Page images
PDF
EPUB

(14) Two additional collectors and compilers of statistics. Material for prompt and reliable statistical reports can not be had by this bureau without frequent visits to State and city education offices and the first-hand study of their returns.

(15) Additional clerks, copyists, laborers, and messengers to correspond with the increase made possible by additional specialists.

(16) An increase of appropriation for traveling expenses for the commissioner and employees acting under his direction. This is necessary to enable them to make original investigations in education in different parts of the country and to disseminate information by meeting with educational associations and other societies interested in education in different parts of the country, which is the most effective means for the dissemination of such information.

(17) Means to enable the bureau'to cooperate with schools of education in colleges and universities, with normal schools, and with city-school systems in making important investigations and definite experiments in elementary and secondary school education under scientific control. With a comparatively small amount of money the bureau might obtain the cooperation of individuals, institutions, and boards of education in making important investigations and experiments in education not otherwise possible without much larger expenditures.

(18) An appropriation of $125,000 to enable the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion and under his direction, and with the advice and cooperation of the Public Health Service, to provide for the medical and sanitary relief of the Eskimos, Aleuts, Indians, and other natives of Alaska. Careful investigations made with the cooperation of the Public Health Service have shown the necessity of immediate provisions for the care of the health of the natives of this Territory and for the eradication of communicable diseases now prevalent in different sections of the Territory which, if not put under immediate control, will soon destroy the lives of many of these people and spread among the white settlers. From year to year the bureau has used an increasingly large proportion of the appropriation for the education of the natives of Alaska for medical attendance and for general sanitation. To do this it has had to close schools in several villages and to withdraw from these villages all the influences for the civilization and improvement of the people. This should not be continued longer, and unless special funds are appropriated for medical attendance or the appropriation for education largely increased, the bureau must abandon all attempts to care for the health of these people.

(19) An increase of $1,000 in the appropriation for the distribution of reindeer in Alaska. The Alaskan reindeer service, which was begun in a small way a little more than 20 years ago, has now reached large proportions and has accomplished much for the support and for the education and civilization of the natives in the northwestern part of the Territory. The bureau should extend at once the distribution of reindeer in the section in which reindeer may be herded profitably, to give all the natives of this section the advantage which has already come to those living in settlements to which reindeer have been sent, and to complete this work so there may not be need for a continuation of the appropriation for this purpose.

All these recommendations are for the immediate needs of the bureau. They will require an appropriation of not less than $275,000.

To enable the bureau to perform satisfactorily the function for which it was created and to respond to the demands for a clearing house for accurate information, wellmatured opinion, and sound advice in regard to all phases of education and for assistance in promoting democratic education throughout the country, there will be need in the near future for an annual income of a half million dollars and for an education building with ample room for the library of the bureau and a complete educational museum in which school officers, teachers, and students of education may find, properly arranged and catalogued, typical specimens of all forms of school furniture and equipment, with outlines of courses of study and whatever else will enable them to gain a comprehensive view of purposes, methods, and results of education in this and other countries and assist them in forming ideals for the improvement of their own schools and work. This will enable the bureau to respond to its part of the demands the States and the people have a right to make of the Federal Government, which was created to serve States and people in those things in which they can not serve themselves at all, or so well, or only at such cost as would become unnecessarily burdensome.

EDUCATIONAL SURVEYS.

For several years past surveys have been made in this country of city and State school systems. Two. chapters of this report are devoted to reviews of these surveys, and this bureau now has in press a bulletin containing a brief account of school surveys in other countries. Within the last year or two the survey has been extended to colleges. The most noted examples of college surveys thus far are the survey of the University of Wisconsin, by the State board of public affairs, and the survey of the University of Vermont and the colleges of that State contained in the general survey of the State by the Carnegie Foundation. There are indications that for one reason or another many colleges will be subjected to this inventorying process within the next few years. Already this bureau has promised to make more or less complete surveys of a half dozen colleges and half as many normal schools within the next fiscal year.

Because of the newness and importance of the college survey, I take the liberty of appending here a paper on this subject which I prepared for and read at the nineteenth annual meeting of the National Association of State Universities in the United States of America, in Washington City, last November. While this does not pretend to give an exhaustive analysis of the subject, it contains nevertheless, I believe, a fairly clear statement of some of the principles which must be kept in mind if these surveys are to be made helpful. The special references to State universities and to colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts are justified both by the fact that the paper was prepared for a meeting of representatives of State universities and by the certainty that the majority of college surveys for many years to come will be of institutions partly or wholly supported by State and Federal funds and under State control.

COLLEGE SURVEYS.

