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Oakland-San Francisco Convention

ECRETARY J. W. CRABTREE, N. E. A., estimates that fully 18,000 teachers attended the educational conventions in the Bay cities June 28-July 6. In addition to two educational organizations of world-wide importance: The National Education Association, with a membership of 130,000 of the 650,000 teachers of the United States and the World Conference on Education with 150 bona fide delegates from sixty nations representing the world's 5,000,000 school teachers, the PanAmerican Conference and the Health Conference convened at the same time in OaklandSan Francisco.

California's hospitality eclipsed itself and her best climate was constantly on display. Her homes were thrown open, flowers in profusion at State headquarters, in assembly rooms, in guest rooms and at all functions made even more real the welcome that Californians extended officially and radiated individually. Automobiles for free scenic drives with fair drivers at the wheels almost enticed delegates from official duties. No wonder that many lingered after the convention to attend the summer session of the University of California or to visit the Yosemite, the big trees, the Mother Lode and the beaches. The Bay cities, their Chambers of Commerce and their teachers deserved the congratulations they received. They demonstrated their ability to house, entertain and feed the thousands without complaint or even congestion.

While it was popular to complain of the time consumed by street car and ferry in going from the day sessions in the Oakland auditorium to the San Francisco exposition hall, those trips were not without compensation. Dr. A. E. Winship, the Nestor of the N. E. A., claims that the trip was the best visiting time he has known. He said, "You visited with some friend or group of friends for fifteen minutes in the street car on either side of the Bay and for half an hour during a refreshing boat ride, so that you were sure to have six visitations every time you made the round trip. In the ten days with sixty visits, never was it the same group twice and never those with whom I visited at either the Fairmount or the Oakland." Dr. Arthur H. Chamberlain, Secretary of the California State Teachers Association, made a constructive suggestion that the management might

well have considered, viz., place the exhibits and schedule the programs on the ferry


The Washington Headquarters staff and the President, William B. Owen, deserved and received high praise for the preliminary arrangements and for the smooth working machinery of the convention. The press of the two cities gave splendid publicity and press service. The pictorial portrayal of the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle and the Examiner was notable. School people, literally by the hundreds, found themselves famous on the screen.

The 120 commercial exhibits in Oakland were rival claimants for attention with the educational exhibits in San Francisco. Both deserved much more attention than time permitted.

The N. E. A. Program

The program of the 61st annual convention of the N. E. A. comprehended three programs: 1. A general program providing numerous addresses on educational questions of a general nature. 2. A program of many sections and departments at which technical questions were discussed from every angle. 3. The representative assembly which met for three full half-day sessions, received reports of committees, transacted the business of the Association, elected its officers and adopted resolutions.

The general program created the "atmosphere" of the convention and it was unmistakable delegates applauded vigorously whenever Will C. Wood, who has just fought a winning battle against California's reacting Governor, and Thomas E. Finegan of Pennsylvania appeared or were mentioned. When these men spoke they received ovations, which indicated the kind of educational leaders that teachers will support. The delegates as a unit scored the "erroneous conclusions of those representing the Carnegie Foundation with reference to the cost of the public schools." The keynote of the programs was the question of costs.

In his address on "Financing of the American Schools," Dr. George D. Strayer, Columbia University, pointed out that the increased cost of education is due (1) to greatly increased attendance, particularly in our high schools, (2) to depreciation of the purchasing

power of the dollar and (3) to the enrichment of the curriculum. He stated that throughout the United States especially in the cities, we are behind on our school building programs to such an extent that it would require a billion dollars to erect the buildings necessary to house the children now on part time or attending schools in unsanitary and dangerous buildings. Recognizing that the economic resources are sufficiently abundant to enable us to educate our children, he advocated reforms in our tax system so that funds for education may be made available without undue burdensome taxation.

Dr. Payson Smith, Commissioner of Education, Boston, Massachusetts, and President of the Department of Superintendence, made the incisive statement that the schools will cost more, not less, and dollar economy will fail to block their progress. He added "Those who are interested in the development of American education, whether teachers or laymen, can hold out no hope that the cost of American education will decrease."

John K. Norton, head of the N. E. A. research department, stated that the cost of textbooks is about 2 per cent of the total expended annually for education in the United States. This is infinitesimal when compared with the value of school books to education.

The feature of the convention, ranking with a consideration of costs, was the unanimous re-affirmation of the Education Bill, the Towner-Sterling Bill. In his report as chairman of the legislative commission, Dr. Strayer stated that President Harding has approved the creation of a Department of Education and that we may confidently expect the next session of Congress to give us the realization of our hopes.

