of the
quickest decisions that any schoolboard in the United States has ever made
about any fundamental question.
I stand before you tonight as one who is interested in education, American
public education, from many different points of view. First of all, I have
been, and I still think I amn, a teacher. Second, I am ;i parent, and I aml
vitally interested in the success of American public education and its
development because I am a parent. Third, I am a politician, and I am
proud of it, because as a person vested with public responsibility, I have
grown more and more to appreciate the importance of American public
education and, likewise. I have had some opportunity to view it from
an analytical and critical point of view.
Tonight I am going to talk to you not as a politician, not as a teacher;
I am going to talk to you as Hubert Humphrey, dad of three good children,
who is really interested in how his children are going to get along in this
world. I am going to talk to you as a citizen. yes, one of those people that
you hear a lot about, a taxpayer. 1 am going to talk to you as a voter, and
that ought to wake you up, because voters can do things even to school-
teachers and school administrators. I am going to talk to you as John Q.
Public ought to be talking to you and ought to have said to you a long
time ago, and you ought to have a chance to say something to him.
I don't need to tell you that we meet in unprecedented times. I think
everybody has come to the conclusion by now that this world is in a little
dizzy spell. I imagine that every one of us realizes that we are not exactly
living in that period that somebody is always talking about, that nobody
can ever find, called "the good old days." We haven't returned to normalcy
because there is none to return to. WVe haven't acquired the victory, because
all Nwe have done is win the war. We haven't attained peace because peace
is never attained. It is not a static thing. WVe are in the process of readjusting
ourselves to something that we may call democratic living. Yes, I think
that we are in the process of just getting our feet on the ground again and
getting our heads clean of the fear, the hate, and the viciousness of world-
wide struggle, and we are beginning again to think about how we can
live with the guy next door, with our neighbor.
M\r. Benton has already set the theme for all that I have to say. I am
going to talk about understanding, too, but I am going to talk about it a
little bit more on the community level. I am going to say that before you
are going to be able to save this world, you are going to have to take care
of your own back yard. I am going to say to you tonight that before you
are going to be able to save the national picture, you had better start
saving Buffalo, New York, and St. Paul, Minnesota. [Applause] I am
going to say to you that as "lain Street goes, so goes this nation, and as
this nation goes, so goes this world.
The fellow who is running Mlain Street is sitting in this audience, if
he wants to run it. Main Street will do just what you want it to do if
you have the courage to stand up and tell it what to do or even advise and
consult with it. So, we are really the masters of our own destiny. We have
it, as one great American said, within ourselves to make this world all over
again. The trouble is, most of the time we are too indifferent and too lazy
and too timid even to make our own lives over again, much less the world.
I think that WVorld \ar 11 ought to stand out as a pretty good example
of civilization gone mad and, let me say, of the inability of education up
66 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
to date to be able to correct much of anything, because any time that you
can get the whole world struggling with and strangling each other, I
think that all of us will admit there must have been something wrong
with what we call formal education.
We have arrived at the point now of determining whether or not we are
going to be able to bind up the wounds of this war. We are going to find
out whether or not, through the formal processes of education, through
our group experiences and our individual experiences, we can learn to live
together in peace and security. We are going to find out whether or not
the same smart, intelligent people who could create the atomic bomb have
enough good sense, have enough moral fortitude and enough moral stamina
to be able to learn how to get along with each other and live as neighbors.
I want to underwrite what Mr. Benton said, that atomic energy is
dangerous only in the hands of a bigoted, prejudiced, intolerant people.
Atomic energy is a vicious instrument only when it is handled by people
who have lost all sense of moral consciousness or all sense of civic and
community responsibility. So far as educators are concerned, they don't
need to be worried about Oak Ridge. School administrators don't need
to worry about whether or not the new bomb is stronger than the one
that was used at Nagasaki or Hiroshima. Either one will blow the daylights
out of us. What we need to worry about is whether or not we can bring
enough people under the influence of democratic teaching and teachings
of philosophy, of humanitarianism, and respect for the other man's 'point
of view, so that they won't start throwing bombs at each other. They have
already made the bombs, they know how to make them, and they can
continue to make them; all we need to be sure of is that they do not use
them for destructive purposes.
I have selected a topic that is a rather large one, but when I get away
from home I like to speak on big topics. You know, I am so circumscribed
at home. I have to talk about the new method of collecting rubbish. Once
in a while I, get a chance to move out to the- PTA and talk about how we
can finance our schools. So, when I get this far away from home, I just
take the whole world in, and I am going to talk on "The Age of Crisis
and Its Impact upon Education." That gives me a lot of room to talk, too,
because I think you can bring just about everything into that particular
subjectmatter, particularly when you talk about the age of crisis.
But I am serious about an age of crisis, and I don't think very many
educators have been. I don't think the age of crisis came in just before
Franklin Roosevelt or after he went out. I don't happen to believe that
the age of crisis was on "Black Thursday" in October 1929. I think we
have been living through a half century of crisis. I think we have been
living through a sort of silent world revolution that occasionally breaks
forth into an eruption, that we have twice had, called a world war. I
think the age of crisis has been with us ever since the end of the Victorian
Era, when we began to see the disintegration of all that is old-old world
politics and old world economics. These two wars have just brought it to our
attention more forcibly, and they have made some people who hadn't been
GENERAL SESSIONS 67
doing any thinking for fifty years start doing a little thinking for fifty
minutes. It took two wars to do that.
We have found that imperialism is not only a nasty old word that lots
of people like to talk about, but it is impractical and it is no longer feasible
in a world that is under the impact of democratic ideology. I think we
know now that you can't live half slave and half free, and I think some
people are beginning to understand, even in high places in finance, that
you can't have a world half prosperous and the rest of it poverty-stricken
and be able to have any semblance of political or economic or social security.
Then, what characterizes this age of crisis? You know these things, too.
Political revolutions, war, unemployment, restlessness, insecurity, all sorts
of fantastic literature and art, a general breakdown in the morale and even
in the morals of people. Those are the little things that everybody who
reads Life magazine can point to. That is all you need to read. You don't
need to go any further than a fifteen-cent education.
I wonder how many of us have taken this really seriously. I am not only
going to talk this evening about what I think is happening to the schools fi-
nancially in terms of personnel and how I am worried about it, but I am
going to talk to you about what you have been teaching in your classrooms
and what a miserable failure "we" have sometimes made. I say "we" because
I have been part of the team. I don't want anyone to believe that I think
American education has been a failure. I am perfectly willing, like the
typical politician, to "point with pride," but I also "view with alarm,"
and I am going to "view with alarm" tonight, if you don't mind, and we
will all get together early in the morning and "point with pride." VWe
have all patted each other on the back collectively and individually, and
I think it is about time that we had a little process of self-analysis.
Three factors have stood out in this period of world crisis this past
half century. What are those factors? First, industrialization and the
development of metropolitan areas, big cities, urban centers. Second, a
change in world politics, in international relations. Maybe it isn't so
manifest as some of us would like to believe, but I am here to say that
the old days of power politics, of divide and conquer, the old days of
secret double-dealing, of maneuvering, are over. If not over, believe you
me, they are in the very bad stage of a coronary thrombosis with a poor
recovery. People everywhere are seeking freedom, and they even willing
to kill a few people to get it. They are even willing to overthrow govern-
ments and to shoot would-be dictators and to throw out political parties
that have bungled. They are willing to do anything internationally to
attain the right to live and to let live.
There is a third factor in this world crisis that we he ha had, and that
is that there is a greater understanding by almost every Joe in town, by
almost every plain citizen, of what we mean by democracy. This is almost
paradoxical, but may I say that there has been less understanding among
school people about democracy than there has been among the parents
of the children that you are teaching.
I am going to lead off on that because I think that is fundamental.
68 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SciOOi. ADMINISTRATORS
When I used to teach political theory, we used to talk about getting funda-
mental principles. What are your assumptions? Let's get principles first.
So, before we talk about urbanization or world politics or the troubles
'of the school, let's ask: Do we have a philosophy of education? Do we
have a philosophy of life? What do you mean when you stand up before
the public and before your classroom and say, "Hurrah for democracy!"
or "I believe in social justice"? Gerald L. K. Smith says that. Does he
mean the same thing that you do-or haven't you thought it out and he has?
I have watched all too many teachers in my few short days on this earth
get up and talk to young Americans about democracy, about free elections,
free speech, without any critical analysis at all of what they are talking
about and without ever trying to explain to the student, to the boy, and
to the girl, what he really means; as they say in the vernacular, what
the score is.
Have we really made up our minds that we really believe in democracy?
I am prejudiced. I want you to know that before I talk to you any more.
I am a biased person. I believe in democracy. I don't believe in fascism,
and I don't believe in communism. I believe in democracy, and I believe
that every teacher in the American public-school system ought to believe
in it and that you ought to find out whether or not he does believe in it.
Then, what do I mean when I say I believe in democracy? First of all,
I believe in what I read on that facsimile that is hanging on the wall of
your school, that the janitor dusts and looks at, but which nobody else
looks at, and which doesn't look very good. The paper is rather yellow
now, and not very many people have been reading it, but it took quite a
little while to write it, and it was a very young man who did the job. It
starts out something like what we have heard tonight right from this
platform: "We hold these truths to be self-evident . ." Yes, there is no
argument about it. We hold them to be self-evident. That is our creed.
It is a matter of faith. ". .that all men are created equal." Do you really
believe that, or are you just kidding somebody? and ". . that they are
endowed by their Creator." Not by the Constitution, not by a president,
not by a political party, not by a monarch, but by God Almighty. ". . with
certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of ha iness."
I believe tiat, and I do believe in the doctrine of natural law. I do
believe that there is a moral law, and I do believe that all men are equal
before God and before the law, or at least they should be. I happen to
believe that the only thing that differentiates man from the beast is the fact
that he was given certain inalienable rights by his Creator and that he was
created in the image of his Maker. I believe that, and I tell every student
I ever taught about it so that we understand each other before we start.
