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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 17, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-04-17/ed-1/seq-3/

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SCHOOL BOARD RANKLY MISMANAGED SAYS
FORMER STATISTICIAN OF THE BODY
With a dozen or so sharp-pointed
"spikes," Parker Sercombe, at a
meeting of the Chicago Federation of
Labor Sunday, sailed into the Chi
cago school board and nailed it down
fast and firm as a rankly misman
aged institution.
Sercombe first explained that he
knew of what he spoke, because he
acted as statistician of the school
board for five months. And, acting
as such, he explained that he had
-had "eyes that saw and ears that
heard."
"The school board has no book
keeping and administration.
"Things run loosely they run
themselves.
"No attempt is made for proper
distribution of accounts.
"Inventories have "been on file for
past twenty years without being
checked up.
"If a business house were managed
as the school board it would go bank-,
rupt in a year.
"Reason the board doesn't go
bankrupt is because people are pay
ing the bills."
Those are the high spots sprung
by the former statistician.
"Here is a little school board pol
itics," said Sercombe. "Of the seven
trustees Mayor Thompson appointed,
six obey his commands. Of the
seven to be reappointed or ousted in
July, six more obey his commands
in the hopes of reappointment Seven
more are to be appointed a year from
now and even they seek re-appointment
"Trustee Piggott is the mayor's
political boss on the board. You have
nothing to say about the public
schools, our most sacred institution.
"You spqak for the election of
school board trustees. Election
would only soil them. Now, approx
imately 500 people desire appoint
ment to the boar deach year. Why
not place these plications Into a-
list, controlled by the state civil serv
ice com'n, from which the mayor
would have to pick his appointees.
Cut the boar ddown to nine members
for efficiency's sake and pay them
$3,000 a year. Now they work for
publicity, i They will do anything to
increase their advertising space in
the daily press.
"Of this board of nine we should
have four representatives of labor,
one physician, one lawyer, one pro
fessional educator and two represen
tativei of the employers. This is
practically the only way left to keep
our school board clean.
"J. L. Jacobs, efficiency expert,
made a survey previous to mine. He
is another kind of an expert He gives
opinions and I give figures. Both of
our surveys agreed. .When Loeb
saw my figures he requested my re
moval. The job was handed on a
silver platter to Morton McCormac,
the mayor's political boss in the 7th
ward.
"We thank the nrofessnr fnr tho
confirmation of our charges," said
-roi. jueaa or the High School
Teachers' Federation. "He proves
what we have contended for years,
that the public schools are being mis
managed." "It is well Professor Sercombe
came here," Pres. John Fitzpatrick
said. "We know that Jake Loeb is a
stool pigeon placed at the head of the
school board for a bimch over in
Roy O. West's office, that he needs
this job as a cloak of respectability
to throw over his past Why should
the school board keep books, have
you ever heard of a burglar or high
wayman keeping books? He was ap
pointed by a supposedly big man, but
we know that sometimes the smallest
of men take on big shapes and gain
high office.
"What an indictment this situation
is against you and me. Labor has
disregarded religion and race and we
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