« PrejšnjaNaprej »
prevails the whole spelling reform movement will be throttled in the house of its friends and this great organization will stand .before the world self-stultified and discredited.
We all noted with surprise in the papers this morning the action of our new board of directors last evening instructing our secretary to use hereafter the old spellings of "tho," "thru," "thoro" and their compounds. That resolution was introduced at the close of a strenuous session, after some directors had left the meeting and while others were engaged in the committee-room. No notice had been given that the subject would be brought up. By twelve ayes and eight nays, and without any discussion whatever, the resolution was passed, and this, the largest and most influential educational organization in the world, was made to appear in the dispatches this morning as trifling not only with its own record and dignity, but with a subject which by its own example and teaching for ten years the public has begun to regard as worthy of serious consideration. This resolution was introduced and passed not only in defiance of fair play but in defiance of the well-known sentiment of a large majority of our membership.
This is the first instance in all the ten years of this spelling agitation among us, in which any important action has been proposed without giving opportunity for full discussion— the first instance of what was not conspicuously a square deal.
The real question before us is, shall we indorse this reactionary step taken by our board of directors, or shall we assert our supremacy and countermand its order? You are the supreme court to settle this question. I cannot think for one moment that you are going to strike out the vital clause from this resolution.
Ten years ago this organization thru its board of directors, instructed its secretary to adopt thereafter in all official publications and correspondence such simplified spellings as have been recommended by a committee consisting of Dr. W. T. Harris, Superintendent Soldan of St. Louis, and Superintendent Balliet of Springfield, Mass.
From that day to this these twelve so-called N. E. A. short spellings have been used in all matter put forth by this Association, and thru the influence of its authority and example these short forms have grown gradually but constantly in public favor and use.
For four years, as you know, a proposition was pending before this Association, to give a considerable sum annually to foster this movement. Altho our active membership declared itself overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition, our constituted authorities prevented action upon it until such action became needless thru the courage of one of our philanthropic millionaires who stepped into the breech and offered the necessary funds, if a satisfactory number of prominent business and educational men would positively identify themselves with this cause and take personal charge of the expenditure of the money in promoting it.
This explains the origin of the Simplified Spelling Board, the creation of which is directly due to discussions and actions in this body or in the Department of Superintendence, a board on which several of your prominent members have seats and an influential voice. On this board there is not a man whose record and prominence in education, or science, or literature, or business, does not entitle his judgment to the confidence and indorsement of every man or woman in or out of this Association. There is not a single spelling reform zealot or fanatic on that board. They are level-headed, sensible, cautious, but progressive men-not only President Roosevelt, United States judges, and university presidents and professors, but the editor-in chief of every English dictionary of any prominence either in this country or in England. Not a man among them who, for a moment, would countenance any extreme or impracticable step.
This is the board whose first practical recommendation our committee advises us to instruct our secretary to follow hereafter. Shall we stand by this board, for whose existence we are so largely responsible, or shall we desert it at this critical period?
Everybody knows that the 300 shorter spellings which constitute this first step consist of the simpler of two different spellings, both of which are fully established by good usage
and dictionary authority. There is not a word in the list which in any real sense can be called a new spelling.
It is stated by those who ought to know better that no publications have as yet adopted the N. E. A. spellings; that these spellings have made no headway. I hold in my hand a printed list of over 100 periodicals which now regularly use these twelve simpler forms or others of their own choosing. Here are the New York Independent, the Springfield Republican, the Toronto Globe, the Minneapolis Journal, the Literary Digest, the Medical World, the New York School Journal, and a number of scientific and trade journals. One of the leading dailies of this city (Los Angeles) has had under consideration the adoption of the N. E. A. spellings. Is there any truth or sense in saying that this does not indicate progress? What more can reasonably be asked? I am credibly informed that some of our leading monthlies are considering the formation of a league looking to the simultaneous adoption of the shorter spellings recommended by the Simplified Spelling Board. So potent have been the authority and example of this Association that the twelve N. E. A. spellings are now generally regarded as fairly well authorized. Today you will scarcely find an educational institution, or a city or county school superintendent or examining board in this whole country outside of the most benighted and backwoods districts who wishes or dares to discriminate against these short spellings when they appear in the manuscripts of pupils and teachers. The educated public now clearly accepts them as permissive forms. Yet, in spite of all this, we are now compelled to combat here an effort to have this organization turn its face backward in this matter and bring upon itself discredit and ridicule.
Nothing has occurred to justify this backward step. The cause is progressing. A well organized board, with funds in hand, almost the direct offspring of this Association, is now in the field to head this movement. It deserves, and it ought to have, and I believe it will have, our indorsement to the full extent indicated in the resolution reported by our committee.
I move as a substitute for the motion now pending that section 14 be allowed to stand as it is.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: That motion would be out of order.
