OCR Interpretation

The Colfax chronicle. (Colfax, Grant Parish, La.) 1877-1981, September 21, 1912, Image 1

Image and text provided by Louisiana State University; Baton Rouge, LA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88064176/1912-09-21/ed-1/seq-1/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

Absorbed the GRANT PARISH. DEMOCRAT May 1, 11,
1 Democratic 'ournal, devoted to Local and Gnkmral News, Literature, Science, Igriculture, etc.
s isI mm • m m • |s • • m In • mini | imsmm • m
(Continued from Last week.)
Our Public Schools a Failure
Seventeen. Million Children in the United States Handi
capped by a System that is the Most Momentous
Failure in Our American Life To-day.
[The fllowiug severe but truthful and much n eded arraignment of the American pullic w"hool
system. Indicates the nmst practical and ecmmon sense solution we have ever seean as to how the
well known evils In our -hooll system are to be remedled. It Is from the gifted pen of Ella Fran.
res Lynch. In tl,e Ladies' Home Journal of August, 1912. The edurational Iead ,s In Louisiana
u~nld Investlgute this subject and see if they cannot give us a system more In keeping with the
nX% of to-day. This State sufers very greatly from the vIelous and hurtful evils which prenill
at this momuent, antiquated methods and Impractleal results.-Enlivo.]
Do you think I have made good in
my assertions that the American public
school system is absolutely a failure in
its method, its plan and its results?
Can you imagine a more grossly stupid,
a more genuinely asinine system tena
ciously persisted in to the fearful detri
ment of over seventeen million children
and at a cost to you of over four hun
dred spd three million dollars each year
-a system that not only is absolutely
ineffective in its results, but also actu
ally harmful in that it throws every
year ninety-three out of every one hun
dred children into the world of action
absolutely unfitted for even the simplest
tasks in life? Can you wonder that we
have so many inefficient men and wom
en; that in so many families there are
so many failures; that our boys and
\ girls can make so little money that in
the one case they are driven into the
saloons from discouragement, and ia
the other into the brothels to save
themselves frqom starvation? Yet that
is exactly what the public school system
"s to-day doing, and has been doing.
Now we must not condemn the teach
era, the principals or the boards of edu
cation. -The teachers are simply hired
to do their work; they are the victims
of the system just uas much as are the
pupils. The system is laid out for them,
and although thousands of them know'
that it is a pernicious system, it is for
them to do u they are told. A teacher
must press her class along and make a
good showing to the principal of the
school, or else the school suffers in
standing and the teacher is discharged.
The principal is likewise simply a tool; I
he must make a good record to his
board of trustees, and the board of
trustees are usually men who are en- I
grossed in other affairs and are so busy
that they can only give a passive or
passing interest to school affairs. And
so what is everybody's business be- I
comes, as always in such cases, no
body's business.
"But surely, the public sadhool as an
idea is good, it is ladispensible," you
pelt i bewilderment.
good. No idea was better
ws origated; , ide, is betI
to-day; none is more needed to-day. I
It is simply q case of a good thing gone I
fearfully wrong.
"Then bow has its ineffectiveness I
come about?" you ask.
Purely and simply because conditions I
in American life have changed since i
the establishment of the pultlic school I
idea, and the public school has not l
changed with them. The public school
is not American in its origin; it comes i
to us from across the water; it is prin- 1
cipally of Dutch origin. It was graftedI
on to our National life at a time when i
ideas and conditions were different than ,
they are now. Roughly speaking, the I
public school is about fifty years old in
America. It was primarily introduced
as an attempt to universalize learning.
Books were few, folks had no chance
to read. The colleges were only for the
f w. This the colleges saw, but they
also saw that if they could import a
free public method of education that
Go to the Polls on Oct. 8
and vote for
Our fellow-citizen from the
neighboring Parish of Rapides
SRaind Commissioner
would be classical in its tendencies it
would prepare straight for the colleges
and lead numbers to its doors. There
fore the public-school system was fash
ioned to meet a sort of special need: to
feed the colleges; and, natrally, it was
promulgated on the idea of treating all
alike in order to achieve one particular
Investigation had not made the pro
gress then that it has now. There was
a strong, inherent conviction that, as
the Declaration of Independehce said,
all men were created equal--that is,
alike-and that as each child born into
the world was very much like a piece
of blank white paper on which we could
write what we chose, why, what was
easier to conceive of than an education
al system that would treat all children
alike? But we know better now; we
have found out more, and we know that
folks are not born alike; that no two
minds are alike, and that you can't
fashion all after the method of one.
Since that time economic conditions
have changed so that boys go int9 the
the world to work earlier than they did,
because there is more work in the world
for them to do. In the early days this
work was done at home and they help
ed after school hours.
The girl could not go out to work be
cause, first, there wasn't any work
that a girl could do, sad, second, it was
not thought to be "respectable" or
"nice" for a girl to go out to work.