You see, I don't believe that democracy is telephones. I never did believe
that democracy was tin cans and Ford cars, whether they were V-8's or
old tin lizzies. I never did believe that democracy was production, because
Hitler had all of that. We may have more telephones than anybody else
in the world, and we may do more talking over them, but I don't know
what we are saying-and that's what is important. We may have more
bathtubs than all the rest of the world put together, and I have been
taught that in school as a freshman or sophomore in high school. I know
that we are cleaner on the outside, but nobody has really examined us from
the inside. To me, there has been too much identification of what we call
democracy by ticker tape, bathtubs, telephones, tin cans, and bubble gum
and bubble baths.
1 happen to believe that we get all of those things in larger quantities
than anybody else in this world because we do have a social system which
makes it possible. In other words, bubble gum, bubble baths, telephones,
and all the rest of it are a by-product of a way of life which says what?
That all men are created equal. They are a by-product of a way of life
which says, further, that every man is endowed with a certain sense of
dignity, of worthwhileness; which further says that every man should have
the right to express himself, should have the right to participate, should
have the right to be in things, regardless of his race, color, or creed.
We go on just a little bit further to say that not only do we believe
this for Americans, but we believe in the concept of man and in the con-
cept of the brotherhood of men, which means that democracy is a philosophy
of universality, which means that it can never be circumscribed by juris-
dictional limits that we call boundary lines, which means that democracy
is a worldwide philosophy that can embrace all people all over this world.
I believe in these things, and from there I am going to start to work
I don't think that all teachers believe in it, and I will tell you why. In
order to fulfil this kind of program, we have got to have some people
participating in politics; we have got to have some people who are willing
to stick their necks out, as they say; we have got to have some people who
are willing to go on out and run up against the tough battle of being called
names, of being before the public, of giving it and taking it from the public
platform in public debate.
May I say that American public education has been an innocent partner
to a conspiracy in this country to make every American believe that Ameri-
can politics is crooked, to make everybody believe that American politicians
are either corrupt or inefficient. There has been literally a premeditated
conspiracy in this country to keep good people out of public office, because
good people in public office will understand democracy and they won't
permit racial bigotry; they will have enough moral courage to see that it
doesn't happen. Political opportunists will permit anything, for they have
their price, but people of moral stature and of political courage in American
politics, who believe that they can be clean and that they can make honest
decisions, are being frightened out of the American political arena by what I
call a premeditated conspiracy to tell every mother and father, "Above all
things, don't let your son go into politics. It is better to be a saloon keeper.
It is better to be a fan dancer. For goodness' sake, don't let him (or her)
dirty himself in the arena of American politics!"
70 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Am I wrong? Well, Dr. Gallup of Princeton doesn't think so, because it
was just two years ago that in a poll of public opinion he found that 80 per-
cent of the mothers of America specifically stated that they did not want
their sons or their daughters to have anything to do with American politics
or political parties.
Friends, you have been teaching those mothers and those fathers some
years back, and you are teaching their children now. If you keep that up,
you won't need to worry about the condition of the Republican Party or
the Democratic Party. You won't need to worry about who is in The White
House and who isn't there. I will tell you who will be there. It will be the
riffraff of America, instead of the good people of America, because you will
have frightened them out; you will have kept young men and women out,
who otherwise would want to go into it, because you will have told them
ghost stories; you will have made them believe in the weird stories of some
sinister force that will be everlastingly at them if they should ever once enter
into the people's business, which is politics, in a democracy.
I' like politics. I am glad I am in it. I think it, is the people's business. I
think it is the greatest honor that can ever be bestowed upon a man to be
elected to public office, regardless of what office it may be; and it is about
time, if you will permit me to say so, my good friends of the educational
profession, that you started a little public-relations campaign for America.
It is about time that you started selecting young men and women out of the
classrooms of America and started telling them, "You are the kind of person
who ought to be elected to the schoolboard," "You are the sort of person
who ought to dedicate his life to teaching," "You are the sort of person who
ought to go into the city council," "You ought to go to the state legis-
lature," "You have the ability to be governor," "You have every right to
aspire to the halls of Congress or to the Presidency."
When are we going to start doing that instead of going around and
saying, "How are you coming along with your bookkeeping? My! You
would make a good fifteenth assistant accountant for the Standard Oil
Company," or somebody else. We need them, too, but I am here to tell you
that fifteenth assistant accountants will never save this world. They may
help, but they can be victimized and they can be enslaved by an unscrupu-
lous political machine in any country.
Politics is important, and it is part of democracy. You see, there is some-
thing else than just philosophy. Anybody can get up here and give you a
sermon about democracy, but I am up here to tell you that you have got
to get out and participate in democracy. You have to start speaking to
groups. You have to start running for office. You have to be a part of an
organization. You have to be willing to be a participant in community
activities if you want to save public education.
Are you going just to stand on the sidelines and say, "Isn't it too bad?
People don't understand our predicament. People just don't realize that we
must have more money. People just don't appreciate the problems of the
schoolteacher." Why should they? You have never told them anything
about them. Schoolteachers have been able to keep bigger secrets than any
GENERAL SESSIONS 71
other group of people that I have ever known! They just won't talk about
school problems. It is about time we started to talk about school problems.
I would like to remind the assembled audience tonight for whom you are
working. You school administrators, teachers, and board members are
working for the people of America. You have the greatest trust that any
person ever hopes to have. You have been entrusted with the future welfare
of American youth. It is your obligation to provide them with the tools to
seek out information. It is your responsibility not to teach them what to
think, but how to think; and it is your responsibility, if you please, to re-
member at all times that the American public educational system is the
property of the American people, that the schoolhouse doesn't belong to the
superintendent, it doesn't belong to the schoolboard ; it belongs to the people
that live in the community; it is theirs, and it is theirs by vested right.
I almost got away from what I was going to tell you about industrializa-
tion, but it all fits in, because we have a lot of problems in America today.
We have problems of housing. You have heard about them, haven't you?
W e have problems of public health. We have problems of illiteracy. We
have problems of intolerance, religious, and racial. We have problems of
finances, and we have problems of labor and management.
I should like just to say that in the main we have missed the boat in
educating the American people about these problems. Let me give you a
good example. From 1920 to 1930 we should have been having some kind of
instruction in the field of internationalism. We had the League of Nations.
It was a going instrumentality. We had World WVar I, which proved the
fallacy of national sovereignty. We had all sorts of people-including a
Woodrow Wilson, a Charles Evans Hughes, an Elihu Root, a William
Howard Taft, and others too numerous to mention-who told you, the
best minds in America, that the only hope of America and the only hope of
the world was international understanding. Yet, I submit to you that you
brought up a generation of isolationists.
What were we teaching in the classrooms? Well, we were letting too
many speakers come by to address our groups about the validity of high
protective tariffs, even though it bankrupted the country. We had too
many people who were willing to talk about prosperity being around the
corner when every intelligent economist in the country was telling us that
a pit of disaster and despair was around the corner-and you know it.
You people know this.
You know that during the period of the 1920's when we were talking in
pious terms in church and in assembly about the dignity of labor, you
didn't believe in it. You didn't believe in the dignity of labor. We were
educating people to be managers of J. C. Penney's, not workers in J. C.
Penney's. Yes, everybody was going to school so he could get out of work,
not so he could learn how to work. That is one of the basic problems in
America today. I hear people say every day, "The trouble with these
working people is that they don't want to work." We put them through
a public-school system which never once really talked about the hard labor
of being a machinist or a sheet metal worker, but which talked about how
72 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
he could get a nice mahogany desk with seven buzzers and three secretaries.
I ask this audience how many of you actually gave a course in trade union-
ism in your schools and really went into the life of organized labor? How
many of you had the courage to stand up in your classrooms and tell the
boys and the girls that the hall the constitutional fathers met in was put
together by the Carpenters and Joiners Union in Philadelphia? How many
of you had the courage to say that trade unionism in America is as typically
American as the Declaration of Independence? We had them here even
before we got that paper.
How many of you have really analyzed for your young Americans the
fact that most of them are not going to be managers of Penney's, that
most of them are going to work in the factories and in the shops and in the
offices, that most of them are going to be wage earners, that 75 percent of
them are going to end up being wage earners even under presentday
How many of you have had the courage to stand up before your audiences
and ask them not either to accept or reject organized labor as an instrument
of power or as an economic instrument in America, but to recognize the
fact that they may be members of it? Have you really taught in American
schools responsibility of labor? Have you really taught the young Ameri-
cans who are coming up, going into the machine shops and going into the
mass production factories, what we mean by the CIO and the AF of L?
Have you taught them about vertical and horizontal unionism? Have you
taught them about the meaning of industrial unionism? Have you taught
them about the closed shop, the union shop, maintenance of membership?
Do they know what they mean when they say "scab"?
Do we really know what organized labor has been as a political and
social force in America? I will tell you the answer. We do not. The reason
that there is so much prejudice and so much misunderstanding in America
about labor and management relationships is that we have never taught
anything about either labor or management. We have told fairy stories about
the Industrial Revolution, which never "revoluted," which only "evoluted,"
and we have had a lot of people believing that the only thing that was
revolutionary about the Industrial Revolution was a few strikes. Surely,
we have even had, let me say, incompetence in teaching about the structure
of corporate capital in this country.
Friends, all I am asking you is this: Have we taught the realities of life,
the facts of life? I submit to you that we have not. We still worship small
business in the classroom, despite the fact that big business is getting bigger
and bigger and that it is essential that it does. We have got to have big
business in order to have big production. We still go around talking about
the little worker, and we have people who have even talked about how
wonderful it was that Lincoln was poor, so he could be great, not ever
understanding that he was great despite the fact that he was poor.
Yes, I say that American education has a job on its hands today, and we
have a social lag such as no other people has had for a long time, because
ours is an important job. The fate of the world rests on America. Instead
C GENR.\i. SE~SSIOxs
of having nice, good, respectable people cussing out this fellow and that
fellow for what they are doing, we had better start examining what we
taught those fellows when they were back in school.
