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As these skins are very valuable to us, will you help us?" The Board had the law changed to read: "Muskrats and foxes may be trapped for two months only, in each year for six years, in which time a new breed will have sprung up.
which months each year."
The law shall decide
An agreement was drawn up to this effect and duly signed.
II. Brought by the Farmers of Canada:
"Our soil has become impoverished. The wholesalers complain that our wheat is poor. We sent for an expert to prove this. says that the soil requires an expensive kind of fertilizer which we can not afford, taxed as we have been for the late war."
The committee considered the farmers' lands good security so provided the fertilizer.
An agreement was signed by each farmer to pay the Finance Committee $1250. on March 4, 1922, and the same amount six months later, in payment for the fertilizer.
III. Brought by Canadian Lumbermen:
"We work more hours a day and do harder work for less pay than men in other occupations. We strike unless we get a six hour day at $10.00 a day."
The lumber company said that they could not afford this and that an eight hour day was short enough. After three stormy sessions, they agreed on a six hour day at $1.25 an hour.
IV. Brought by Italian Importers:
"Our business is being greatly undermined by smugglers. Unless something is done very soon, we will be ruined."
The committee and government officials promptly doubled the coast guard and had a new seal cast, without the stamp of which, no goods could pass.
V. Brought by Spanish Railroad Company:
"We wish to build new roads to connect the various cities of Spain. Will you help us in getting the consent of the government and in procuring laborers?"
This took a great deal of time and thought, as many obstacles were met. Finally, however, they received the consent of the government for a 99-year franchis, providd at least one train a day (barring great storms) ran over each road. They imported ten thousand Italian laborers, after promising the Italian government that they should receive the same rights and wages as the Spanish laborers. This agreement was duly signed.
We endeavored not to outrage any laws in our many problems, but, of course, could not go into the fine points of law in each country.
We made many funny mistakes but learned by them, as when we thought that the miners of India should get $10.00 a day instead of the very little they do receive, and when we thought that fertilizer cost $5.00 a ton instead of many times as much.
We have learned that strikes cannot be settled merely by raising wages, that people cannot borrow money without security, that laws can be changed if enough voters wish it, that contracts have to be written, signed and witnessed to be binding, and that arbitration takes time.
We realize, of course, that all problems cannot be solved so easily in real life, but we do know now some of the problems of the workers in the various lands.
We have learned a great deal of geography and have had a fine time in the process; so we are going on.
The Rating of Principals and Superintendents
STEPHEN G. RICH, CONCORD STATE NORMAL,
URING the last decade, and more especially during the few years since the war, there has been a marked advance in the matter of the rating of teachers. From the formless "general impression" method we have passed on into various stages of analysis and weighting of scores for the various desirable qualities. It is now possible for a teacher to be rated in a manner which is reasonably free from any taint of bias, and which is almost wholly free from bias due to the personal or professional likes and dislikes of any one person.
Not least among the qualities expected in a good teacher are "loyalty" and "willingness to co-operate." It is fitting that this should be the case. In the rating of the teacher, however, there is little allowance made, in estimating these qualities, for the extent to which the principal and the superintendent allow these qualities to function.
In this democratic age, it does not seem at all unreasonble, therefore, to make the need to secure functioning of loyalty and willingness to co-operate the starting-point for a rating of principals and superintendents by the teachers who work under them. It is quite in accordance with the democracy of this age that the superior officer should not only receive, but actually encourage such ratings of himself and his work, if only to enable him to keep in touch with professional opinion.
The intelligent superintendent or principal will gain greatly in prestige and thus in power over his subordinates-by securing ratings of himself by as large, and as varied as possible a group, of his teachers and by acting upon the suggestion inherent in the
criticisms thus made. It may indeed be said here that the sharp criticism of the "school grouch," although often strongly biassed, is the most valuable pointer towards more efficient work that the principal and the superintendent can have. The efficient superintendent or principal must have a loyal group of teachers under him, and one willing to co-operate; and unless he evidences full willingness to co-operate and make it possible for them to be loyal, he cannot be fully efficient. Ninety-nine school executives out of a hundred certainly want to do this; perhaps fifty out of the hundred are able to know what they need to do in order to accomplish this. A candid rating-system, as detailed as the teacher-rating systems now evolved, would supply this need.
With a view to stimulating thought on the matter, I propose the following scheme and form for rating of principals and superintendents by teachers.
At the end of a term or a school year, each teacher is requested to hand in to the secretary of the school board or other clerical official, the blank below, but without signing his name to it. This I suggest in order to make it possible for even the timid freshman teacher under a domineering principal to express freely his judg ment. The judgment of the newcomer into the profession, the system, or the particular school, is often valuable as being the least vitiated by custom or habit. The reaction of the freshman of the profession, coming out with the ideals of normal school or university school of education still fresh and functional, is of much greater value than the inexperience of the person would indicate: it represents as nearly as possible the pure professional spirit without concession to evils unavoidable in practice.
The secretary is of course expected to tabulate the results and turn them in to the superintendent or principal himself in that form: at the same time they should be presented to the board of education and, in the case of principals, to the superintendent.
All parties are now in possession of the facts, and it only remains for the common-sense of those involved to seek remedies for weaknesses shown. A little gentle urging from the board of education
upon either superintendent or principal will in most cases result in a decided improvement in the weaknesses by the time the next rating is made.
I advocate the rating being made at the end of a term or a school year mainly because the chance is at hand to make any necessary changes in the methods of the principal or superintendent, either in the next term or in the next school year. Moreover, if the rating is taken at the end of the school year, it indicates to the official what work he can with most advantage pursue at a summer school. The subjective judgment of even the best principal may be badly at fault in this. I am, for example, acquainted with a former vice-principal who thought he needed work in methods of discipline, but who found that a course in systematic supervision and one on mental tests, by giving him the data necessary, enabled him to improve his work in the very faults that had most discouraged him. Undoubtedly a rating by the teachers of his school would have shown that he was weak in gauging the mental powers of pupils and in understanding his supervisory function as viceprincipal.
The following is my suggestion of a form on which the teacher can effectively rate his principal or superintendent. Name of Person Rated
Official Position of Person Rated
Professional and academic training of person making the rating
Teaching experience (time and variety) of person making the
(Write your ratings to the
right of given figures.)
Per Cent if Completely Satisfactory.
1. Organizing Power:
a. Registration of attendance, marks, etc.