Think of such an idea now!
Gradually the boys and girls who
went from the elementary school to
the high school, and from the high
school to the college, became fewer
and fewer in number. In the last ten
years, for instance, the number has
dwindled from fourteen in every one
hundred to five in every one hundred
children who leave high school for col
lege. The private schools, where pa
rents pay, not the public schools, are
now preparing our boys and and girls
for college. Yet the fact remains that
in spite of this dwindling naumber of
public school pupils, until it has reached
the merest begatelle hardly worth men
tioning, the old idea on which the pub
lic-school system was started-of pre
paring the boy or girl for college-is
still in vogue. In other words, the
public-school course of study is still
planned as if every pupil in it is going
to college, whereas only five pupils,
now, in every one hundred actually go
from the public school to the college.
Do you see?
And all this time, to meet the require
ments of the other ninety-five who'do
not go to college, absolutely nothing
is offered; nothing is done. Nothing,
in any way, is offered to fit ninety-five
out of every one hundred girls and boys
for practical lives. That is the faihlre
of the public school; it has not changed
with the times; it has stuck absolutely
eldpe to the old classical idea which no
longer holds good.
The best proof of this statement is
in the kempts made here and there
in the ab to introduce manual train
ing for h and domestic science for
girls. But these attempts are scatter
ed; they are not sufficiently general to
make an impression. Yet where ever
these courses have been introduced
hundreds of pupils have flocked to them,
and in every case these manual-train
ing and domestic-science courses have
been overcrowded. But these courses
are again being grafted on; they do
not form, as they should, the basis on
which the whole idea of public educa
tion-which is now not to fit boys and
girls for colleges but for practical life
in the world--should rest. They are
made a branch of the educational tree,
whereas they should be made the trunk.
This practical idea of a practical fitting
of our boys and girls for a practical life
should permeate the whole system from
top to bottom. Even where it is being
introduced it must not be overlooked
that it is principally in the high schools,
and I have already shown that only
seven out of every one hundred boys
and girls ever reach the high school.
In other words, not a particle of practi
cal education reaches those ninety-three
boys and girls who stop at the elemen
tary school and who leave all school at
about the age of sixteen.
What is the result in our lives to-day?
See the far reaching results. No mat
ter whether we go into the question of
the prevailing marital unhappiness, of
divorce, or cruelty to children, of the
mortality of children, of the saloon, of
high prices, of the low wages paid to
the average person, or of the social
evil, the root of any one of these ques
tions can be traced straight back to
one point: inefficiency; the inefficient
girl who does not know how to run her
home or care for her baby; the ineffi
cient boy, who, knowing no trade, finds
it either hard or impossible to get lucra
tive work and becomes discouraged.
Inefficiency is to-day the chief curse of
American life, and it is because the
public school is turning out thousands
of inefficient workers: the girl ineffi
cient for the home; the boy inefficient
for work.
Take just one instance that I quote
from Mr. W. D. Lewis, Principal of
the William Penn High School for girls,
in Philadelphia, and it is an excellent
illustration of thousands of similar
John Doe, aged twenty-two, and
Mary Roe, aged twenty, fell in love.
John was a clerk earning eighteen dol
lars a week. Mary was the daughter
of a department-store buyer who earn
ed twenty-five hundred dollars a year.
As the courtship became serious John
began to save money. After the usual
hesitation and misgivings on the part
of Mary's parents the couple was mar
Mary had developed no very extrava
gant notions on her father's twenty-five
hundred a year, and so exhibited the
usual incompetent, bridish ectasy in
starting life in a twenty-dollar-a-month
fiat, furnished with the four hundred
dollars. John had saved. The young
couple did not figure out expenses much
in detail, but of course they knew that
if Mary did the housework they could,
live on what John had been paying for
his board. What a comforting delusion
that is of Cupid's, that two can live as
cheaply as one!
John ate the first biscuits, and took
a pepsin tablet; he tackled the first pie
and discovered that he didn't care for
any dessert that night; he choked down
the burnt steak, and ultimately landed
at the free-lunch couter of the saloon.
The next time he came home and found
the house and Mary's temper in disor
der he went to the billiard-room for the
evening, and cashed in his pool checks
at the bar for something to take the
place of the meal he could not eat at
Mary found herself shabby after her
trodbseau was worn out. Of course the
little bark was wrecked on the matri
monial rocks. Yet Mary had spent
four years in the public school [it would
be four years in high school, or twelve
years in public schools], and at piblic
expense had passed first-year Latin,
Caesar, Cicero and Virgil, had had
three years of German, three years of
algebra and geometry, two years of
Costisned on page 8.