I can honestly say that I never heard a word about a trade union until
I was nineteen years of age, and I graduated from a good high school, with
good college-trained teachers instructing me. I never knew anything about
other economic systems; didn't know much about the one we had, either,
except I knew that it didn't always work so hot. I\My father was sometimes
poor and sometimes well off.
I want to know whether or not we are teaching young Americans today
that there are about two islands of capitalism left-Canada and the United
States-and that the rest of the world seems to be going toward nationaliza-
tion or socialism. I am not saying that is good, I am not saying that is bad,
hut I am saying it is the truth.
I wonder whether or not in our public-school classrooms we have been
able to differentiate between what I call the totalitarian state, which prac-
tices a police method of keeping people in line, which forces them into line,
which denies them civil liberty, which denies them political expression, but
has state ownership of property; and the state, such as England, where you
have civil liberty, where you have political freedom, where you have public
education, where you have freedom of movement, but at the same time
you have socialization of enterprise.
I think that we have got to start teaching these things, friends, because
this is the world that we are living in. VWe are not living in the world of
Pollyanna. We are not even in the world of Alexander Hamilton. We are
not in the world of Thomas Jefferson or even in the world of Franklin D.
Roosevelt. We are in the world after V-J Day, and it is a whole lot different
than it was before V-J Day, and the most important people to keep up
with that change today are the educators.
One other thing that I would like to emphasize about this world of ours
is that we have arrived at the point in human history where we can no longer
afford the waste and the extravagance of denying people opportunity. You
know, democratic government doesn't owe people security. Democracy
doesn't owe people a handout. We may give them a handout; we may present
security to them out of our charitable nature, out of our humanitarian im-
pulses, but I submit to you that all that democracy owes to people is equality
of opportunity. It owes people the right to be a part of things, to be a
participant, as I have been saying tonight.
I will say that in this competitive age of which we are now a part, we
had better make up our minds that we can't have third-class citizens, second-
class citizens, fourth-class citizens, and first-class citizens. You just can't
have it. On our platform tonight are people from other lands, and they are
not all white people. I know that I am talking to a national audience, and
I know this is our problem. I am here tonight to say, regardless of where
you may be from, that America can no longer endure the hypocrisy of talking
about human equality and then denying it. [Applause] I am not even
putting it on a high and moral basis. I am just putting it on the basis of
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
being able to live in a competitive world. We need the ability, we need
the talent, we need the urge, we need the energy of everybody in America
today if we are going to be able even to handle our national debt. If you
are going to be able to raise the money that you want for public education,
you had better put some people to work today in productive enterprise that
you are now keeping literally in the relief lines, in the dependency lines,
because you don't like the size of their nose or the color of their skin or the
kink of their hair. I have been around enough to know that that happens.
This is our problem.
We are not going to be very good neighbors running around to our
Latin-American friends and to our friends in other parts of the world, a
large number of them being colored, and saying, "Oh, how we love you!
The Good Neighbor Policy! We are all your buddies." They may say,
"How about going home and seeing whether or not you can get along
with them first." I think we have got to face that. How are we going to
practice love for the Chinese in China when we don't really love them in
America? We have Chinese here. We even exclude some of them from
citizenship, and yet we are supposed to love them. We are supposed to have
good international relations and understanding. How are you going to un-
derstand the Chinese in China when you have had a Chinese Exclusion Act
in America? That is a pretty basic political problem, I think.
I want to know how we are going to love all of our friends in other parts
of the world and how we are going to be able to get along with them when
we have real problems with some of our own folks right here in our own
country. I hear more people worried about the Jews in Palestine. It seems
to be the great issue that consumes all the humanitarian impulses of
Americans. We are after Mr. Bevin. We don't like Mr. Attlee. But, say,
how about the Jews in New York and Minneapolis? Are you interested in
them? Are you as concerned about their welfare as you are about whether
or not they get a homeland in Palestine, or are you just trying to get rid
of them? Anti-Semitism is a basic American problem.
What are we doing about it in the American schools? Are all men created
equal? Is there a brotherhood of man, or is that just something that we
have hanging on the wall for the Fourth of July and we don't believe it?
There seems to be a test that we must have, and I think the test is
rather universal. "Ye shall know them by their deeds, not by their words."
Until America can answer some of these basic problems of intolerance and
of exploitation and, let me say, of economic ignorance in its own midst, I
don't think we have too much chance of giving world leadership because
we are going to be tossed in a turbulent sea of our own discontent and our
own confusion. Yes, I am of the belief that before you can love your neigh-
bors, you have to know them and you have to respect them, and before
there can ever be any brotherhood among mankind, there is going to have
to be a little understanding and sound human relations among our kind,
among our people in our community.
Let me move along to what I consider to be the crisis and what this age
of crisis has produced in our school systems. Mr. Benton has spoken to you
GENERAl. SESSIONS 75
of Dr. Benjamin Fine's report. I read that report. In fact, I read it three
times on the way to this meeting, and each time I became more appalled;
each time I became more ill, and each time I almost became more despond-
ent. Why do 1 feel this way? Let me repeat some of the things that were
When I read, for example, that the average salary for a classroom
teacher in America was $37 a week, I thought to myself, What has hap-
pened to American public education? When I found that 53 percent of the
cities of America paid more for truck drivers than they did for school-
teachers, I began to wonder, What do we really think about public educa-
tion, and whose fault is it?
When I found that sixty thousand teachers had a high-school education
or less and that maybe one of those teachers might teach one of my sons or
my daughter, I really became alarmed. I am a selfish person, friends, very
selfish. I am interested not only in my own little personal welfare; I am
interested in the welfare of my wife and of my children and of my friends.
I submit to you that my children and my friends are not only the products
of the kind of home life that they have in their own homes; they are the
character product of the community of which they are a part. When I talk
about a community I mean the community that M'r. Willkie talked about,
the "One World" of which they are a part. I mean the community that we
have listed on the American dollar, "E pluribus unum," one out of many,
the United States of America.
I am convinced that my children cannot be safe in an America where
some schools can have six thousand dollars per classroom unit expended
upon them, and other schools have one hundred dollars. [Applause] I don't
think it is fair. I say it destroys equality and all that it means.
I don't believe my family could live in security and in peace in an
America in which, when you can't do anything else, when there doesn't
seem to be any other job, it is suggested, "Why don't you try a year of teach-
ing? Take a teaching job, then go and tend a bar for another year, and
then go and work in an office." I don't like that. MIaybe that doesn't happen
in my city. In the larger cities of America, yes, we may have a higher
standard of recruitment, and we may have higher salaries, but I want to
remind this audience tonight, I don't care how good a system of schools
you have in Houston, Texas, it doesn't make any difference how good a
system of schools we have in MIinneapolis, MIinnesota, or in New York City,
or in Los Angeles, California, if the rest of the country is deprived, if the
rest of the country somehow or other is broken down in its school system,
for we will be there sooner or later. We are all affected by our environment.
How easy it is to drag the country down!
You see, isolationism does not mean only that our frontiers are not on the
Rhine. We have a fellow in Chicago who thinks that. He runs a large
newspaper there, and he continually spouts off that we should not be
worrying about these neighbors of ours across the seas. That is what 1 call
an isolationist, as well as being very impractical and being what I would
consider to be basically immoral.
76 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
But let me say that I know a large number of people who are terribly
concerned about the welfare of China, just consumed about how the little
Russians are getting along and whether or not the vodka is as good over
there as it is here, and other things; I know many people who are terribly
worried about how our friends in Britain are doing, but they have never
concerned themselves with how people are getting along on the other side
of the tracks in their home town. An isolationist is a person who isn't his
brother's keeper, and he doesn't care where his brother is. An isolationist
is a person who never concerns himself with anything beyond his own little
immediate circle of intimates and friends.
I say that American public education can no longer be just a local respon-
sibility. Some people are not going to like this, but I for one cannot afford
to let you be so wasteful in certain areas of America that you do not
educate your children. I have got to be concerned about the safety of my
state and of my city and of my family, and if you are not willing to pay for
that education, then I want Uncle Sam to pay for it. I believe in federal
aid to education, and lots of it. [Applause]
I don't know whether or not the federal government will manage it.
It wouldn't be any worse to have the federal government sticking its nose
into the board of education than to have the real estate board or the property
owners association or somebody else. [Laughter] Let's not go around trying
to tell each other fibs, because we know that some of these things happen.
There are always power groups that want to run things. Sometimes it is a
union, sometimes it is just big business, but there is always somebody who
is willing to take over for you when you don't want to take over, you know.
The government of the United States still belongs to the people of the
United States, and it is just about as good and as bad as we are-just about
as alive as we are.
I ask each and every one of you to identify public education not as a sys-
tem, not as a great institution, but to identify it with your life, with your
children, with your family, and to sell it on that basis, to go right on out
and sell it on the basis of family life.
I find, for example, that in America there is a need for repaii- and reno-
vation and new construction of schools totaling five billion dollars, and that
seems to be a minimum estimate. I hear people say, "Well, of course that
is public works, you know, Mr. Humphrey," and you know what the
classical theory of economics is. We should have public works when we
have a depression. In other words, let's not be worried about whether or
not children are educated, but let's adhere to economic principles for a
while even if it kills people, even if it means that we have illiteracy and
ignorance in the country. Let's not build high schools when we can be
building saloons and night clubs, you know. It wouldn't be a good idea
for America. That is what some people are saying, because they say that
public educational establishments are public works and we should hold off
on that until we have unemployment. There are some people who enjoy
the darnedest things!