In the department of classroom teachers, Miss Mattie M. Montgomery, high school teacher, Sedalia, Missouri, appealed to all teachers to lend support in the cabinet fight. said:


"The Nation looks to the states for its citizens; it should aid the states in their training. The Federal Government spends millions yearly for strictly educational work, but the effective administration of the Government's present educational activities demands the creation of a department of education, which is one of the outstanding provisions of the education bill."

After reviewing the history of the bill, Miss Montgomery told her audience that it is of the utmost importance to the measure that the classroom teachers be prepared to speak convincingly on the bill. It is their bill, framed by their representatives in strict accord with the convictions that teachers have collectively expressed on innumerable occasions.

In conclusion she said: "Every classroom teacher has far more influence than she realizes or is willing to assert. To win support for the Towner-Sterling bill is so far-reaching in its results for good that it challenges the best in every teacher. To be an influence in gaining support for such a measure is worth a life. Millions have lived without accomplishing so much."

The Representative Assembly

The interest in the delegate body, which was composed of 980 delegates from the fortyeight states, the District of Columbia, the Philippines, Hawaii and Alaska, centered around five things: (1) the election. (2) amendments to the constitution. (3) the payment of delegates' expenses. (4) committee reports and (5) the resolutions.

The nominating committee of one from each state and territory met on the morning of the fourth of July, but there were no fireworks. On the contrary, the spirit of utmost harmony prevailed and this is how it happened: On the roll call by states for nominations for President, Dr. Strayer nominated Olive M. Jones, Dr. A. E. Winship nominated Mary McSkimmon and President Joseph Rosier nominated Katherine D. Blake. The motions were properly seconded. Superintendent Jesse M. Newlon, chairman of the nominating committee, Denver, took a vote by ballot with this result: Miss Jones twenty-five, Miss Blake thirteen, Miss McSkimmon seven. Dr. Winship then did the magnanimous thing by moving to make the nomination of Miss Jones unanimous. President Rosier did the equally gracious thing in seconding Dr. Winship's motion, saying, "Our interest in the welfare of the National Education Association and the children of America is above our interest in the fortune of any candidate." The motion carried unanimously and the Secretary, James Herbert Kelley, Pennsylvania, was instructed to cast the unanimous ballot of the committee for Miss Jones.

At the final session of the representative assembly Superintendent Newlon reported for


the nominating committee and the following officers were elected unanimously: President, Miss Olive M. Jones; Vice Presidents, C. B. Glenn, Alabama; C. B. Rose, Arizona; Mary F. Mooney, California; R. O. Stoops, Pennsylvania; Anna L. Force, Colorado; Florence M. Hale, Maine; Anna Griffey, Arkansas; C. F. Garret, Iowa; S. L. Smith, Tennessee; E. Ruth Pyrtle, Nebraska; Treasurer, Cornelia S. Adair, Richmond, Virginia.


Two amendments to the constitution, of general interest, were made: (1) Making the basis of representation the same in both state and local branches, viz., one for each one hundred members up to five hundred, and one for each five hundred members after that point. (2) Changing the membership year so as to make it conform to the school or academic year. It now extends from September to the following August 31, and the annual dues of $2.00 are payable before November 1.

President Owen was at his best in presiding over the assembly. A master in parliamentary practice he was quite at home and encouraged debate and discussion from the floor. The representative assembly functioned as a dignified deliberative body.

Financing Delegates


Miss Cornelia Adair, Treasurer, recommended that $10,000 be set aside in the budget for next year to be prorated by the Executive Committee in payment of delegates' transportation and Pullman expenses in excess $50.00. She stated that should the meeting be held in the middle west in 1924, a careful computation shows that to pay all of the transportation and Pullman fares above $50.00 it would require $20,000, but that the budget could hardly spare that much money. recommendation was approved unanimously.

Committee Reports


Numerous reports of committees in printed form were distributed in advance of their presentation. They comprised reports on salaries, motion pictures, character education, reorganization of elementary education, editorial council, health problems, illiteracy, rural schools, tenure, pensions, coordination of research agencies and thrift.


