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sufficiently large to justify the employment of an independent principal who should be responsible for the direction of the school unit. This principal should be a person with the gifts and the training to assume real educational leadership of the school unit intrusted to his direction. The committee believes that the buildings hereafter erected should have at least 16 classrooms when erected, or should be so planned that their extension into a large unit is easily possible.
The committee further believes that in each such unit there should be an assembly hall and gymnasium, together with adequate play space.
* In addition, the committee indorses the policy of providing for manual training, domestic science, and domestic art, as an integral part of such school facilities, wherever classes in grades 7 and 8 are to be instructed.
JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS.
The committee believes that the junior high schools have passed beyond the experimental stage. From evidence submitted the committee believes that the organization of public education into six years of primary work, three years of junior high school work, and three years of senior high school work has received the approval of the leading educators of the country. The committee believes that this organization of the schools should be indorsed for the District of Columbia, and should be extended throughout the school system as opportunities arise. Such extensions should provide not only the customary academic and scholastic training, but should include an increased amount of vocational and prevocational work for both boys and girls who leave school before completing their senior high school course.
The committee recognizes that play is an indispensable part of the life of all children. Play and recreation are coming to play a larger and larger part not only in the school life of pupils, but among adults. Every community that undertakes to meet satisfactorily the demands upon it must provide opportunity for play and recreation. Every system of efficient education looks upon playgrounds as an indispensable part of the school program. Modern schoolhouse construction not only provides for gymnasiums for indoor physical training, but playgrounds for outdoor exercise and training whenever weather conditions permit. The committee believes that the playground facilities should be greatly increased.
THE PUBLIC LIBRARY AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
From the statements of the public librarian who appeared before the committee it is evident that the Public Library now renders a large and efficient service and that such service is well coordinated with the work of the schools. But it is also evident that the library's resources and equipment are altogether inadequate to meet the legitimate demands for library service alike of school and adult population.
The library staff, though well trained, is underpaid and is insufficient in numbers to do present work. Book and other maintenance funds
are meager. But perhaps the most striking feature of the needs of the library is that it has no system of branch libraries such as is to be found in comparable cities. With but the central library and one suburban branch library the public library practically does not exist for the great majority of the population of the District. The main library is centrally situated, is efficiently administered, has a good children's department, furnishing skilled service to young folks, including an extensive system of book distribution through the schools, but it is located in the midst of dangerous traffic conditions. In spite of that fact swarms of children, some of whom come long distances, make large and profitable use of its privileges. Clearly the library should have a system of branch libraries so distributed that they will furnish library service reasonably near the homes of the entire population of the District. Just as there should be in Washington the best of public-school systems, a model for the entire country, so there should be here the best of public library systems, also a model for the entire country. The work of its central library children's room and its system of book distribution through the schools are now often studied by people from outside Washington. But so long as its work is confined to a congested central library and one suburban branch, it can neither meet the needs of Washington nor can it have much to show to people from other cities where library service has been much more highly developed. Comparison with other cities shows that Cincinnati, slightly larger, has 24 branches, 14 in separate buildings, and that the following smaller cities have more branches than Washington: Minneapolis, 16 branches, 10 in separate buildings; Indianapolis, 18 branches, 11 in separate buildings; Portland, Oreg., 17 branches, 11 in separate buildings; Louisville, 12 branches, 9 in separate buildings; and Oakland, Calif., 13 branches, 4 in separate buildings.
Last year there was included in the second deficiency bill in conjunction with the emergency appropriation for the school building program an appropriation of $10,000 for the purchase of a site for a branch library, and a branch library building has now been erected on a fine site in southeast Washington, with $67,000 supplied by the Carnegie Corporation. This branch was opened in December, 1922, and already has large use. The library trustees plan to erect five additional separate branch libraries, all in the thickly built up portions of the District, located, respectively, in Mount Pleasant, in Georgetown, in northeast Washington, in southwest Washington, and in the vicinity of Dupont Circle. The District appropriation bill for 1924 provides $25,000 for a site for the Mount Pleasant branch and the Carnegie Corporation has allotted $100,000 for the building. In spite of the delay since 1903, when Andrew Carnegie offered to give the necessary money * * * to build branch library buildings from time to time as the trustees call on me to do so," the library trustees hope to induce the Carnegie Corporation to furnish the money for these branch library buildings. The committee believes that these separate branch libraries are needed, and Congress should make the appropriations for the purchase of the necessary sites.
DR. THOMAS E. FINEGAN'S REPORT ON DISTRICT OF
COLUMBIA SCHOOLS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING THE SCHOOL SYSTEM.
At the request of the committee Dr. Thomas E. Finegan, superintendent of public instruction of Pennsylvania, made a special survey of the schools of the District of Columbia.
Doctor Finegan made a thorough investigation of conditions here. His report is comprehensive and constructive, and has been of great value to this committee in arriving at the conclusions submitted herewith.
Doctor Finegan's report is as follows:
THE LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH THE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRA
TION OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM SHOULD BE FOUNDED.
Washington is generally regarded by educators of standing throughout the country as being an unprogressive city in educational affairs. It is not only regarded as unprogressive in public education, but it is also regarded as one of the most difficult cities in the country in which to administer a public-school system. The general policies which the educational authorities of the city have adopted for the operation and administration of public education are regarded as modern, progressive, and conforming to the best practice of the country. The superintendent of schools and his professional staff are regarded as competent and progressive and rank among the most effective public school administrators of the country.
The backwardness of Washington in public education, the slowness with which reforms are inaugrated in the school system, the inadequate school facilities provided for the children of the city, the failure to develop a more advanced junior high school policy, the lack of proper provision for the education of the mentally and physically handicapped children, the unsatisfactory conditions due to retardation, and the other limitations in the courses of study, and the failure to equalize educational opportunity are traceable to the fundamental defects in the legal provisions for the administration of the school system.
There is not a defect in the school system of Washington which has not been repeatedly pointed out by the superintendent of schools and adequate remedies suggested for correcting such defects. The machinery, however, through which such defects and limitations must be corrected is too cumbersome and complicated to be effective.
It is generally presumed that the Board of Education is responsible for the administration of the school system, and that such body has the power and authority to correct wrongs and inequalities in school facilities and to organize and administer a school system which will meet the needs and demands of the children living in the Capital City of the Nation. Unfortunately this is not the fact in the city of Washington. The Board of Education does not possess the necessary authority to accomplish the great outstanding purpose for which it was established.
No greater responsibility rests upon an official body in the city of Washington than that of providing adequate facilities for the education of its 65,000 boys and girls. This responsibility should be placed squarely upon the Board of Education beyond any question, and adequate power and authority should be conferred by Congress upon such board to enable it to discharge this vital obligation.
Divided responsibility results in delay, in inefficiency, and in waste. The limitations in the powers of the Board of Education and the exercise of functions pertaining to the administration of the schools by municipal and Government officials which should be exercised by such board, renders that body an ineffective agency for the administration of public education. It is wholly impossible for the Board of Education to move forward with a modern, effective public-school program so long as municipal and Government agencies may legally interfere with the board's plans and veto its general policies.
The official records of the Board of Education show that the broad general policies which that body has formulated for putting real life and energy into the school system, have been repeatedly defeated by municipal or Government agencies and yet the Board of Education is presumed under the law to be responsible for the development of school policies and the administration of the schools. The record shows that in such purely professional affairs as the appointment of teachers and the determination of their qualifications, municipal or Government officials have lield up for months the action of the Board of Education. Under actual practice the auditors of the Board of Education may exercise more authority in determining general school policies than the Board of Education.
The Board of Education exercises no real authority in the preparation of the budget for the operation of the schools. The record shows that the Board of Commissioners of the city reduced the budget of the Board of Education for the current year $2,516,306. In making these reductions the Board of Commissioners exercised its own judgment in cutting approximately $200,000 out of the budget. In fixing the budget for the operation of the schools, in the expenditure of funds appropriated for the schools, and in the general plan of accounting, the present policy is bound to create friction and misunderstanding and to result in great injury to educational interests. The men and women who have faithfully served the children of Washington by membership on the Board of Education under these intolerable conditions have shown a fine spirit of public service.
The whole trouble in Washington's educational problems grows out of a misconception of the relation of education to municipal affairs. Washington differs from all other cities in the legal foundation of its school system. Washington is the only city in the country not located within the boundaries of a State. It has not been possible, therefore, to apply the fundamental American principle that “education is a function of the State” to this city. Public education in each State is regulated by a mandate of the State
35 Ohool Di; Bawerth,
constitution, and in each State education is therefore regulated and administered upon the theory that education is not simply a matter of local or municipal concern, but that the welfare of the State as a whole depends upon an educated citizenship. The interest of the State in education extends into every section and corner of the State. In the language of the several State constitutions all the schools of a State are regarded as one confederated whole constituting a State system, and under the general control and supervision of the State. In other words, education is not in America a local or a municipal affair. This general principle has always been sustained by the courts. There is not a leading case to the contrary. (Gunnison v. Board of Education, 176 N. Y. 11; Füller v. Heath, 89 Ill. 312; State v. Freeman, 61 Kans. 93; Clark v. Howerth, 122 Ind. 93; Marshall v. Donovan, 10 Bush, Ky. 681; Bank v. Brainerd School Dist., 49 Minn. 106; Ford v. School Dist., 121 Pa. 543; State ex rel. v. Board of Education, 35 Ohio, 369; Rawson v. Spencer, 113 Mass. 44; People v. Calder, 30 Mich. 85; Eastman v. Meredith, 36 N. H. 284.)
This principle should be applied to Washington in the administration of its schools. The public schools should not be regarded as a part of the political and municipal affairs of Washington. The education of the boys and girls of Washington should not be associated with, or made a part of, the municipal affairs of the city. The public schools should serve no other purpose in the city than to provide the best possible opportunity to prepare boys and girls for service-for citizenship. Washington, the Capital City of the Nation, should possess the best schools to be found in America. The schools of Washington should be made the model schools of the land. School administrators and students of the great social, economic, and educational problems of the day should be making pilgrimages to Washington to examine the best schools in the country and to witness at the seat of the National Government that great vital agency of democracy—the American public school-in its most perfect and comprehensive form, which is to preserve forever the institutions, the traditions, and the ideals of our fathers and to shape and influence the destinies of mankind everywhere. The Nation is going to exact that this action shall be taken. The leaders in education in the Nation believe that no stronger influence to improve educational facilities and practices in this country could be exerted than the establishment of a modern public school system in the city of Washington. The National Education Association at Boston, in July, 1922, adopted the following resolution:
We look to the city of Washington for leadership in matters of school administration, supervision, teaching, business management, and for the development of a sane, well-balanced, and progressive educational program in city schools. In a special sense the schools of the Capital City belong to the Nation. In behalf of the Nation we ask Congress to create a board of education for the city of Washington which shall be entirely free from party control, to have direct charge of its own financial budget and with a secure financial income sullicient to make these schools worthy of the Capital City of the Nation.
No program in education, no matter how well conceived and formulated. can accomplish this result unless the whole legal organization for the administration of the schools of Washington is radically modified. The experiences of the large cities of the country have revealed the vicious practices which have retarded educational