I have even heard people say, "Let's not be alarmed about this teachers'
GENERAL. SissIOxs 77
salary business, and let's not be alarmed about the fact that between now
and 1950 we will need five hundred thousand teachers. Let's not be
alarmed about that because, you know, things can't go on like this all the
time. It is a tight labor market now. Pretty soon they will be hungry, and
they will come streaming back and looking for a teaching job." Oh, what
delightful persons they will be! Won't it he wonderful when we have
teachers looking for jobs because they are so broke they can't do anything
hut teach? WTe have relied on that all too long, my good friends.
Let's wake up to some realities, friends. Big business is here to stay.
Big and expensive government is here to stay, and if you people haven't
enough sense to know that big education is here to stay and should be here to
stay, then you had better start waking up right now. It is going to cost
money, too. There are no free rides left in America. That is all over. It is
about time we started telling the American citizen body that if it costs
more to buy baby shoes, if it costs more to heat the home, if it costs more
to buy a new automobile for the family, if it costs more to buy a new set
of encyclopedias for your home, if it costs more when you have a maid
come in, it costs more to run schools, too. It is just that simple. We have
some people in America today who seem to think that everything else can
go up in price, but government costs must come down. I don't know where
they get their economics, but they seem to enjoy it anyhow, and they have
some of you people believing it. Yes, they have some people believing it.
Let me tell you folks something. Do you know what is happening to the
American school administrator? You are waiting for the teachers to make
you stand up and be respectable and humanitarian. That is right. You are
waiting for teachers who are getting so sick and tired of taking care of other
people's little bundles from heaven at half price that sooner or later they
will climb down your throats and force you to recognize the fact that you
have got to start paying them something. That is not good business for
I should like to remind every schoolboard member and every admin-
istrator here tonight that you have a responsibility not only to your profes-
sion; you have a responsibility not only to Dun & Bradstrcet and double
entry bookkeeping, whatever that may be, but you have a responsibility to
the people of America. You have a responsibility more than any congress-
man or any senator, because all they are worrying about is widows and
orphans, and you are worried about all people.
What is that responsibility? It is the responsibility of leadership, the
responsibility of looking at the facts, of finding out what are the facts
and stating them positively to the American people. I am happy to say that
in our city of Minneapolis we have people in the school system, a superin-
tendent and some people on the schoolboard, and we have some people in
labor and some people in business, who are willing to go on out and say it.
We are not pulling any punches in Minneapolis. We tell them it is going to
cost them two million dollars more next year just to keep the schools open.
W1e are not even saying that they are going to be better. WVe are just going
to keep them open. I am here tonight to tell you that if you tell the people
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
that you are going to close them up if they don't pay the two million dollars,
there will be enough mothers get after enough fathers and taxpayers that
the children will be taken out of the home for the nine months of the year.
So, they will remain open. Don't worry about that. Half of the summer is
spent planning how you are going to use your life in the winter when
Susie and Johnnie go back to school.
No, I am not advocating that teachers go out on strike, but I am advo-
cating that they not be saps enough to work for nothing the rest of their
lives. If they have to become sometimes a little bit violent, let me say, and
a little bit upset and make some- people come to their senses, it is good for
America, because Americans today, for the first time that I can remember
and for the first time that you can remember, are beginning to take an in-
terest in education; and the reason that they are beginning to take an
interest in education is that some people have said, "I am darned tired of
educating your children while you get rich and I get poor." That is exactly
what is happening.
There is one thing that is sure, that the production program in America
hasn't slowed down all over, folks. We have had some strikes and we have
had some labor-management disputes, but I would like to remind my as-
sembled friends here tonight that production has been doing pretty well in
the field of humanity, and in 1950 you are going to have two million more
of these little fellows, two million more opportunities for greatness, two
million more people coming, looking for help and looking for guidance.
You are going to have two million more young Americans that are going
to want to have gymnasiums, that are going to want to have good teaching
and good teachers, and the mothers of some of these children are going to
want to have child care centers under the control of a board of education.
In 1950 Americans are going to expect more from public education. Even
if you don't ask them for more to run it with, they are going to expect
more from you, and make up your mind to that right now. An adult's
interest in a public school is proportionate to the number of children he has
in it. I can tell you that the young men of my generation, the young
fellows I know, are going to be good PTA members; they are going to be
interested in public schools when that little two-year-old of theirs today is
a six-year-old just a few years from now. They are going to start raising
Cain with you folks unless you have things in shape, and they won't be
easy to deal with either, because many of these fellows have raised Cain
with tougher people than are in this audience. You see, some of these men
were away from these children a long time, and they are very much inter-
ested in their welfare. You would he surprised, there is a great deal of
maturity in American youth today. They are going to expect teachers to be-
come citizens, and not just teachers. They are going to expect American
school administrators to be more than just superintendents and adminis-
trators. They are going to expect you to be community leaders. There isn't
any reason at all that you should not broaden your perspective and that
you should not broaden your experience by being a participant in all ele-
ments of the community.
GENERAL. SESSIONS 79
Yes, I sec no reason that you should not become active in political parties.
I don't know why you have to be politically sterilized just because you be-
come a schoolteacher, and since all of you seem to know that politics is so
rotten and dirty, why don't you get in and clean it up? There's lots of room.
May I go just a little further and say that America is looking to public
education for help. Americans have been told repeatedly that the strength
of democracy lies in educated people. Americans elected Woodrow WVilson
president of the United States because he had the courage to say that
America is not as rich as the money in its banks, America is not as rich
as its factories, its farms, and its forests. America is as rich as its people-
its people, educated, healthy, and content. That helped make ,Woodrow
WVilson president of the United States. Franklin Roosevelt became presi-
dent of the United States because he had the courage to say that all we
have to fear is fear itself, and the people rallied from their repression and
from their low morale and became men and women again, with strength
and with courage.
Those are the people who are depending on you, the school administrators
and the educators of America, and I paraphrase it to you and say that all
you have to fear is fear itself. You are not going to be fired because you
become alive. You are not going to be dismissed from your jobs as school-
teachers because you talk about controversial issues. Everything is contro-
versial, or it is not worth talking about. If you are going to keep neutrality
in the schoolroom to the point that you dismiss controversy, then what are
you teaching? The only thing you can be doing is telling fairy stories.
Those are supposed to be rather neutral, I understand.
The American public is a fighting public. The American public is a
vigorous public. The American public loves everything that loves it, and
when the schools and the schoolteachers and the school administrators really
start to love the people and start to take them into their confidence, the
people will take care of you and take you into their confidence. Make your
schools family institutions, not just institutions for teachers, janitors,
librarians, and the switchboard operator. Open up the gates; swing wide
the portals. Invite in pa and ma and aunt and uncle, and get the whole
neighborhood to come in. Make community centers out of them. Experiment,
if you please, with the people's property. The people are happy to let you.
They have never told you that you couldn't keep the school open after 4:00.
That is some rule that somebody else set. They are just as willing to come to
the school and play as they are to send their children to the school so that the
children can study. We found that out in MIilwaukee in two instances.
Open wide the doors, swing wide the portals, and the people will come in.
Where the people work and where the people play, where the family plays
together and where the family can be together, is where their heart is. It is
written somewhere in the good book that a little child shall lead them. I
remind you that the children of America can lead the parents into the
school, if you want them to, and once you get the parents into the school
with your children, your problems will be over, because when parents and
children find out together that it is essential that we have vocational guid-
The Mondayj Evening General Session attracted an audience of seven thousand
ance, that we have counseling, that we have medical service, that we have
visiting teachers-when they find out that these things are no longer frills
in education but are fundamentals, you won't need to be worrying about
your budget. The American people can pay and will pay for anything
they like and they want. There has never been a time in the history of this
nation that we could not afford what we really wanted. The trouble is that
you have not, as educators and as administrators, sold the American people
on the real worthwhileness and the essentiality of education.
I challenge you to be salesmen, to get on the march, not only to say,
"Awake, America," but to run in to the schoolboard some day and say,
"Boo! Wake up you members, and let's do something about the problems of
this school." And you schoolboard members, how about you getting out and
talking to your respective groups about the problems of your schools? The
American people respond when they are asked. The American people
always do the right thing when they have the issue laid clearly before them.
I have been trying to talk straight to you tonight. I don't know whether
it has been as meaningful to you as it is to me, but I can tell you that it
comes not from the heart of a man in public office, but from a man who is
deeply concerned about the future of free institutions in America. I am
convinced that if every young American in every part of America can have a
beautiful and a wonderful experience of democratic citizenship in the
public schools of America, if the public schools of America, the people's
schools, can be the finest expression of democracy in all of its meaning and all
of its ramifications, you will never need to worry about any "ism" over-
coming this nation. Give young Americans twelve or thirteen or fifteen years
of the finest that America can give them in school, and you cannot even
begin to appreciate the tremendous energy and power that is latent in this
great country. This is our job. Let's march out and get busy at it.
FIFTH GENERAL SESSION
Tuesday iMorni; March 4, 1947
HAROLD F. CLARK, PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION, TEACHERS COLLEGE,
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK
PRESIDENT HILL: Our first speaker this morning, I think, is quite well
known to most of you and needs no extensive introduction. He has been
well known both at home and abroad throughout the entire world for his
challenging analysis of education, education's virtues and faults. I some-
times think he might have concentrated just a little bit on its faults, for
we need some concentration there. He is eminently qualified to receive your
attention and interest in his address this morning. During the last few years
he has become especially well known as a consultant to the Sloan Foundation
of New York City. I think that Foundation, through him and the people
who have worked in three states, has perhaps done one of the most inter-
esting bits of educational analysis and experiment in the entire country, or
in the world, for that matter. He is famous also for being a member of the
Yearbook Commission of this year. It is a pleasure and an honor to present
Dr. Harold F. Clark. His subject is "Five Talents." Dr. Clark.
DR. CLARK: Mr. Chairman, Ladies, and Gentlemen: "And unto one lie
gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one." Today, we, as edu-
cators, have been given five talents, and we ha\e refused to use them, and
when the accounting comes we may be cast into outer darkness. Education
has been given five talents, and we have buried them.
