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The epoch of the civil war that added political equality to the liberty of '76 witnessed another conjunction of an educational epoch with a civil. The Federal land grants to state universities and common schools had prepared the way for the second greatest era in American education-the industrial. In 1862, when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act inaugurating land grants, from which have sprung sixty-five colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts in every state and territory, he became Lincoln the Educator as great as the Emancipator. Washington and Lincoln teach that eternal education is the price of liberty and equality in the new nation Washington dreamed of and Lincoln died for. The new Nation, nursed by John Marshall, came to self-consciousness in the adolescent pains of the war for the Union.
Ours is the glory of the third great political and educational epoch, and of the Spanish-American War. The cry “Cuba Libre” was not raised for conquest, but to free suffering brothers from cruelty. It brought in the era of fraternity between North and South. They were reunited in their unselfish devotion to mere human brotherhood, a cause of war unknown before in the history of nations. With the appearance of Uncle Sam as a big brother among the nations known as “world-powers,” begins the realization of the ideal of the brotherhood of nations. The new nation is of necessity involved in international relations which naturally tend to breed a new nationalism at home.
As educators we can safely leave the problems of new nationalism to time and the statesmen. We will deal with what is unquestionably here—the New America. It is, first, the hemispheric America. The PanAmerican union of twenty-one republics is a potent fact, as its commercial conference of the last week shows. It only remains that the proposed trade reciprocity agreement with Canada should draw British North America (in the extreme terms of Mr. Chamberlain) "from the imperial orbit into the vortex of (American] continental politics, and the interests of the United States.” With the Panama Canal completed, and the reciprocity and continental policies of President Taft, inspired by the fragrance of McKinley's memory, carried out without entangling political alliances in the bonds of peace and trade, there will be a commercial confederacy of republics and peoples from Cape Horn to Peary's pole. This is indeed our New America, bounded on the north by the Aurora Borealis.
Beckoned on by the fraternalism of all the American peoples the New America far transcends the trite title of "world-power," for leadership in bringing the fulfillment of Tennyson's vision of "the federation of the world.” It stands for international fraternity on the sure foundation of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. This is the New ·America, whose vision and voice our southern poet, Sidney Lanier, saw and heard in the Centennial Meditation of Columbia in 1876:
Now Praise to God's oft-granted grace,
Thy name shall shine, thy fame shall glow!" The era of the Prince of Peace will come, tho Army and Navy remain for police powers and to execute the decrees of the permanent high court of international justice. This day is heralded not only from The Hague, but also by the hand-clasp of the Kaiser, war-lord of Germany, with our peace-war-lord, hero of San Juan hill, dictator of the peace of Portsmouth, and holder of the Nobel peace prize. He is the apostle who has preached the gospel of our New America in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is the third person in the trinity of world-wide known Americans—Washington and the epoch of liberty, Lincoln and the epoch of equality, Roosevelt and the epoch of fraternity!
The corresponding educational epochs and successive eras have been associated with central persons. Washington is the first, the father of the idea of a national university and national education, from which proceeded the era of the establishment of state universities and.common schools by national land grants, and the multiplication of colleges by church and private endowment. Lincoln is the second, the reviver of Federal land grants, specifically applied to colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts, from which has proceeded the era of industrial education, and that of the differentiation of universities as contra-distinguished from colleges. Roosevelt is the third, the reformer, preacher, and the teacher by tongue and pen of political, economic, and social doctrines in a complex and in what some consider a chaotic, but, we believe, a culminating, educational epoch, to be succeeded by an era of social education, with national and worldstandards, correlating and unifying all social forces.
The responsibilities of our educational epoch are stupendous, if we are to meet the demands of the New America. Impressed by the very magnitude of the figures summing up our work we become overconfident and grandiloquent. A standard journal, remarking upon the United States as the international schoolmaster, tells of the attendance of a hundred thousand school children in Porto Rico, and of a million and a half in the Philippines, and enlarging upon the influence of American teachers and
i The Poems of Sidney Lanier, p. 256 (Scribner).
schools in the Orient and even Europe, entitles the article “The United States Teacher for the Universe." We have almost the disposition to annex the new world in making revealed by the Mt. Wilson telescope and photographed in a swirling mass of gases, five hundred billion miles in diameter. We exult that the photograph shows a spiral nebula, apparently disproving the hypothesis of the Frenchman, La Place, and substantiating the American hypothesis of Professor Chamberlain of the University of Chicago. American schoolmastering is counted almost powerful and practical enough to guide and teach the Creator the most approved methods of making a new world.
The epoch indeed has colossal statistics. The total attendance of pupils has increased from seventeen millions plus at the beginning of the decade to nineteen millions. The teaching force has increased to 495,463, a gain of 14 per cent as against 9% per cent gain in the number of enrolled pupils. The average monthly wages have increased for men from $47.55 to $62.35, for women from $39.17 to $51.61. The actual increase in salaries is greater, as the average length of the school term has been extended from 143. 7 days to 154. 1 days. The angelic quality of the teachers has continued to increase, as there were only 104,495 men in the service, or 21 per cent of the entire force, as against 29 per cent in 1900. Of course, our pride must hasten to add, “No other country in the world provides at public expense for the instruction of so large a proportion of the population. The expense is impressive—three hundred and eighty millions of dollars, equivalent to $31 for every pupil in average attendance. Most encouraging is the high enthusiasm for education in the South, and its progress in this decade in the education of the negroes. It is estimated that the statistics for 1910 will show an increase in the current expenditure for public education in the southern states of 150 per cent since 1900, and in the value of school property a gain of 200 per cent.?