The college survey is a new thing among us, and we know little about it as yet; I am sure I know very little. It is, however, a legitimate thing and altogether worthy of our very careful consideration. If one counts direct expenditures, interest on investments, value of time of students, and cost of their living at college the colleges of this country represent an annual expenditure of about $400,000,000. So large an expenditure for a purpose so important should have a most careful and intelligent supervision, to the end that the best results may be obtained. The magnitude, both of expenditures and of work, has increased very rapidly within the last ten or fifteen years. The 625 colleges reporting to the Bureau of Education in 1900 reported a total income of a little less than $25,000,000. The 596 colleges reporting in 1913 reported a total of something more than $105,000,000. The total income of the 567 institutions reporting in 1914 was $120,579,257, of which $18,422,856 was for endowment. Quantity and variety of work done have probably increased in about the same proportion.

Any survey of the equipment, standards, administration, and work of a college should be sympathetic and constructive, as should any school survey, and not unsympathetic and destructive. Those making the survey should be men and women who know what college life and work are and who have just ideas as to what it may

be made. They should understand the relation of the college to society and state, to other parts of the system of public education, and to industrial life. They should know what education means and have a just conception of relative values in education. The college survey committee should be composed of expert accountants, good business men with a right understanding of business efficiency and an appreciation of its value-professional men and educators. If faculty and trustees are not directly represented on the committee, then full hearings should be given to representatives of both these bodies. Every such committee should contain two or three persons having the same grade of ability and composed of the same character of experience as the best of our college professors, deans, and presidents, but having at the same time a larger general knowledge of colleges in all parts of this country and in other countries than most college men can be expected to have. These men should also be able to bring to their work knowledge and skill gained in other surveys of this kind; they could thus give valuable aid to the committee as a whole in beginning the survey, in determining standards, and in judging of the work of the college in the light of a knowledge of the best of other institutions. The United States Bureau of Education should be able to contribute and help to secure such experts for every survey committee.

(1) The committee thus organized should make a careful and intelligent survey of the State, the section of country, or the portion of society served by the college; its industrial, social, and civic condition and tendencies; its present educational needs and its probable needs in the near future. It should make a careful investigation of other educational institutions and agencies serving the same State, section, or portion of society. Remembering that colleges and other institutions and agencies of education do not exist for their own glory, but for the service they can render, the committee should try to determine wisely what service should be performed by the college under survey and what should be left for other institutions and agencies to render. Almost everywhere in America there is much loss through overlapping and duplication of work. In one of the Southern States there are 5 colleges and universities for Negroes, all offering the same courses and attempting to maintain the same kind of equipment and do the same kind of work. The 5 have a total of less than 150 college students. One well-equipped college could do the work done by all and do it much better. One college would be almost as convenient to the students attending them as the 5. Most college students in that State, as elsewhere, must live away from home. When away from home it makes little difference whether the distance is 25 miles or 250 miles. One of the States of the Middle West has 24 colleges striving to do the same kind of work. A single religious denomination has, I believe, 6 colleges in the State, all claiming to be of the same rank. It is encouraging to know that church boards of education are beginning to see the unwisdom of such duplication of institutions and are undertaking to differentiate their schools and to organize them into systems, every part of which may cooperate wisely with every other part.

(2) A survey of a State university should make a careful study of its relation to other colleges in the State. If the State agricultural college is located elsewhere as a separate institution, the survey should attempt to determine the proper sphere and function of each. Should, for example, advanced courses in engineering be given in each institution?

73226°—ED 1514-VOL 1

III

A study of the community served by the college and of other institutions and agencies of education serving the same community will enable the committee to better determine the proper and legitimate work of the college and assist it to some extent at least in determining standards to be used in judging of its administration, equipment, and work.

(3) The survey should include a careful examination of the charter of the institution, to determine whether or not its terms are such as to permit it to do honestly and effectively the work which it should now undertake and what changes, if any, are necessary to permit it to do this work better. The charters of many of the older colleges were issued when the conditions of the country and its educational needs were quite different from what they are at present. An institution can hardly claim to be doing its work honestly if its name does not indicate clearly the type of work which it does.

(4) The control of the college should be considered carefully. Are the organization of the board of trustees, the methods of election of its members and their terms of service such as to foster sound and steady development and progress, avoiding ultraconservatism and stagnation on the one hand and violent and cataclysmal revolutions on the other? State institutions are especially subject to injurious partisan political interferences and to violent and hurtful revolutions. All institutions supported by the people must of course be controlled by the people. The State university should not, I believe, be controlled by a self-perpetuating board or close corporation. If the people are asked to appropriate their money for the support of the schools, then they must be intrusted with their control. I believe in the principle of the fullest possible trust in the general wisdom of all the people. Yet, the public as a whole can not always be on its guard, and it is subject to delusions and hysteria. It must through the form of organization of its institutions protect itself against danger from its agents in its moments of preoccupation and from itself in its moments of insanity. Is the personnel of the board of trustees such as to insure intelligent representation of the best interests of the clientele of the college?