MR. VAILE: I move as a substitute for the motion now pending, that section 14 be allowed to stand as read: Seconded.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: That motion is in order and is now open for discussion. MR. GREENWOOD: Ten years ago I was one of eighteen directors who voted for the use of the list of twelve words, when seventeen directors voted against it. I state this to show that this has been understood to be the business of the Board of Directors. Now, if this mass meeting is to pass on matters of this kind, we could include 1,200 words just as well as 300. The point I make is, that it is the Board of Directors which should direct. This resolution proposes to direct the administrative policy of the Association when it has no authority to direct. I want my objection to go on record, because this is a legal question. We can here in this meeting express our opinions, but we should not assume to direct in matters that belong to the administrative body.
MISS SHIRLEY: I am in favor of progress, and opposed to taking any backward step. If this reform spelling was good last year, it is good this year. I know of no higher tribunal than the teachers themselves. If our directors do not do as we wish, we will depose them and not be run by a clique. Let us not stultify ourselves. I, as a teacher, have worked on this old spelling many years; as a pupil, I learned it, but I am not proficient in it today. Let us have something that is sensible.
MR. VAILE: I am sorry that my friend from Missouri has befogged this question. The Board of Directors is supreme in financial and administrative questions, but this spelling question is not an administrative question.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: The question is on the substitute offered by Mr.
The President, in answer to a question, stated that only active members should vote on Mr. Vaile's motion to leave section 14 as read by Chairman Van Liew.
MR. VAILE: I call for a rising vote.
A rising vote was ordered, which resulted in the motion being carried by 209 to 23. It was, however, impossible to determine if all voting were active members of the Association.
On motion, the Declaration of Principles was then adopted by a general vote of the convention, the vote not being confined to active members.
Chairman Van Liew then read the balance of the report of the Committee on Resolutions as follows:
Resolved, That we recognize in the presence at our meeting of an official delegation of distinguished representatives of the Ministry of Public Instruction of the United States of Mexico, an event of the first importance in the future relations of the American republics. We hail their coming as the auspicious beginning of educational interchange with neighboring nations, an interchange by which each country shall learn valuable lessons from the other, and which cannot fail to be of the utmost importance, therefore, to the future development of both. And we take this opportunity to transmit to the teachers of the Republic of Mexico the assurance of our very great interest and satisfaction in the work which they have already accomplished, and are now striving to accomplish thru the agencies of public instruction.
Resolved, That we express to Doctor William T. Harris, who has retired since our last meeting from his post as Commissioner of Education, sentiments of deep affection and high honor. In so doing we would bear witness to our very high appreciation of the splendid leadership he has long given us, of the intellectual, moral, and professional stimulus we have always felt from it, and of the tremendous value of his far-reaching labors.
Resolved, That the thanks of the National Educational Association are due, and are hereby most cordially tendered, to the residents of Los Angeles for their lavish and hearty hospitality; to the newspapers of Los Angeles, and to the associated press that have fully recorded the proceedings of the Association; to those railroads and other transportation companies that have aided in bringing about a large membership and attendance; to the teachers of Los Angeles and of California for their splendid support and entertainment, especially to those whose services upon local city and state committees have made the organization and conduct of the meeting a success, and to many of the citizens of California and Los Angeles, who are not teachers, but whose interest in the Association and efforts in behalf of this convention have been vital.
On motion the resolutions were adopted by the convention in a rising vote.
CHAIRMAN VAN LIEW: Mr. Secretary, in behalf of the Committee on Resolutions and of the entire Association, I move the adoption of the following resolution, and ask you to put the motion.
Resolved, That the thanks of the Association be tendered the retiring President, Superintendent Nathan C. Schaeffer, of Pennsylvania, and J. N. Wilkinson, of Kansas, the retiring Treasurer, for the faithful and efficient services which they have rendered the Association during the past two years.
The Secretary put the motion which was unanimously carried by a rising vote of the entire convention.
Chairman Van Liew then presented a resolution authorizing the President to appoint a committee of two to attend a conference to be held at Middle Bass Island, Lake Erie, in the first week in August, by the National Tax Commission, the National Mercantile Commission, and the National Grange, for the purpose of considering child-labor and compulsory education, including school taxation and instruction in rural schools.
On motion of Chairman Van Liew the resolution was adopted. President Schaeffer appointed Superintendent W. H. Elson, of Cleveland, Ohio, and President-elect E. G. Cooley, of Chicago, Illinois, as the committee representing the National Education Association.
Alexander Hogg, of Texas, presented the following resolution and moved its adoption: WHEREAS, Our social equilibrium seems to be very unstable, as appears in strikes and other evidences of dissatisfaction upon the part of one class of our citizens in opposition to another class, and
WHEREAS, there is a wide and deep estrangement between those who labor with both their hands and brains, and those who labor with their brains alone, and
WHEREAS, this estrangement has grown into open defiance of the right and security of property, and
WHEREAS, peace at home, good feeling among our own citizens, should be first sought and first cultivated, and our youth should be instructed in this direction, therefore
Be it resolved, That it is the sense of this association, that it is the duty of the teachers, of this Republic, to enter at once upon a systematic source of instruction, which shall embrace not only a broader patriotism, but a more extended course of moral instruction, especially in regard to the rights and duties of citizenship, the right of property, and the security and sacredness of human life.
Upon motion the resolution was adopted by vote of the convention.