The following resolutions presented by Commissioner Payson Smith, chairman resolutions committee, were adopted individually with but

one dissenting vote against the Towner-Sterling resolution:



State Commissioner of Education, Boston, Massachusetts, Chairman

The education bill

We reaffirm our sincere, devoted and unqualified support of Federal aid and Federal recognition for public education without Federal interference in any way with State and local control as embodied in the Towner-Sterling Bill. We believe that National leadership in education and the efficient administration of the educational activities of the Federal Government demand the creation of a Department of Education with a Secretary in the Cabinet of the President. We know that the aid furnished to the States and territories of the Federal government has been a most important feature in the development of their school systems. The deficiences now existing in our system of public education will be most effectively and rapidly removed by providing Federal aid for the removal of illiteracy, for the Americanization of the foreign-born, for the development of a more adequate program of health service, for the training of teachers and for the equalization of educational opportunity as provided in the Towner-Sterling Bill.

No backward steps

We affirm our faith and confidence that the American people will not be misled by the erroneous conclusions of those representing the Carnegie Foundation with reference to the cost of the public schools. Analyzed in the light of the increased attendance in all schools, the longer school year, the varied educational opportunities now offered and with a view to the changed purchasing value of the dollar, the costs of public education are not excessive. The investment which is being made in the education of each child as reflected in per capita costs is inconsiderable in comparison with the important civic, economic and social returns that are expected from that investment.

We believe that in expenditures for public education, as for all other public enterprises, every effort should be made to yield one hundred cents of value for every dollar spent. The Association does stand, however, emphatically for the proposition that the only safe course for the protection of the political, industrial and social welfare of the American people lies in a thorough, adequate and universal system of public education extended throughout the Nation and available to every prospective citizen of the Republic. We believe that increasingly more children will attend schools. We believe they will attend for longer periods of time. We believe that more attention must be paid to individual capacity, to individual needs and to potential individual service. We believe, therefore, that more money and not less must be expended for schools. America will not return to the grossly inadequate program of edu

cation of a generation ago. This Association invites the forward-looking citizenship of the Nation to repel the insinuation that a great and rich Nation needs to adopt a policy of narrow economy in those matters that affect the Nation's children and through them the Nation's future.

State responsibility

We believe that equalization of educational opportunity for all children can be secured only by the recognition of the principle of a larger responsibility on the part of the State for the adequate financing of education, and further, that along with the adoption of this principle, must come the development of larger units of taxation and administration to replace the local district system.

We believe that the principle that education is a State function is a sound one; that local boards of education are in this sense officers of the State and that they should be free to determine and administer their own financial budgets, subject to State control but unhampered by municipal authorities.

We believe that justice demands greater study and consideration of the means by which rural education may be improved.

The National Education Association endorses the principle that the public schools of the territories of the United States be given equal recognition with the public schools of the several States.

The status of the teacher

We cannot emphasize too strongly the fundamental importance of improving the status of the teacher if we would improve child service. To provide an adequate supply of well-trained teachers, we must equip and support more and better teacher training schools and colleges; we must offer salaries adequate to attract highminded and well-educated youth into the profession; we must insure to them promotion on merit alone as well as permanent tenure while they render satisfactory service; we must remove from them the fear of destitution by adequate retirement annuities and pensions; and we must recognize their right to express their professional opinions and to develop in every proper way personal initiative.

Political sniping


For more than half a century, the National Education Association has advocated professional leadership in all educational offices, whether in State, county, city or district. From long experience we have had a right to assume universal acceptance of this principle by all who are working for the establishment of good government in the United States. That this principle should be acknowledged in the selection of those who are charged with the responsibility of leadership in the office of State Superintendent, or State Commissioner of Education, we hold to be of surpassing importance.

The friends of public education deplore the recent flagrant violation of this principle in the case of the highest educational office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An education

al leader having a record of proved accomplishment had been invited to assume the responsibility of framing for the state a farreaching and forward-looking program of education. In co-operation with the educational forces of the State, this program was framed and put in force. It was later examined and approved by a commission appointed by the Governor and by a second commission chosen from the national field of educators.

The press and the people of the State expressed in no uncertain manner their intense satisfaction at the record that had been made and at the promise of further accomplishments. This accomplishment the Legislature of the State assured by the act of its approval in law of every item of the program that had been framed.

In spite of these conditions, the man who had been invited to this leadership and had thus demonstrated to the satisfaction of public, professional and legislative opinion his unqualified fitness for that leadership was offered opportunity of continued service in his office on terms which, if they were not unconstitutional, were so distinctly humiliating that no self-respecting administrator could accept them.