[ 81 I
82 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
In the course of man's long history on earth, he has tried almost every
means to deal with his problems. For ages he tried magic. Someone would
get sick. The medicine man would cite his magic numbers, wave his wand,
and drive the devils away. Superstitions of every conceivable variety were
practiced. Witches on broomsticks brought trouble. They were lucky or
unlucky, depending upon the age and the country. You wanted to solve a
problem, and you called upon the witch to help you.
These were not dependable ways of getting information or of solving
problems. Man's slow and tortuous climb up the ladder of civilization has
been the effort to find better means of improving his condition. We are
living through the first faint dawn in the period when man, by taking
thought can add a cubit to his moral stature and to his command of the
For the past few centuries, education has been tried haltingly, a little
here and less there, as a means of solving man's problems. Our ancestors
only a few generations ago conceived of education as the means of passing
on the skills of reading and writing and a few elementary facts regarding
the world around us. Today, a few courageous souls are systematically
pointing out how education can enable man to get better command of his
universe. The people of the United States, however, do not as yet believe
very strongly in the power of education. This is shown clearly by what they
have allowed to happen to teachers' salaries in the last ten years. Ten years
ago teachers' salaries were on a level high enough that teachers were drawn
from the upper third of the population. In the course of these ten years
teachers' salaries have dropped in relation to other occupations so greatly
that, if we are not careful, we will be getting our teachers from the bottom
half of the population. Teachers' salaries now are in the bottom half of all
salaries and incomes in the United States. During the course of these ten
years the cost of living has increased 54 percent. Teachers' salaries have
increased 44 percent. We are actually paying teachers less than we were
ten years ago. In the meantime, the national income has increased from
seventy billion dollars to one hundred seventy billion dollars.
The only reason this decline in teachers' salaries could have taken place
is the fact that we, as educators, have not told the American people how they
could use their most precious possession. They have not supported ade-
quately this most powerful agency for social and economic progress, and we
have been the cause. If we had carefully and systematically pointed out the
power of education and what it could do for the people in solving their own
problems, they would never have allowed the decline in school support.
I would like to call to your attention some of the evidence showing the
power of education as a method of making the world a richer, a happier,
and a better place to live. The following is a sample of the worldwide evi-
dence that is available. In a very few minutes I want to take you on a trip
around the world.
In the course of the last twenty years I have had the good fortune to work
in some fifty-eight countries of the world, including all of any importance.
We have been looking for what it was that determined the level of living of
GENERAL SEssIOxs 83
4 the mass of people in those countries. I think we found the answer, and I
want to present it to you extremely briefly this morning. I think the simplest
way to do that is to take you to a sample of those countries.
I would like you to go with me first to a country in South America, the
country that I would rate as the richest in all the world in its physical
resources. It is a country that has tens of millions of acres of land as good as
the finest Iowa or Mississippi delta land. It has enormous reserves of timber.
It has, in relation to its size, perhaps the largest reserves of oil in the world.
It has an enormous range of mineral resources. Through large sections of
that country it has a climate 365 days of the year about like the finest day
that you have ever known at this latitude in May or June. I know a city in
that country that today has a retail rate of electric power as low as the TVA
ever hopes to have wholesale at the switchboard after the dams are amor-
tized. That is cheap power. That country has everything, seemingly. It has
everything except one. It has one of the most inadequate school systems in
the world. That school system is not capable of giving the people of that
country the skills and the opportunity to use those resources. The net result
is one of the low standards of living of the world. I could take you along
the Magdalena River today and show you villages practically on the verge
of starvation in one of the richest valleys in the entire world.
As contrasted with that, 1 would like to take you to a little country in
the northwestern corner of Europe that is almost without resources. It is
really a sand dune sticking out into the North Sea. One hundred years ago
the soil was almost exhausted. For a thousand years it had been farmed in
small grain, and it had been literally burned to pieces. There are no natural
sources of power in that country.'The soil is very poor. There is almost no
farming. There are practically no mineral resources of any kind. There are
no natural sources of power in the country at all. You would say it was a
country without resources, and a hundred years ago it was, hut in two
short generations the school people of that country have created the most
skilled population on earth in regard to one part of their resources. Even
that limited type of education, inadequate as it is, as poorly as it is designed
in terms of what we know, is still good enough to pull that country from one
of the poorest countries in Europe to one of the highest incomes in the
entire world. Education did the job.
In the discussion of the yearbook yesterday afternoon a very distin-
guished businessman raised the question whether education was the causal
factor in bringing about these changes, and I want to try to deal as briefly as
I can with other things that might have caused the change and show you
that all other changes can be accounted for and that education was the
factor that really made the difference.
I would like to take you to two other countries. One is Mexico, a semi-
tropical country with enormous resources. Somebody will say it is the
climate, that there was a difference in the climate between Colombia and
Denmark and that that is the reason for the change. All right, I will give
you two semitropical countries of approximately the same resources. Mexico
has large resources, power, oil, timber, minerals, and what-have-you, but
84 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
has not yet built an educational system that is capable of using those re-
sources in the interest of the mass of the people. The net result, as many of
you know, is a low standard of living.
Halfway around the world there is another semitropical country, in
almost exactly the same latitude but with not quite so adequate resources, not
as many minerals, not as good timber, not as good climate, but it has built
the second best educational system in the world as far as one segment of its
population is concerned. That school system, inadequate as it is, has still
enabled that country, by the use of the resources that it has, to pass every
country in Europe, to pass the United States, and it now stands as having
the highest income in the entire world.
Certainly climate is no barrier to a high income if your schools will work
at the problems that are important to the people of that particular society.
I would like to compare very briefly Brazil and the United States, both
countries of enormous resources. Brazil has great resources in minerals, land,
forests, almost everything, except that it has not yet got around to building
an adequate school system that will enable the people to use the resources
that they have. In the United States, in spots here and there on a few
items, we have built a passable school system, nothing like as good as it
ought to be, and as yet dealing only with a very few parts of the total
I should like to take you to another country in South America, Chile, a
country of very substantial resources, wide reserves of minerals, good for-
ests, good sources of power, a magnificent climate, one of the finest on earth,
with an opportunity to build a great civilization and an extremely high
level of living. It has but a very limited educational system. A small and
limited group at the top are extremely highly cultivated and extremely
competent people, but they have not yet designed an educational system in
terms of all the people and, for that matter, no other country in the
world has, either.
I should like to take you back to the northwestern corner of Europe to
another country that is almost without resources, with rocky, barren land.
Practically all the land in the country is made-land, land that has been
literally carried in. It has an extremely short growing season, very limited
power, limited forests; but in terms of those poor resources, it has one of
the better educational systems of the world, which has been good enough to
build one of the high incomes not only of Europe, but of the entire world.
I shall comment on only two more countries, Rumania and Switzerland.
They are in almost exactly the same latitude, and the basic climate is very
much the same. So far as we know, the mixture of races has gone on so long
in both countries that for practical purposes we will have to conclude that
the populations are essentially of the same ability. Rumania has more re-
sources than any other country in Europe. It has the finest agricultural land.
It has the only real reserves of oil. It has great reserves of timber. It has
the best location for transportation, probably. Seemingly, it has everything,
except that it has the most unbalanced educational system I know in the
world. It probably trains fewer people in relation to the number it ought
GENERAl S!EssIOxs 85
to train than almost any other country in the entire world. The net result
is that the people are not capable of using their resources, and that means
a low income.
Switzerland, on the other hand, as you all know, is very poorly placed as
far as natural resources are concerned. The country practically stands on
end or on its side. It has almost no agricultural land in the normal use of
that word. It is almost devoid of mineral resources. It is under snow a very
large part of the year and has a very inadequate climate for growing. It
seems to have all the disadvantages that you could imagine, but as compared
with other countries, it has managed to build an amazingly competent school
system; and of all the cities of the world, I would pick the city of Zurich
as the city that has come nearest to training and giving a high level of skill
to all of its industrial population. What they have done, inadequate as it is,
is still good enough to give them one of the highest standards of living in
I think the evidence is more than adequate to demonstrate that climate is
not the cause of these differences. Most certainly resources cannot be the
cause, because you have countries of high resources and low income; you
have countries of low resources and high income. The one thing you will
always find wherever you find a high income is a high degree of education,
and the one thing and the only thing you always find if the income is low
is that you have an inadequate educational system.
Perhaps I should say just a word about the claim that education is the
cause of these differences, and that is exactly the claim that I an making.
By that, of course, I do not mean that education does it alone. That would
be a totally unreasonable assumption. It would be just as sensible to say that
the sun causes it or that the earth causes it by supporting the people. There
are a thousand things that have to be there. I am using education as the
cause only in the sense that, everything else being as it is, getting all the help
you will get or all the hindrance you will get from other institutions, if
you change the education, the income will change. That is the only sense
in which I am using it as the cause. I think that is all we have to use it for
as far as the American people are concerned. We must get them to see
something of the power of education to solve the relatively easy problems of
economic welfare and get them to begin to face the problem of designing
an educational system to deal with their other problems.
It is clear from the evidence I have given that education is the crucial
factor in determining the level of income of the various countries of the
world. A/ny country that wants high income can get it by improving its
educational system, and any country that wants a low income can get it by
keeping a poor educational system.
I have stayed far away from home most of the time this morning because
the temperature would not rise quite so much, I thought. I would much
rather have discussed the question in terms of your individual communities,
but most of us cannot do that quite so objectively. However, exactly the
same thing applies within the sections of our country. There are places in
the United States where the income is low. Can the income in these sections
86 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
be raised? Can other social, and economic problems of these countries or
communities be solved by education? The evidence is not 100 percent, but
it all points in the same direction. Is it possible to get any evidence stronger
than just personal opinion on this matter? I think the answer is "Yes."
A few years ago I was discussing the problem with the head of one of
the great foundations in the country. The question was raised during the
discussion, "What would happen if the schools in various low-income com-
munities in this country would try to improve such matters as food or
clothing or housing?" In other words, can the schools improve living condi-
tions in American communities? The very method by which education tries
to solve problems would indicate that the thing to do is to get some actual
evidence. One could guess at the answer to this problem until the end of
time, but the guesses might be wrong. Why not try to set up control and
experimental communities and try to find out what the results would be.
