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About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1901)
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM.
Editor Conservative :
The Conservative of November 28 ,
strikes at the very root of many of
the evils existing today , when it dis
cusses the public sehool system in
such a masterly manner. We look to
the rising generation for our nation's
perpetuation ; a strong and perfect
system of education can correct many
evils , while a weak and fad-ridden
system , lacking the technique of ex
perience and skill , will over-ride the
good we may expect to accrue from
the influence of home , pulpit and
When widely read journals take up
this great question , we may look for
results ; but so long as the purely edu
cational publications alone discuss it ,
ti3 ! question follows a circle , every
member of which knows the truth ,
but is powerless to remedy the defect.
If cause and effect may be studied
for a solution of the great questions
of science and politics , why not apply
a little of the same romcdy to the
solution of the public school question ?
Like causes produce like effects ,
whether the subject be science , poli
tics , or the public school system.
That our school system is not perfect
is admitted by every one ; our present
system is excelled by few ever tried
on this revolving cylinder , however ,
but we may improve the present sys
tem in many of its details by a care
ful study of cause and effect.
If a manufacturer should apply the
same tactics to a business proposition
that the present system of public edu
cation applies to the public school
system , his nuancial standing could
not long bo maintained. The life of
a public school teacher ( as an instruc
tor ) is about three years ! Now , if a
manufacturer should change his whole
operating force , from master mechan
ic down , once every three years and
always take on a set of untried work
men , he surely could not long com
pete in the markets of the world.
Then , if all the force of his great fac
tory should play "stage coach" once
a year and his painter should get the
place of his blacksmith , his driver got
the place of his bookkeeper , antl his
book-keeper get the place of his host
ler , the situation would become so
ridiculous that Bradstrcct would de
cline giving him a financial or busi
But this is the condition that exists
iu the school system ; there is a game
of "stage coach" played , not only in
the teaching force , but in the control
ling force as well. We see the same
effect produced by a like cause , in our
national government ; once every four
years comes ihe business stagnation ,
until election is over ; so , once a year ,
in pur schools , there is a break in the
, - . >
momentum of educational interests
and one third of the experience is re
placed by inexperience. This effect
is far worse than the quadrennial
game of "stage coach" played by the
government as the whole force of
school management is in the game.
The momentum of a failing body is
equal to the mjnitre of the time multi
plied by the distance it falls in one
unit of time. If a teacher or school
officer produces one good point in one
year ( or units of time ) , why should ho
not accomplish four points in two
years , nine points iu three years , six
teen points in four years and so on to
the limit of his capacity ? Of course
this momentum would be governed by
the amount of friction to bo overcome
in the medium through which the
This same law is applied in the
business world until we find employees
so valuable to their employers that
their salarj * equals the compensation
of the president of the United States.
The only solution for all the vexing
questions arising from the defects of
our school system seems to me is found
in this :
Raise the standard and give a reasonable
enable assurance of tenure , that the
avocation of teaching may become an
established vocation. Every other
calling , worthy of the name , has by
one means or another a tenure of
office. The doctor , the lawyer , the
preacher , may not bo deposed and de
nied the right to practice his profes
sion by one irresponsible man. If
one community be denied him , there
is always a force at his command to
establish him in another field ; not so
the teacher ho must risk his only
means of support \ipou \ the caprice of
one man who is often illy qualified to
pass judgment on his powers to in
struct , and -who considers not these
powers but other points not germane
to the question.
You have the cause before you
which produces nine-tenths of the evil
effects of the present school system.
A solution of the proposition is not
easy ; the American people guard
very jealously the elective power ( and
they should ) . The teacher will network
work it out for himself "the game
is not worth the candle , " other call
ings will entice him and he will seek
a more stable footing in the com
munity in which ho hopes to become
more than a mere transient.
It is well that our influential jour
nals are taking up this question as it is
vital to the life of our nation. We
must make teaching a profession
wherein the best talent can find a com
fortable living , an assurance of tenure
and a permanent place iu the com
munity where his influence will be
feltor God pity the coming fad-ridden ,
over-worked , incompetent generations.
E. E. BLAOKMAN.
Rooa , Neb. , Deo. 5 , 1901.
Morton's Conservative is uneasy be
cause idiocy in Nebraska is on the in
crease. One reason assigned for this
increase is that so many half-witted
people get married. There never was a
good without an evil. Marriage is
essential to happiness and the silly
marry the same as the wise. If idiocy
is increasing it is a sad thing to think
about so here goes for something else.
NEW ANNOTATED CODE.
A lawyer cannot meet competition
nor can he properly protect the rights of
his clients unless he has the latest and
best works on practice.
The latest work on this subject is
Oobbey's Annotated Code ; citing under
each section , in a full and complete
note , each decision of our Supreme
court , Supreme Court of the United
States and Federal courts bearing on
It is a digest or index of the decisions
on the section under consideration.
The citations are not only to the
official reports but to the Northwestern
Reporter , the Supreme Court.Reporter ,
American Reports and Decisions , and
Lawyers' Reports Annotated. Under
some sections there are ten pages of
The work is commended in the high
est terms by both bench and bar.
Bound in full law sheep , price $6.00.
Sample pages furnished on application.
Don't say you will order tomorrow or
next week , but take a postal and order
now. J. E. COBBEY ,
Beatrice , Neb.
Don't Stop Work
Our free booklet "Are Your Hands Tied ! "
tells 'how wo can qualify you in spare time
for a salaried position lu Mechanical , Civil ,
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State which you want.
INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOLS.
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CTtT , 111
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