So directly does such an act in a leading State affect education throughout the Nation that this Association believes it must record its disapproval of so unworthy an executive act, while it expresses its satisfaction at the general approval of the citizens of the State of the vigorous and forwardlooking educational program, that had been inaugurated, and at the professional attitude of the man who in this instance has so worthily stood in Pennsylvania as a representative of the best in educational leadership.


We heartily rejoice that, in this legislative year, governors and legislators have generally given vigorous support to the maintenance and extension of public education. the few instances in which the legislatures and governors have been responsible for a curtailment of financial support of teacher training and other important activities of education we are convinced that new advances will be made when the people have had an opportunity to act.

Child labor amendment

The National Education Association reaffirming its belief in the vital importance to the children of a law establishing a Federal minimum of protection from premature or excessive employment, favors a Child Labor Amendment to the Constitution authorizing Congress to enact such a law.

Physical education

The National Education Association urges that adequate provision be made for the organization and supervision of courses in physical education and recreation in all elementary, secondary, normal schools and colleges of this Nation. The purposes of such education include the correction of physical defects and the development of useful bodily


and mental habits through socialized recreation.

National capital

We should be able to find in the city of Washington, the capital of the Nation, leadership in matters concerning school administration, supervision, teaching, business management and for the promulgation of a farseeing and adequate educational program for city schools.

The schools of the capital city belong to the Nation and for this reason we urge Congress to create a Board of Education for the City of Washington, which shall be absolutely free from party control, which shall have entire control of its financial budget and which shall have an adequate financial income to maintain schools of which the Nation may be proud.

American History

We believe it to be the primary function of the teaching of American history to inculcate in the American people a lasting devotion to America and her institutions. This objective can best be attained by placing before American children in a manner appropriate to various ages an accurate and truthful portrayal of the events that have had a place in the growth and development of the country and her institutions. We believe that it is possible to develop through right history teaching a deep love and lasting respect for America without creating hatreds or animosities toward other Nations and their peoples. We approve that attitude in historical teaching which aims to present actual and truthful pictures of the past and to promote with older pupils the disposition to consider both national and international political, economic and social problems on the basis of fundamental principle and not primarily on the basis of partisan, sectional or narrowly National selfinterest.

World conference on education

We recognize with deep gratification the fine spirit shown and the real contribution made to the cause of better understanding among the Nations by the World Conference on Education held at San Francisco. We believe that we can most surely promote a lasting spirit of good fellowship throughout the world by taking advantage of appropriate opportunities to tell the coming generation of the good qualities and useful achievements of other nations as well as our own.

Humanity is one. Injury to one nation or race involves injury to all, just as the proper growth of one nation or race carries with it an advantage to all mankind. Mutual co-operation and good will are absolutely necessary to mankind's steady growth in happiness and service.

The plan of the Committee on Foreign Relations for holding further conferences in other lands meets with our hearty endorsement.

We acknowledge the great service rendered to the cause of education by the intelligent and public spirited reports on our deliberations,

published not only by the local press but by many other great papers of our Nation.

We extend our grateful appreciation of the hearty hospitality which has been so generously given to the members of the Association by committees, organizations and citizens of Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and the vicinity.

Throughout, there have been shown careful foresight and untiring endeavor on the part of innumerable volunteer workers who have magnificently contributed to the success of the sixty-first convention of the Association. Board of Directors

Following the adjournment of the convention, the new Board of Directors met with the new President, Miss Jones, presiding. Invitations for future conventions were presented as follows:

For 1924, St. Paul, Minnesota.

1925, Seattle, Washington.

1926, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in connection with
the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition.
1927, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Doctor Finegan Honored

Doctor Thomas E. Finegan was elected ty the Board of Directors a member of the Board of Trustees to succeed Miss Olive M. Jones, who as President becomes an ex officio member of the board.

Other Elections

The Board of Directors elected Walter R. Siders to succeed himself as a member of the Board of Trustees and Mrs. Cora Wilson Stewart, noted for her work to remove illiteracy, a member of the executive committee.

Pennsylvanians at Oakland-San Francisco

What proved to be a most congenial party of twenty-four left Pennsylvania points June 23 in a special Pullman for the Oakland-San Francisco Convention. The Pullman went clear through to San Francisco where the party disbanded. It was parked for occupancy a day at Colorado Springs, a day at the Grand Canyon and a day and a half at Los Angeles. The tour was conducted on a no-profit basis as a service of the Association to its members.

On the afternoon of July 2, Pennsylvanians assembled at headquarters, Hotel Oakland and organized for work by electing the following committees:

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