Start the program in one experimental community and compare it with the
control community and see what happens. That is exactly what was done.
With the financial support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the
help of various universities and public schools, such experimental centers
were set up. All the evidence from such centers is not yet collected, but on
the basis of the evidence that is available it seems reasonable to conclude
that if the teachers in the school system want to improve the economic con-
ditions in a community, the school can easily do so.
Most o us will accept the evidence that teachers of agriculture can im-
prove agriculture in American communities. Most school people would be
willing to argue-at least I would-that a teacher of agriculture does not
cost the community anything. It costs the community not to have the teacher
of agriculture. I think most farming communities in America would be per-
fectly willing to say that it would cost them more not to have a teacher of
agriculture than to have him. Why haven't we extended the argument ?
Almost all the housing in America is bad. The most distinguished com-
mittee of architects that has ever studied New York City has gone on
record in print stating that New York consists of the lower slums of the
lower East Side and Harlem and the upper slums of Park Avenue; and
the evidence is quite clear because of actual count of the amount of noise,
the amount of dirt, the lack of light, and the carbon monoxide fumes, which
are the four things on which they measured. The $20,000-a-year apartments
on Park Avenue were actually worse than the slum blocks. All of New York
City is a slum. The most distinguished group that has ever studied it has
Housing in America is bad. We have spent a great deal of money studying
the housing of the southern half of the United States. It came from Eng-
land, went to Virginia, and moved south. It is bad housing for that part of
the world. It is not designed in terms of the climate. But show me a fourth-
grade teacher who has tried to do anything about it. We studied every house
in one southern city, and every one of them went back to Elizabethan Eng-
land in its basic design. I could not find a single teacher, not one, in the
GENERAL SESSIONS 87
southern half of the United States who had ever tried to work at the prob-
lem of housing.
The situation is exactly the same in the state of Vermont as far as clothing
is concerned, in terms of the basic design of clothing for that climate. Only a
few days ago I drove over to Mount Mansfield, and the temperature was
25 or 30 below zero. The man who took me over said he grew up at the base
of Mansfield as a boy, and the boys stopped working when it got 10 below
zero. That sounds like a cold temperature to most of us. It is if you are
not prepared for it. When we got to Mansfield, we found that the wealthy
group who had come from all over the United States, who had come up
from Florida, were outside skiing in the climate of 25 below. What was
the difference? They knew what to wear, that was all. They didn't find it
out from the school, either.
We had a community in Vermont where the school superintendent had a
little different approach to what the school could do about improving life
and living in the community. He had the weird idea of questioning the basic
assumption that had existed for three hundred years in New England that
when the weather got cold, you piled up the snow and dirt around the
house to keep the house warm. He was building two identical schools.
He decided to put one of them up on posts and allow the wind to whistle
under it. Of course it would be colder. Everybody knew that. But he had
finally reached the stage of deciding that the best thing to do was to build
one that way. He was going to build two at the same time, building the
other one the old way with a solid concrete foundation and dirt up around
it. Then he would put thermometers in them and let the thermometers say
what the temperatures were, rather than guessing at it. The thermometers
said that the school up on the posts was the warmer school. They continued
to say it all winter. He didn't believe it, of course, so he finally changed
the thermometers from one school to the other, and they reversed. The
school up on the posts was still the warmer school, and any third-grade child
can tell you why after he is told why. Everybody in New England was
wrong on it for three hundred years.
The only question I am raising is whether you want to improve condi-
tions. I am taking easy illustrations, ones I know a little about and have
worked on in the fields of food, housing, and clothing. Why is it that we
brought the wrong kind of cattle into the United States and moved them
into the southern half of the country, and then assumed that the cattle
industry would not thrive there? Why didn't the schools do something about
it? Why did we have to wait for the ranchers in Texas finally to decide that
you can't bring cattle from 50 degrees north latitude and put them in the
southern part of this country and expect them to live? W\hy didn't the
geography teachers tell us that Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi do
not have the same climate as the Jersey Isles and Holstein? They didn't.
They went on studying geography out of a book, as though it had no rela-
tion to the life and living of the community.
We have been told that the South is the major economic problem of the
88 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
country. I am prepared to say that the schools could solve it and solve it
very easily and very quickly.
I have used illustrations at the lower end of the economic scale. I will
give you just one from the higher end. These problems of living are just as
crucial, just as important, at the upper end of the economic scale and all
through the economic scale as they are at the lower end.
I was talking to a school superintendent in one of the wealthiest school
districts, if not the wealthiest, in the United States, and he told me that as
nearly as he could find out, the average girl in his high school had a spending
allowance for clothing of about $5000 a year. That creates some problems
that are just as bad as trying to dress a family on $25 a year in northern
Vermont, which is the average in one of our experimental communities
This is the kind of problem that arises: Those girls are living at home
and have all their expenses paid. They become accustomed to that; then
they marry. In this particular community they marry early, too. They
marry boys who are making $125 a month. The allowance is stopped, of
course, because that is the custom and tradition, and the girl, without any
background, without any experience, has to pay the rent, buy the food, pay
for the entertainment, and manage to keep a home together on $125 a
month, and she can't do it. The divorce rate shows that. Practically every
girl winds up in the divorce court.
Maybe that is not, a problem of that high school, and maybe it is. What
I am trying to say is that in all aspects of American life there are problems
that the schools can solve and that the schools have the power to solve, but
we as educators are unwilling to build the school system in terms of those
problems and capable of solving them.
I am going to describe very briefly just one school that I have seen. I
have a note here for the description of three, but I am going to have time
to give you but one of them. They are from three different countries, one
in Mexico, one in China, and one in the United States, where the schools
had almost completely rebuilt the major contours of life in those com-
I will take the hard one and describe that, the one in China. A few years
ago I saw this Chinese village about ten years after a teacher had gone in.
I am told by people in position to know the records that, according to all
the records, the ways of life in that village had been essentially unchanged
for four thousand years. That village was an old and stable culture, not
when Columbus discovered America, but when the Romans went into
Rome and when Athens and Sparta were first established. The ways of
food, the rice culture, had gone on for century after century. The type of
housing and everything was set. It had not changed, not for generations or
hundreds of years, but for thousands of years.
How would you like to go into that community and try to change and
improve the level of living? This teacher had the courage to try it, and I
saw the village ten years later.
When he started that village was a typical South China village, of
GENIR.AI. SEssIONS 89
extremely low income, a rice culture basically, with no reasonable prospect
of expanding the cultivation of rice. They lihad pushed it 1up the hillsides
as far as they could for the wet rice, and the dry rice would not bring high
enough yields. He decided in the school to study the problem of diet and
what they would have to do to get an adequate diet. Ten years later lie
had solved it. The diet of that village was adequate.
He studied in the school the inadequate one-room huts of that village,
and reached the conclusion that the housing was inadequate. They rebuilt
every house in the village, with no outside help, no help from Nanking
and no help from Canton. They did it themselves.
As many of you know, the curse of the Indian and Chinese village,
perhaps as much as or more than anything else, is the moneylender. Debts
go down from father to son and are passed on and on. Ten years before,
almost every family was in debt to the moneylender. When I was there,
the debts had been repaid, and the bank in the village, owned by the
villagers themselves, a cooperative bank, had more than $30,000. In addi-
tion they had built an industry and paid for it and owned it, and they
had enormously expanded the opportunities for working life.
The school had done this thing. If I had been picking the most difficult
spot on earth to start as a teacher and do anything about improving the
village, that is the spot I would have picked.
There is another village in Mexico that goes back to preconquest times
that was changed in almost equivalent time. Fairly recently I saw a small
community in the United States that had gone through almost the same
kind of advance and expansion in an even shorter period of time.
We are slowly reaching the stage when education must be designed
in terms of the purposes we hope to achieve. An old and decrepit design
of education has been inherited by the modern world. The yearbook which
you are going to hear about in a moment is an effort to start discussion
on some of the changes that will have to be made in the educational
system if we are going to design it in terms where there is some rea-
sonable chance that schools can deal with the problems of our world. This
educational system that we have inherited was developed for about 5 percent
of the population and for very limited objectives. Now we must design
an education for all the people and for a wide variety of purposes.
I want to emphasize that there is as yet no such school in the United
States. I have not seen all of them, but I have seen a fair sample of them,
and all that I have ever seen is a school designed for 5 percent, forcing
everybody to go to it. There are a few schools that do a little better than
5 percent, but I am sure that is a generous average.
If we want to improve health or working life or the use of leisure
or world understanding, we must design an education that has some
chance of doing these things. It is possible to get proof that the school
system we have designed or are capable of designing can do these things
that the public demands. The time should rapidly come when the public
may expect to measure in part the efficiency of the school by the improve-
ments that the school is able to make in the community.
90 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
The public is not indefinitely going to be satisfied with paper-and-pencil
tests in school as all the result of the school system. That, yes, but that is
not enough for the world in which we are living.
The citizens should be assisted in stating the things that they want.
They should be shown how a school system can be designed to bring about
those things. Do we want economic improvement? A school system can be
designed to help bring it about. Do we want better housing or food or
clothing? A school system can be built that will go far toward solving
these problems. Do we want schools that will help in creating better world
understanding? Schools can do this. Do we want a community where
people know how to live together? Schools have already done a little about
this and could easily find out how to do a great deal more.
If the community really wants such results, a school system can doubtless
be built that will be a major factor in bringing them about. The most
profound technological changes are in the process of taking place. The use
of atomic power will doubtless be commonplace within a generation.
Three-fourths of the world lies unexplored in the oceans about us. The
oceans probably contain far greater resources for agriculture than all the
land areas put together. Do we want a generation capable of using these
opportunities and of living in peace with their fellow men? If we do, a
school system should be designed that would have some reasonable chance
of making it possible.