The problem of the education of the negro is a matter of such grave national, as well as state, concern, as to demonstrate that in some form we must have national education or aid for it. Only less acute is the need for further national aid for industrial education, inclusive of agricultural education. President James's plea for National aid to elementary education deserves attention. The New America plainly demands the continuation and the enlargement of the national policy of forever encouraging schools and the means of education by Federal aid. “Education is not a good thing to be encouraged by government but a vital thing to be provided by it."
Let us lay aside all prejudices arising from the discussion concerning New Nationalism. This is the old nationalism unfolded. It is not necessary to disturb the state as the educational unit in America. It is well to discourage, and to defeat the blanket legislation that does not recognize
1 American Year Book, 1910, p. 778 (Appleton).
2 Ibid, p. 786.
the diversity of conditions in the states of the Union, and attempts specifically to put the directing hand of the nation into the expenditure of the grant, as has been done in the Davis, and the reshaped Dolliver Bill for agricultural and industrial education. Generous as are the purposes of this bill, it would lead into temptations, waste, and inefficiency. But the general principle and purpose of Federal aid is to be strengthened, and pursued as consistently as we pursue expenditures for equipping the National Guards in the states, and as we co-operate with the states in geological surveys and other enterprises of common interest to the nation and the state.
That this historic policy of national aid may be wisely pursued we must cease our pettifogging and niggardliness with reference to plans for the extension of the United States Bureau of Education. When some of our strongest Congressmen have been successful in scaling in this Congress to a paltry $9,000 the $75,000 appropriation asked by the Commissioner of Education, for a field force of consulting specialists in ten branches of education, estimates approved by the letters and petitions of over sixteen hundred persons and the strongest educational organizations, it shows the need of educating Congressmen. They are without the vision of the New America. With zeal for the conservation of natural resources and patriotically responding with abundant appropriations to the tune of “The Army and Navy Forever” they forget the perils of ignorance in a republic. They have not learned the axiom of a Rosebery: "In the last resolve, the efficiency of a nation rests in its education," nor have they heeded Washington in his farewell address: "Promote then as an object of primary importance institutions for the diffusion of knowledge." It is the hand of Washington, but the voice of Jefferson, that adds, “It is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.” With the new life in this bureau under the able leadership of its distinguished commissioner, it is only necessary that we educational Rip Van Winkles wake to his support and a recognition of the fact that education is a branch of government as important as the Weather Bureau, the Department of Agriculture, or of Labor and Commerce, and indeed their indispensable ally.
The New America witnessing, as the acme of the celebration of the Mexican Centennial, the founding of a great national university on the 16th of last September, and the United States developing a university of the Philippines, must hasten the day of the founding by the gathering of the elements, the disjecta membra, of a national university at Washington. There must be the crown of the historic endowed American universities, and the point of co-ordination of the state universities in graduate work and research. The Smithsonian and the enlarging Carnegie Institution are the magnets of private munificence, which should attract the full benefits of governmental privileges and support.
The so-called ambitious and, to some affrightening, proposition for “the reorganization of American education” is a note of this decade.
The industrial era to which we have referred, culminating in this epoch, has driven us to this startling study. The report of the committee on the place of industries in public education to the National Council of Education furthers this movement. Despite diverse opinions, the desirability of having the elementary school terminate with the sixth grade is pretty generally recognized. The persistent suggestions of the universities to have the first two years of college, grades thirteen and fourteen, considered as parts of the disciplinary, or high-school education; grouping grades eleven and twelve of the high school with grades thirteen and fourteen gives an opportunity for subdividing the grades from seven to fourteen into two stages of four years each. Mr. George A. Merrill, principal of the School of Mechanic Arts at San Francisco, proposes an intermediate school, grades seven to ten, which would graduate boys at the age when so many of them drop out of the second year of the high schools, and hence such a school would be the logical place to develop “industrial intelligence" preliminary to an apprenticeship." He proposes a high school, or college, grades eleven to fourteen, where differentiation should begin. Some would-be trade schools, some classical schools, some pre-medical, some technical high schools, some commercial. His scheme is designed to save the boys who drop out of the school when the “industrial instinct” begins to manifest itself—in other words, at the end of the sixth grade. The above from the Pacific coast.
From the Atlantic coast the High-School Teachers' Association of New York City sends out as a feeler a proposal for the organization of secondary education under the title Articulation of High School and College. They were surprised at the complacency with which their propositions for the most part were received. If President Eliot represents the Atlantic, he seems to be largely in harmony with the Pacific, when he says:
I agree with you that the changes you advocate amount to a reorganization of secondary education: but the essence of the reorganization in my opinion will be differentiation among high schools, and greater range of selection among studies for pupils.?
The answer to President Eliot would be to reverse his statement, and have the differentiation among colleges instead of among high schools. This is in fact done in most of the state universities, and among others, where the university has many kinds of colleges and a wide-open elective system.
Mr. Charles F. Warner, in his minority report upon industrial education in the secondary school, looks in the same direction, when he says: "Furthermore, it is generally recognized that the open-at-the-top policy is a natural characteristic of American education."3 If the brethren in the
'' · Report of the Committee of the National Education Association on the Place of Industries in Public Education, 1910, p. 105.
2 Articulation of High School and College-High School Teachers Association of New York City, 1910, p. 20.
3 Report of the Committee (National Education Association) on the Place of Industries in Public Education to the National Council of Education, July, 1910, p. 115.