The Men Who Scceed
as heads of large enterprises are men
of great energy. Success, to-day, de
mands health. To adl is to falL Its
utter folley for a man to endure a weak,
run-down, half alive condition when
Electric Bitters will put him right on
his feet in short order. "Four bottles
did me more real good than any other
medicine I ever took," writes Chas. B.
Allen, Sylvania, 6( 'After years of
eforeing with tbeum&tism, iive' tte
s stom- h disodero, and deruaged
kitdhbys, I am again, thanks to Electric
I~ s wasound and well.' Try th
Out o eent at DI e Pbmsho.e,
Many Driven From Home.
Every year, in many parts of the
country, thousands al driven from
their homes by coughs and lung diseases.
Friends and business are left behind
for other climates, }ut this is costly
and not always surd. A better way
the way of multitudes-is to use Dr.
King's New Discovery and cure your
self at home. Stay right there, with
your friendRiand take this safe medi
cine. Throat and lung troubles find
quick relief and health returns. Its
help in coughs, colds, grip, croup, sore
lungs and whooping-cough make it a
positive blessing. 50c and $1.00. Trial
bottle free. Guaranteen by Dixie Phar
To the Democrats of L.uasilna.
At the recasnt meeting in Chicago of
the Democratic National Committee it
was decided to appeal to the Democrat
iD press of the country to open their
columns to popular subscriptions to the
fund necessary to defray the legitimate
expenses of the campaign of Gov. Wood=
row Wilson and his running mate, Gov.
Thomas R. Marshall.
By the action of the convention at
Baltimore and by the position since
taken by its nominee the party has vol
untarily cut itself off from the financial
sapport of the money power and the
predatory interests. Gov. Wilson hes
declared his intention to scrutinize the
subscriptions to the end of rejecting
those which bear the taint of selfish
corporate interests.
The Democratic party stands reso
lutely against the corrupt use of money
in the campaign. But a vast sum will
be required to meet the legitimate
needs of the militant Democracy in the
pivotal States which will decide the
complexion of the next National Ad
To raise that sum by a popular sub
scription in every State in the Union
will not be a difficult task. Four years
ago, when prospects were finitely less
flattering, the Democratic masses of
Loujsiana subscribed $25,000 to aid the
Demoeratic campaign. It was by far
the largest subscription of any Southern
State. It ranked with the subscrip
tions of the three or four States in the
whole country which stood at the head
of the roll of honor. It gave Louisiana
one of the prominent seats at the coun
sel table of the National Democracy.
Louisiana ought to do as well in 1912
as she did in 1908.
As the Democratic National Commit
teeman from Louisiana and as a mem
ber of the Executive Committee which
Gov. Wilson and Chairman Win. F. Mc
Combs have selected to manage the Na
tional Campaign, I have opened through
the columns of the States and the
Shreveport Times, subscription lists for
this purpose.
I earnestly request every Democratic
newspaper in Louisiana to reproduce
this address and similarly to open its
columns for subscriptions, each of
which, if transmitted to me, I shall be
glad also to acknowledge in the States.
I appeal to every Democrat in Louisi
ana, whatever his station, for his co
operation in this movement. There
will be no limit on the amount of indi
vidual subscriptions. Whatever any
Democrat feels he la able to give, be it
large or small, will be gratefully ac
cepted, duly acknowledged in the col
umns of *-States and the Shreveport
Times and romptly transmitted to the
National Committee.
Rosarr EwNo,
National Committeeman.
Governor Hall has issued the follow
ing call:
lb the Dewocrata of Leuiassau
Having been elected by the Demo
cratic National Campaign Committee as
a member and chairman for the State
of Louisiana of its Onaho committee, I
hereby solicit campaign contribution.
from all Democrata and earnestly urge
each to contribute asu~iberally as be is
able todo. Itis hlisapartyduty thus to
assist in winning the great vidcto*y
pmrmised by the zomln.tioa of Governor
The people of LouIasiana have a pe
cellar interest in this campaign as a re
suit of the advanced position taken by
the party in its platform in relation to
the subject of the improvement of the
Missisippi river and in committing the
party to the policy of assuming charge
of the great work of protecting the
people living along its eourse from in
All contributions may be mamde direct
ly to me or thrugham y newspaper in
the State undertaking to` mseceive con
tributiens. Ia. 3 HALL
lor 6 doses 8 will busak anme
of chies and fever; and if taken then as
a toni the Saver wil ot n ro sae
,. , . ' , . . ;  . . : "  o , ,.;
-9 -
He-.qwtefar .r
School Books Sold FOR CASH ONLY
,,, IA & A'"K. R'-wayi '
The "Eva e- Timr " Lim .
Double Daily Pas.en- Quick and R-i . a
ger Service Friht Seie
Jl/exandria, ?9Ifnnfield, *S1eper,
eWna, 'bley, and 2Prdo, .i.,
amps and ope, r
I PAt. I & A. IT, m C . D om - - -a
hs for Sale
. ° , .~

xml | txt