Imágenes de páginas

the state shall control and supervise the curricula of all public and private educational enterprises in this state, excepting from such control only such schools as are now conducted or hereafter to be organized by recognized religious denominations or sects. These considerations led the Committee in its preliminary report to the Legislature to propose a bill requiring all educational enterprises other than those specifically excepted from the operation of the statute to procure a license from the public educational authorities of the state; making it unlawful to conduct any school, institute, course or class without a license; and requiring applicants for license to furnish upon oath a statement of the purposes of the school, institute, course or class, the nature and extent and purpose of the instruction to be given, with a further provision that no licenses should be granted to any school, institute, course or class where it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Regents that the school, institute, course or class is being conducted in such manner as to be detrimental to public interests, or is being conducted in a fraudulent or improper manner.

This bill also provides for the revocation of licenses granted, and the means for its enforcement. The full text of the bill will be found at the close of the general introduction in Volume I of this report. It is the earnest hope of the Committee that it will become the law of this state, so that the State Department of Education may control the Americanization education of the state and may guarantee its citizens protection against the teaching of revolutionary doctrines.


Teacher Requirements and Teacher Training

In the whole scheme of citizenship training no one has the power and the opportunity to exert so much influence for good or ill as the individual teacher. The Federal Government, the State Department of Education and the local school boards may outline a faultless program of Americanization and citizenship training, but if the teacher is not capable or desirous of its effective interpretation, all other efforts will have been in vain. The efficiency of the teaching staff in the field of training the foreign-born is dependent upon, first, adequate compensation to teachers; second, discriminate selection of teachers; third, higher teacher requirements; fourth, specialized training; and fifth, a general appreciation by the public of the vital function performed by such teachers and their importance to the body politic.

With regard to teachers' salaries there is no difference of opinion. Educators all over the country report that the present inadequacy of teachers' salaries constitutes a serious obstacle to the progress of Americanization work. Teachers are underpaid and have been so for many years. The present period of high prices emphasizes a situation which has existed persistently in public and quasi-public institutions for a protracted period. This Committee believes that adequate compensation of teachers in New York State, and especially of those teachers entrusted with the important responsibility of training the foreign-born, will be a prerequisite to the solution of the acute problem of securing satisfactory teachers which is faced today. With adequate pay teaching standards may be elevated through more careful selection of teachers. Moreover, more competent persons who prefer teaching, but who are kept out of it because of low salaries, will be encouraged to offer their services. It is now the concensus of opinion that a careful selection of teachers having adequate training and ability is impossible in the face of the acute shortage occasioned by insufficient compensation. However, this Committee believes that more and more emphasis must be laid upon the selection of teachers upon the basis of character, good citizenship, background, and training. One prominent educator has wisely recommended that each teacher of the foreign-born should be required to account for his conduct during the late war.

The legislation of various states in the matter of requirements for teachers seems inadequate to insure a teaching staff able to

deal with the critical situation of country-wide unrest. In more than three-fourths of the states citizenship, or even declaration of intention to become a citizen, are not prerequisites to obtaining teacher certificates. The effects of such a system, especiallyon those states which have a great percentage of aliens, is only too obvious. The required age of a teacher in the majority of the states is 18 years, though in Maine, Mississippi and several other states it is as low as 17, and in Texas 16. In most of the states a general provision is made that the teacher must be of good moral character, or at least a provision is made that his license shall be valid only during satisfactory conduct. Tennessee, on the other hand, goes so far as to prohibit the use of drugs, alcoholics, or cigarettes by any licensed teacher, while Kentucky prohibits gambling and profanity.

The states which require that no person shall be granted a teacher's license or certificate who is not a native or naturalized citizen of the United States or who has not already declared his intention to become one, are:





New York

In Nevada the teacher, besides having to be a citizen, is required to take the following oath before the granting of a certificate:



do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and the Constitution and Government of the State of Nevada against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, and I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same any ordinance, resolution or law of any state convention or legislature to the contrary notwithstanding. And further, I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of teacher on which I am about to enter, (if an oath) so help me God; (if an affirmation) under the pains and penalties of perjury. "Sworn and subscribed to before me, a of the County of .... day of



and State of Nevada,

Anno Domini

Even in those states requiring citizenship, teachers' licenses are granted to persons who have not yet reached their majority, for in no cases is the minimum age requirement over 18 years. The following states, so far as the evidence submitted to this Committee is concerned, make no requirements for teachers with respect to character:








South Carolina




We are advised that theoretically the selection of teachers for evening schools and for extension education in New York State is based upon (1) character, personality, interest, motive and loyal citizenship; (2) experience; and (3) training. These requirements we approve and recommend their rigid enforcement. At a Federal Americanization conference held during the war the following statement was formulated:

"We urge upon all normal schools, colleges and other agencies concerned with the training of teachers, that courses be given aiming directly at the equipment of all public school teachers, whether of children or of adults, to train citizens in the scientific knowledge and duties which will lead to a realization of the highest Americanism."

This gave impetus to the work of training Americanization workers, which is now being conducted in many of our largest universities. Much of this work is commendable, but it all shows one conspicuous lack: nothing is done to teach prospective workers in the field of Americanization how to cope with radical and revolutionary theories with which they are inevitably destined to find many foreign groups affected. The University of Minnesota has done more than any other university from which the • See addendum, part 2.

Committee has received a report, to train not only teachers of foreign-born adults, but also directors and organizers of Americanization work.* A six weeks' course was offered in the summer of 1919, which embraced not only immigration problems and problems concerning the foreign-born in their American environment, but also the study of Americanization movements throughout the country generally, anthropology, and the methods of teaching adults. Beginning with the season of 1919-1920 a four-year course was offered, devoted entirely to the training of teachers, organizers and directors of Americanization work. This covered

the subects taught in the summer school and in addition a more intensified study of foreign and American peoples, civics and government, economics, labor problems, housing problems, socialism, social statistics, social psychology, eugenics, and other subjects which were elective. The requirements for both admission and graduation conform to those of the College of Science, Literature and the Arts. A degree of Bachelor of Science is given for the satisfactory completion of the four-year course and a Master of Arts degree may be obtained by a fifth year of post-graduate study.

The University of Minnesota believes that highly specialized workers are necessary for Americanization activities. Complex and difficult problems must be met by the worker among immigrant peoples, growing out of racial characteristics which have their origin far back of recent or modern political and economic systems and have a deeper significance and greater tenacity than those systems. It is for this reason that they include in their curriculum a course of anthropology. This course is specially planned to meet the needs of workers in the Americanization field.

California has a unique method of meeting the emergency shortage of trained Americanization workers. That state has an itinerant normal school for training teachers of the foreignborn, which may prove to be only temporary after other agencies have taken up the work permanently. It is composed of a group of speakers, each a specialist on the subject which he covers, who go about from city to city in very much the same way as the Chautauqua groups cover the rural districts in the East.

In Delaware, when an Americanization campaign was launched in 1919, an emergency institute was established to train teachers quickly, providing for 26 lectures. The enrollment was 168, mostly public school teachers. The Board of Education

See reference to Boston University in addendum, part 2.

« AnteriorContinuar »