We have the strongest proof that the level of education and technical
competence determines the level of income in the various countries of the
world. Conditions even in the poorest sections of our own country could
be improved sharply by the proper educational systems. Even in the
difficult field of earning to live and work with each other in peace and
satisfaction, schools can make great contributions if we build the proper
kind of schools. We, as educators, have in our hands perhaps the most
powerful agency for community improvement that the world has yet
In conclusion, I would like to paraphrase slightly the words of the
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life . .
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good . .
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Education is the five-talent servant of our generation. Let us see that
it is used so that the verdict of the future will be, "Well done, thou good
and faithful servant."
I thank you.
GENERAL SESSIONS 91
PRESENTATION OF THE
1947 YEARBOOK, Schools for a New World
CLAUDE V. COURTER, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, CINCINNATI,
OH1IO; CHAIRMAN, 1947 YEARBOOK COMMISSION
PRESIDENT HILL: As most of you know, the Association has had year-
hooks for a good many years, and one time some years ago when the
suggestion was made that we not have yearbooks, it was voted down almost
unanimously. The yearbooks are of tremendous value and stimulation to
all of us, and it is a pleasure at this time to present the Chairman of the
1947 Yearbook Commission, who will make the formal presentation of
the yearbook, Schools for a New World. Ir. Claude V. Courter, Superin-
tendent of Schools of Cincinnati, Ohio.
MIR. COURTER: Mr. President, Honored Guests, Alembers of our Asso-
ciation: In the early spring of 1945 the members of the Yearbook Com-
mission were asked by our Executive Committee to prepare a yearbook on
the postwar curriculum. Two years ago this seemed to be the proper theme
for the yearbook of this Association in 1947. You will remember that at
that time all agencies of our society were asking, "How can we best
contribute to the successful transition of our economy from war to peace?"
It seemed very logical then that the 1947 yearbook of our Association
should concern itself with the changes in the curriculum and the new
instructional emphases that would best implement the return of our
society to the wholesome pursuits of peace.
I must emphasize, however, that that was two years ago. I do not have
to remind you that between then and now we have lived through the two
most eventful years of man's tenancy of this portion of the universe; nor
do I have to remind you how incomparably greater the issues of education
in today's world are as compared to what we could have conceived two
The yearbook which your Commission presents today was written during
these eventful years. It is not the yearbook it started out to be. Instead, it
carries the title Schools for a New World and opens with the statement:
"A bomb was dropped: one world was destroyed ; a new world was born.
Since this yearbook was started one kind of world has ended, another
begun. It is not the physical world that has been destroyed, or that is likely
to be destroyed. A world of ideas has been destroyed. One conception of
the nature of man in the universe has been replaced by another of far
The viewpoint which follows this statement and constitutes the text
of the yearbook is that in this new world the heavy hand of destiny is laid
unmistakably upon the schools of the world and the profession of teaching,
but especially upon the schools and teachers of America; that this new
world will he the kind of world that the children of today and tomorrow
are equipped through education to build and live in; and that what goes on
in the schoolrooms of the world during the next half century will have a
92 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
profound bearing upon man's final victory, his continued frustration, or
his ultimate defeat.
With the advent of atomic power, man has now the supreme opportunity
to build a far better world than he could possibly have known for many
generations still to come. He at last has the resources, he has enough power,
he has enough knowledge, he has enough technical competence. He needs
only to conquer himself and live cooperatively with his fellows. If he plans
now creatively and acts cooperatively, there need not much longer be any
place on earth where members of the human race cannot have enough to
eat, habitable dwellings in which to live, and sufficient clothing to keep
them warm, and where they cannot know happiness and contentment in
There is, of course, also the stark possibility of man's moral incapacity
to use creatively the inexhaustible power now available to him. With it,
should he choose the wrong pathway into the future, he can destroy all
that he has been building since before the dawn of history. That he may
have the capacity to discern eternal values, to make the right choices of
the alternatives from which he must choose, to use the power that is
available to him creatively, to get along with all of his fellow men of
whatever race, color, or creed-this is the challenge that the age of atomic
power lays down to those who plan and administer public education.
So much for the viewpoint from which this book is written. For just two
or three moments, a few specific viewpoints:
The problem of our society. This book states that the problem of our
society is fundamentally the problem of "translating the basic ideals of
our culture into the human relationships they presuppose;.of transferring
these ideals into effective social action at the local, national, and world
levels. Our problem is not new. It seems to be new because the need is
greater, the crisis urgent; because the society is more complex, the setting
worldwide. The barriers, however, are the same; they but reach farther.
We deal with the same enemies within our gates which have always beset
us. They are ignorance, selfish individualism, privilege, and their offspring
-prejudice, intolerance, and irresponsibility-all breeders of the suspicion,
distrust, and insincerity which hold so much of our society and of the world
in grasp, and which limit freedom and destroy it."
This book states that:
"We shall do well to remind ourselves frequently of the nature of our
world responsibility-that the heart of the Western culture and the seat
of its greatest power is now the North American hemisphere. Here will
be determined in the next few decades the real strength of the great
American idea, the strength of the economy which gives it expression, and
the strength of its influence on the rest of the world. .. ."
"The former world was a compromise between the ideals of the Western
culture and an insatiable lust for power and material goods. ... It was a
world kept in delicate and precarious balance by power politics and the
art of the diplomat. This world is ended. To the extent the new world
is patterned on the old, the end of Western civilization draws nearer.
GENERAL SESSIONS 93
"It is the function of education to help build a new world in which men
and nations may live together in justice and security, in unity and peace.
Our ideals have been distilled from the dreams of prophets and sages, and
the highest aspirations of men through the ages. It is now the function of
education to help give them full expression. It is the great function of the
schools of America to establish with all pupils in the transmission of the
culture the moral and spiritual values and the fundamental Inderstandinqs
essential to the improvements of the culture, and necessary for the responsible
living together of free ien in a free society."
It has been said that often the spirit of great events strides on before
and that tomorrow already walks today. The spirit of great events is knock-
ing today upon the doors of the schoolrooms of the world, especially the
schoolrooms of America. With this consciousness, and writing with the
feeling that tomorrow looked over their shoulders, the members of this
commission have attempted to state in this yearbook what is required of
America's schools in the years immediately ahead. They have written
with the conviction that the present facilities and resources of our schools.
limited though they are in terms of the needs to be served, will permit
great advances to he made in our day in preparing future citizens to live
in harmony with the requirements of this new age.
They have attempted to point out what some of these requirements are
and to suggest ways in which the schools can contribute to their establish-
ment in our society. They state that if the schools of America perform their
full function, they are to furnish the understandings, the competence, and
the will for greatly improved human relationships in our own culture, for
more understanding and intelligent relationships with the rest of the world,
and for the creative transformation of atomic power into better living.
They have indicated their faith that America's schools can and will rise
to the emergency which confronts them.
In these demanding years which are now upon us, public education in
our society must resolve its confusion, settle its controversies, and un-
erringly set its course. Our schools may know now with certainty that
their critical revaluation is in the near offing, that new demands soon will
be made of them, and that a new and more complete dependence will he
placed upon them.
In recognition of these impending demands, your commission has at-
tempted in this yearbook to do five things:
1. We have attempted to state tie basic problems and issues which face our
society and which we mu-t cope with in the age in which we now find ourselves.
2. \Ve have attempted to indicate the potentiality of public education as a chief
instrumentality in the successful resolving of these issues.
3. We have attempted to give direction to curriculum makers in five ways: first.
by suggesting the central purpose and functions of public education in this new
age; second, by describing the nature of the pupil personnel to be guided and
prepared; third, by pointing out the vital areas of education which must be further
developed; fourth, by di curing lie psychological considerations and the principles
of social organization and action esential to economy of elfort and fruitful pro-
cedure; and. fiflh, by reporting unique developments illutrative of procedures
which hold promise.
94 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
4. We have attempted to show public education in action in desirable directions
in small, medium-sized, and large communities and on the state level.
5. We have attempted to suggest criteria for the evaluation of the program of
education in any community.
Such is the nature, the purpose, and the scope of the 1947 Yearbook.
Mr. President, on behalf of the members of this commission, it is now
my great pleasure to present to you and the members of this Association
this 1947 Yearbook. Every member of this commission has considered it
a privilege to serve our Association in this way. In preparing this yearbook
we have been very conscious of the responsibility which we have attempted
to discharge. Considering the importance of education in today's world, we
present this evidence of our labor with a sense of deep humility. We can
only hope that as we have probed among the issues of our society and our
schools at this time and have suggested ways in which the schools may
help to solve these issues, we may have turned up here and there something
sufficient'to repay the reader of this book for the time that he spends with it.
Be that as it may, we now add this book to the long line of its dis-
tinguished predecessors, which is company we are very proud to have it keep.
PRESIDENT HILL: Thank you, Dr. Courter.
I am sure any of you who have worked on a yearbook commission
appreciate the difficulties and the long hours of work and the time-consuming
nature of this task, and I am sure all of us appreciate the very fruitful
labors of this very successful Yearbook Commission.
THE ASSOCIATION PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Brief Statement on the Planning Conmmittee
HENRY H. HILL, PRESIDENT, GEORGE PEABODY COLLEGE FOR TEACHERS,
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE; PRESIDENT,
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
What I have to say is not to be regarded as a formal President's address.
I have not thought it wise to attempt anything of that kind. We have
brought speakers who have called to your attention the pressing problems
of the day. What I have to say is more or less in the nature of background
for the presentation of the work of the Planning Committee.
Precisely when one generation of school administration is over and
another begins may not be determined exactly, but the two world wars
within the lifetime of most of us here will serve as convenient division
points. Modern school administration was developing prior to World War
I, but it was during the so-called "Glorious Twenties" that superintending
schools became in every way a big business. It was the decade of quantity.
The Thirties, by contrast, was the decade of scarcity and retrenchment.