(5) The administration of the college must be an item of great importance to the survey. Is the internal organization of the college such as to give to each department, school, professor, and assistant the best possible opportunity for the most effective work? Is there freedom from the annoyance that comes through having to give an undue amount of time to petty details of the administration and the so-called college and student interests? Are freedom and independence on the one hand and college spirit and intelligent sympathetic cooperation among administrative officers, members of the faculty, and students on the other hand fostered and promoted ? Are the duties of the various offices clearly defined, and are they performed in an efficient and business-like manner? The business of a college should be conducted on business principles. Are the overhead charges for administration proportionately larger than they should be? In school and college there is now, I believe, danger that too much of the income may go for administration and equipment and too little to those who do the actual work of instruction. All efficient business organizations try to determine accurately their expenditures for administration and to make them as low as they may be without injury to the efficiency of administration. We need some careful studies to find just what are the proper ratios of cost of administration 'to cost of instruction in colleges and schools of several different types. Until these studies have been made we can have no standards by which to measure the efficiency of administration in this respect.

The survey should inquire carefully as to whether funds received by the college for specific purposes are used for the purposes specified. This applies especially to the land-grant colleges and the funds which they receive from the Federal Government. In the beginning it was difficult for many of these colleges to use the Federal funds according to the spirit of the law and it is still difficult for some of them, but the time has now come when their incomes from other sources should be made sufficient to enable them all to use the Federal funds not only according to the letter of the law, very liberally interpreted, as it has been by the Department of the Interior, but also according to the full intent and purpose of the several acts of Congress through which the funds are received.

(6) Probably most important of all for the survey committee will be the faculty of the college, its general makeup, and the character, education, experience, and teaching ability of its members. As is the teacher, so is the school. The teacher is the school. The teacher makes the school and like every other creator he makes it in his own image and likeness. We have applied these sayings over and over again to elementary and secondary schools. They are equally applicable to the college. As are the members of the faculty, so is the college or so will it become. Those who give instruction make the college, not its trustees, president, and other officers of administration, nor its buildings, grounds, and other equipment. These all help, but those who come in daily contact with the students as teachers are of first importance in determining the character and worth of the college. What proportion of the teachers are strong men and women of tried and recognized ability and what proportion are weak and untried? A college may have in its faculty a few professors of great and known ability retained at large salaries, while the great majority of its professors and instructors are weak, inefficient, or untried, and are living on salaries totally inadequate. The former may give the college a temporary reputation, but the latter do most of the teaching and give it its real character. A smaller faculty of men and women of more nearly uniform ability might do much better work and enable the school to render better permanent service.

The survey should consider the distribution of instructors among the classes. More than 60 per cent of the young men and women who enter college quit before the beginning of the third college year; probably about 40 per cent leave at the end of the first year or before. Thus a large majority of all the students of our colleges are in the classes of the first two years. It is doubtful if a college is making the best use of its opportunities or rendering its best service when it assigns its weak and lowest salaried instructors and assistants to these classes and reserves the services of its few able and highly paid professors for the remnant of students in the last two college years. It is, I think, quite certain that more students would remain for the higher classes if they came in contact with the abler and better men and women of the faculty during the earlier years of their college life. It is this principle which I have had in mind when urging the establishment of junior colleges and the transformation of many of the colleges we now have into institutions of this kind.

(7) The distribution of students among the several courses and classes of the college must also be considered. In most colleges are to be found classes too large for effective work and others so small as to make the cost of instruction disproportionately large. This may sometimes be unavoidable, but usually a careful study of conditions will reveal the possibility of such changes of schedules or such redistribution of students and reassignment of instructors as will remedy the evil.

(8) Are the salaries paid professors and assistants such as to attract and hold men and women of first-class ability? No institution can afford to lose continually its best men and women and to fill the vacancies thus created with men and women of less ability or of doubtful and untried ability. It may be complimentary to a college to have its best professors called to richer and better institutions, but it does not contribute to its efficiency. A college should strive to keep in its faculty those who have proven their worth. To attain its largest usefulness, it must use great care and wisdom in selecting new members of its faculty, offer sufficient salaries to obtain the services of those who give best promise of usefulness, and then make the conditions of service and the increase of pay such as to retain in its service those who make good.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »