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Organizations in churches are not confined to any one denomination, but reports show that they are organized in Methodist, Christian, Baptist, Congregational, Reformed, and Presbyterian Churches. The only States reporting these organizations are Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New llampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, but it is probable that other States have similar organizations.
CONFERENCE ON HOME EDUCATION The second national conference on home education was called by the United States Commissioner of Education at the University of Minnesota in May, 1924, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. Librarians and directors of extensions, as well as leaders in parent-teacher associations, were brought together to discuss problems of adult education of common interest to the whole group. Thirty-three States were represented by a total of 80 delegates, and more than 600 people were in attendance.
The program consisted of discussions on the place of the university extension service in a cooperative plan for the extension of educational opportunities; on cooperation for adult education; courses for parents; the library in the home education movement; how libraries educate; what parent-teacher associations can do for libraries; a State library commission conducting home reading courses; the educational adviser in the public library; practical methods in cooperation in educating for parenthood; psychic values in the home; literature in the home, etc.
The outcome of this conference was the appointment of a national committee of seven to study the whole subject of home education. It consisted of two representatives each of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, the National University Extension Association, and the American Library Association, and one member from the Bureau of Education.
A report of this conference was issued by the Bureau of Education entitled, “Cooperation in Adult Education," Home Education Circular No. 6, 1925.
SCHOOL-IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATIONS Excellent results have been accomplished by an organization of school patrons called "school-improvement associations,” which developed in the Southern States some years ago to meet a special need. A few States are still using these organizations as a means of school betterment. In Alabama the division of school and community betterment is an integral part of the State department of education and is supported by State funds. At the request of the State parent-teacher associations, this division includes the organization of parent-teacher associations in its activities. A director of community organization is in charge of this work and organizes school-improvement associations or parent-teacher associations at the request of local communities.
It was reported in 1922 that Arkansas had 600 or more schoolimprovement associations with a membership of approximately 15,000. Since that time, however, the growth and development of parent-teacher associations has reached the point of state-wide organization.
The school-improvement league of the State of Maine was organized in 1898 and was probably the first organization of the kind in the United States. It is an informal organization toward which the State department of education, through an agent for rural education, exercises informal supervision. These leagues are made up of both parents and children. There is no chief State executive officer, but each league has its own staff of officers, whose duties are determined more or less by the individual school. The school-improvement league is a distinctly rural project in the State of Maine, for the larger towns and cities maintain a State parent-teacher association.
A school community organizer, under the direction of the State superintendent of public instruction, organizes school-improvement associations in South Carolina. The work is financed by State funds and by the funds raised by the organizations. The purpose is to unite all the people of the community in the interest of school improvement. Prizes have been awarded to schools making the greatest material improvement during each year. The prize money is used in school improvement. This movement has the active support of the South Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs.
Among organizations of state-wide significance, the community leagues of the Cooperative Education Association of Virginia represent one of the most successful. They provide avenues of cooperation between the citizen and the official in building better community life in Virginia. This movement has the approval and support of the State department and of the governor. Its membership is 75,453, in 1,971 leagues, and is directed by a board made up of officials and citizens. Local leagues operate in the respective communities, and a county organization is maintained.
The activities of these leagues show that they interest themselves in almost every activity in the State, including the county Sunday school convention, the tobacco growers association, county medical society, preservation of antiquities, health clinics, schools' educational programs, public libraries, tuberculosis clinics, home and farm demonstration; and it appears that every curative, preventive, and constructive agency in the State has been influenced by the organization.
· The organization of parents and teachers in Virginia, begun in
1920, is also recognized by State officials. Its purposes are confined to education and child welfare, and it is financed by per capita dues.
RURAL PARENT-TEACHER ORGANIZATIONS The State of Delaware with its typically rural conditions has parent-teacher associations in 84 per cent of the school districts outside of the city of Wilmington.
The plan used in Delaware was the basis of the demonstration in rural organizations in parent-teacher associations in North Dakota, which was initiated in 1924 by the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. It was intended to demonstrate organization and development of rural parent-teacher associations as an inspiration for all States. This State was chosen because of its typical rural conditions, with nearly 5,000 rural schools, and because of the sympathetic State educational system.
Local agencies in North Dakota have organized whole communities of foreign-born people into parent-teacher groups, and good citizenship has been thus promoted. This has been accomplished usually with the cooperation of the county superintendent of schools.
In one section of the State, Sioux Indian women wearing shawls and moccasins organized a parent-teacher association. Not only Indian women, but Indian men participated in the organization. The majority of the 50 people attending the meeting were Indians.
LITERATURE OF PARENT-TEACHER ASSOCIATIONS With the growth of parent-teacher associations a demand has developed for literature for programs and for printed material for propaganda. The Child Welfare Magazine, which is the official organ of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, was for many years the only periodical issued for these organizations. As the incomes of State parent-teacher associations have increased, monthly bulletins have been issued. These bulletins are usually issued to provide a medium for the exchange of plans and results and an opportunity to give and receive help.
In Michigan, it is reported that the parent-teacher bulletin was distributed free to more than 40,000 members. The State organization obtained the assistance of the schools in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, and Battle Creek, in printing the bulletins.
During the past biennium an increasing number of leaflets and bulletins have been issued by the National and State organizations showing by their subjects the attempt that committees are making to strengthen and guide State and local committees.
CHAPTER XVI REVIEW OF EDUCATIONAL LEGISLATION, 1923 AND
By William R. Hoon,
CONTENTS.-Introduction-New school codes- Educational surveys-State departments of
education-County school organization-The county superintendent-Local school units—Public-school support-The school term--Teachers-School attendancePhysical education and school health--Physically and mentally handicapped children- Conclusion
Within the two-year period covered by this review all States held sessions of their legislative assemblies; and in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia, whose legislatures meet annually, there were two sessions. In all there were passed approximately 1,400 educational measures, exclusive of acts of local application and ordinary appropriation bills. This shows an interest in public education which should be gratifying, but in some previous biennial periods there was considerably more school legislation. In the biennium 1919–20, for example, there were passed more than 1,600 educational acts of general application within the respective States where passed.
During a period of one or two years after the close of the World War school legislation flourished. Out of the war had come a new interest in physical education and school hygiene, Americanization, the removal of illiteracy; in short, improvement of the school system all along the line; and this new interest found expression in a large body of constructive school legislation. But by 1921, an odd year in which 42 legislatures were in session, a different temper of the popular mind was making itself felt in State legislatures. From this it soon became plain that in many of the States few, if any, forward steps could be expected in school legislation; in fact, there was positive fear in some quarters that the schools might suffer distinct loss, particularly in the matter of financial support. In most of the States the development of new movements during this period is therefore wanting; and, moreover, new or especially significant phases of older movements and practices are not much in evidence. 27301°—27 -20