The Forties so far have been dominated by the second world war.
What the Fifties will be in school administration is not yet clear, but it
seems safe enough to forecast a new and different generation of school
administration and school administrators. I hope it can be a decade of
GENERAL SESSIONS 95
quality. I expect to see better salaries for teachers. The flight from teaching
will be checked or substantially stopped during 1947. Perhaps new phenom-
ena such as strikes by teachers, direct collective bargaining between teachers
and boards, and other recent aberrations from the normal will be less
evident. Sympathetic as I must always be with teachers and their problems,
I still hope we may ultimately be a real profession.
One thing is certain. The supply of children will be ample, for per-
centagewise and in numbers the babies have been increasing since before the
war. The greatest number of babies ever born in the United States in one
year up to that time appeared in 1944, again in 1945 a bumper crop break-
ing all records, probably in 1946, preliminary figures indicating so, 'and
apparently 1947 will be the biggest year of all. Actually, it is getting both
popular and stylish to have babies, not just one, but two or three.
The greatest increase in enrolments will be in grades thirteen and four-
teen, ordinarily known as the junior-college years. I wish I felt as certain
about some other things as I do about that. I don't see any escape from that,
whether it be viewed with alarm or pointed to with pride. Time forbids
comment as to the many implications of this and other trends which demand
abler and wiser school administrators in the future.
No single president of the AASA can do much for our profession of
school administrators, and yet he would do what he can. It seems to me
that the end of the war, the holding of our first national convention since
five tumultuous years ago in San Francisco-five pretty unusual years, I
think you will agree-and the emergence of new and difficult problems,
all indicate an effort on our part to appraise our Association-its organiza-
tion, policies, and practices-and to do this promptly. Wisely, I think, our
constitution can be modified only by two successive national conventions.
This fact and the necessity for meeting new needs with dispatch caused me,
with the approval of the Executive Committee, to appoint a Planning
Committee early last summer.
Neither President nor Executive Committee had any prefabricated ideas
of change. It seemed to me that the Committee might consider first the
ideals and purposes which should guide us in the next generation. Then,
and only then, should details of increased dues, time and place of meetings,
and other matters be properly considered, just as in theory at least-and
I wish in practice-the needs of the children might be written out specifi-
cally and then the money found to answer those needs.
Presumably we might have appointed members only or chiefly from
college faculties, or from the largest cities, or, if anyone knew who they
were, the most brilliant members of our organization. It seemed wiser to
appoint a group representative of all geographical areas and all sizes of
school districts, the primary purpose being to get men who would meet
and work and who in spirit represented our best. Neither reactionary nor
radical, I think this Committee represents that sane and progressive purpose
which has always seemed the hope of good public schools in America.
I want to close this personal word to you with my pledge of continued
dedication to the profession of school administration. In good times or bad,
96 AMERICAN ASSOCIATiN OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
through expansion or depression, you and I may cast our influence and
example in favor of better schools, better school administration, and better
Back in the 1930's the school superintendency was characterized in a
leading article in the American Illercury as "the worst job in America."
Sometime, in some of your high or low moments, as the case may he, you
might take that article out and read it. It is still quite an intriguing article
to me. Without agreeing wholly, I can testify after twenty-six years of
studying, teaching, or practicing school administration that it isn't any
moonlight sonata, but, on the other hand, what is?
I am sure you also join me in a word of tribute to those active superin-
tendents on the job who since 1942 have passed on to the schoolrooms of
another world. Requiescant in pace. Many of these were in their forties
and fifties, men who refused to quit their arduous duties even when doctors
and friends warned them of personal hazard. Surely we might be senti-
mental long enough to hope that St. Peter will confer a ribbon of merit on
these civilian war casualties, even as their sons received high distinction on
the field of battle.
But it takes more than personal heroism to lead the thirty million children
in our American schools. It takes skill, vision, and know-how. I call on the
colleges and graduate schools of the nation to build greater centers where
persons with ability may learn how to lead, not just the know-how, and
may develop the ardor and zeal for service which is essential. A great
generation of professors of school administration is rapidly passing off
the active stage. I shall not call their names, but you can look in any
section of the country and find that this is true. An even greater number is
needed in their places.
In conclusion, education cannot alone solve domestic or international
problems, but without education the atomic age is hopeless. Surely that
minority (of businessmen) who think only of profits can see it must be a
far better education than that of the past. How can you solve more difficult
problems without having better education? It is beyond me how anybody
can logically assume anything else. May the AASA swear an educator's
oath that so far as in us lies, we shall see that the people understand the
issues facing education today. May the new generation of school admin-
istrators be the best in America's history. [Applause.]
I think very highly of the members of the Planning Committee. They
were "worked over" quite thoroughly. A host of names was presented to
the Executive Committee. Those chosen represent our best attempt to get
persons with the different points of view of the various sections of the
country. We have had a splendid chairman, who with all the pressures
of operating the schools of Minneapolis-where the problems haven't been
much smoother than they have been out in Podunk most of the time-
without stint has devoted all the time necessary to the work of this com-
miittee. I am happy at this time to present the chairman of the Planning
Committee, who will make the report-Willard E. Goslin, Superintendent
of Schools of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
GENERA!. SESSIONS 97
PRESENTATION OF THE REPORT OF T-HEI
PLANNING COMMITTEE '
WILLARD E. GOSLIN, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, MINNEAPOLIS,
MINNESOTA; CHAIRMAN, PLANNING COMMITTEE
AIR. GOSLIN: AIr. Chairman, Members of the Planning Committee,
Members of the Yearbook Commission, Ladies, and Gentlemen: Vhen
President Hill was detailing the errors which he might have made in
naming this Committee, he indicated that le might have named a com-
mittee from the universities or from the large cities or the most brilliant
members of the Association, and one of the members of the Committee
said in an undertone, "Well, the Lord knows he didn't make that mistake
in this case."
We are not here to argue vigorously for your support of our Report.
Rather, we are here to try to make certain that you understand what we
have done, how we have done it, and why we are presenting what we
suggest here this morning.
As your president has indicated, this Committee was appointed early
last summer. We spent two days in St. Louis in the middle of August and
sketched the broad framework of what seemed to us to be the possibilities
of our committee and its report. We followed that with correspondence
and exchange of ideas and much sampling with our own associates in the
various parts of the nation. Then we met for three days in Chicago in
early December, the third day of the meeting being in conjunction with the
Executive Committee. We have had the benefit of passing on to the Ad-
visory Council of this organization our tentative suggestions and have
received their suggestions and criticisms in return. A number of the members
of our Committee have met with members of this organization in their
particular states or sections of the nation, have discussed our tentative
proposals. and have secured the benefit of their reactions and suggestions.
We finally put our best judgment of the moment together following
the meeting with the Executive Committee in Chicago, and through the
office of Worth 'McClure in Washington the Report in tentative form was
circulated to each member of the organization in The School AIdmrinistrator
The program of this Atlantic City convention carried the announcement
of an open hearing by the members of the Committee on this Report at
S1 :00 yesterday morning. We had thought maybe we would outnumber
the individuals who would come to the hearing, but we were particularly
pleased to have a full room. We had a very profitable hour or hour and a
half on this report and related matters.
We have had the benefit of many suggestions by mail and from time to
time have been able lo incorporate in the final: rei)ort some of the sug-
gestions which ha:te come to us. \Ve were able a, late a:s yveterdav no,,n
See "Brief Stalemenr on the I'lannin: C'mmni, er" y Iby i're-ii. nt IHenry II. Hill I'ae 0-i
.,, al'o "Report nf the I'lannine Co muni(ie" Pave 220.
98 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
to put into the Report our judgment as to the merit of two or three of the
suggestions which were made at the open hearing yesterday morning.
It is not my purpose now to read you the Report, but I would like to
give you certain insights into it and tell you what we understand to be the
next steps if the organization wishes to take them today and tomorrow and
at the annual meeting next year.
Section I-The Platform. In the first place, the Report is divided into
four parts. (See page 220.) The first section of the Report picks up the
idea which Henry Hill has indicated to you and which he outlined in
splendid fashion to us in the first meeting of our Committee. He believed
it would be helpful for this organization in facing the future if we could
through this Committee and the cooperation of the membership of the
organization develop and establish something that we might call a plat-
form for the American Association of School Administrators. We went to
work on the idea with some humility, but with considerable enthusiasm
because we believed that in facing the problems of the years that lie ahead,
it would be a real asset to us as school administrators, and more particu-
larly an asset to the welfare of public education in this country, if we could
establish a kind of bench mark, a kind of point of reference, a springboard,
if you please, at this particular point from which we might move into a
solution of our problems.
Therefore, we tried to put down in as simple but, we hope, vigorous
and effective prose as we were able to develop, a statement of our beliefs
as American citizens and as school administrators, and then finally we tried
to indicate the specific things which we expect to work for in order to
implement these beliefs as citizens and as administrators.
I wish to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you can read,
and I would also like to avoid revealing how poorly I read. Consequently,
I am not going through this Report line by line. I have indicated already
that it was mailed to each member of this Association in The School
Administrator for January. You have had a copy on your desk. In addition,
it was carried in complete detail in yesterday's copy of the Gist. Beyond
that, when you vote tomorrow your ballot will carry in complete detail
the first three sections of this Report, the three sections which are sus-
ceptible to vote by the members of this organization at this particular
convention. They are: Section I, The Platform; Section II, Additional
Services; and Section III, General Recommendations.
When you get your ballot tomorrow, it will have at the top of each
section an opportunity for you to vote "Yes" or "No" for that section. In
addition, it will furnish you an opportunity to vote "Yes" or "No" for
each item within the section. That process will be repeated throughout the
ballot. We are anxious to have this program accepted or rejected in terms
of the careful scrutiny of the members of this organization.
Section II-Additional Services. We were not long into our work,
however, in evaluating the background of this organization and in trying
to evaluate its future until we began to run into other problems over and
beyond the development of a statement which might be called a platform.