The president appointed E. O. Lyte of Pennsylvania and W. A. Edwards, of Californial to escort President-elect Edwin G. Cooley to the platform.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: President Cooley, the teachers of America have watched with admiration the battles for good schools that you have for years been fighting, and they have shown their appreciation by electing you President of this Association. I now hand to you this gavel as the symbol of authority, with the hope that you will receive from the members the same loyal support that has been given to your predecessor. I now take pleasure in introducing to the convention President-elect Edwin G. Cooley of the National Education Association of the United States.
PRESIDENT COOLEY: Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen: It is certainly an honor to be prized by any schoolmaster, to be selected as presiding officer by this great body. I am more than appreciative of the honor that has been conferred. I cannot expect to have the opportunities, even if I had the power and ability, to push to a successful close, as many great enterprises as have fallen to my predecessor. I feel that we cannot express too highly our appreciation of what he has done.
I hope that I shall see the teachers of the East as well as the West at the next meeting. I shall do all in my power to bring about a successful convention in 1908. I cannot say more at this time. I thank you for the very kind reception you have given me.
After the singing of “America," under the leadership of James A. Foshay, of Los Angeles, the President declared the convention adjourned sine die.
IRWIN SHEPARD, Secretary.
BUSINESS SESSION-12 M., WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, 1907
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION
The meeting was called to order by President Nathan C. Schaeffer, at 12 M., in Choral Hall of the Temple Auditorium.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: The first business on the docket is the twenty-first annual report of the Board of Trustees which has been approved by the Board of Directors. This report is in print, and will be distributed. It will not be read unless request is made. The usual action is to accept the report, and to order it printed in the volume of Proceedings. (Copies of the report were distributed to the members.)
S. T. BLACK, of California: I move that the report be accepted and printed in the volume of Proceedings. Motion was carried, and it was so ordered.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: Next on the docket is the annual report of the Treasurer, which has been approved by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors. The report will now be distributed, and similar action is in order with reference to this report. (Copies of the report were distributed.)
GEORGE H. STOUT, of Pennsylvania: I move that the report be accepted and printed in the volume of Proceedings. Motion carried and so ordered.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: Third is the report of the Secretary. This has been approved by the Board of Directors as printed, and will be distributed to the members. (Copies of the report were distributed.)
E. E. SCRIBNER, of Michigan: I move that the report of the Secretary be received and printed in the volume of Proceedings. Motion was carried, and it was so ordered.
PRESIDENT SCHAEFFER: Next is unfinished business, and the first item under this heading is a report to the Board of Directors by the Board of Trustees on the act of incorporation, and the action of the Board of Directors on said report. The Board of Trustees were instructed by the active members and the Board of Directors at the Asbury Park meeting in 1905 to secure if possible the passage by Congress of a proposed bill granting the Association a national charter of incorporation. As you have been officially informed by the Secretary the act incorporating the Association was passed by Congress and approved by the president of the United States, June 30, 1906. We will hear the report of the Board of Trustees to the Board of Directors concerning this matter.
Secretary Shepard read the report and the recommendations of the Board of Directors as follows:
To the Board of Directors of the National Educational Association:
Gentlemen: The Board of Trustees respectfully report that pursuant to a resolution adopted at the annual business meeting of the Association, held on July 6, 1905, the Board made application to Congress for a special act in the form approved by the Association at said meeting, to incorporate an association to be known as the "National Education Association of the United States" to succeed and continue the National Educational Association.
The Board further report that said act was passed by both houses of Congress with some technical amendments, not affecting the substance, and was approved by the President and became a law on June 30, 1906. The act provides that it shall take effect when the charter thereby granted is accepted and when by-laws are adopted by the members of the present Association.
The Board is of the opinion that the new charter, a copy of which is attached, offers the Association great advantages in assuring to it perpetuity of existence and a national character, in safeguarding its funds, and generally by increasing its powers and influence, and therefore unanimously recommends that the charter be accepted and that by-laws be adopted in accordance with the provisions of this act.
NICHOLAS MURRAY BUTLER, Chairman,
RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED AT A MEETING OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS HELD AT LOS
ANGELES, CAL., JULY 8, 1907
Resolved, That the Board of Directors accept the report of the Board of Trustees and unanimously approve the recommendations therein contained;
Resolved, That the Board of Directors recommend the adoption by the Association of the following resolutions:
1. Resolved, That the National Educational Association hereby accepts the charter granted by an act of Congress entitled "An Act to Incorporate the National Education Association of the United States," passed June 30, 1906, and that the President and Secretary of this meeting be authorized and directed to execute and file with the recorder of deeds of the District of Columbia a verified certificate showing the acceptance by the Association of the charter granted by said act.
2. Resolved, That the proposed by-laws, of which notice was given at the annual meeting of the Association held on July 6, 1905, which are printed in full in the journal of said meeting, be and the same are hereby adopted to take effect immediately.
3. Resolved, That the Association adopt as its corporate seal a circle containing the title "National Education Association of the United States," and the dates “1857-1907.” 4. Resolved, That the Association do now proceed to elect officers, and to organize under the charter granted by the act of Congress.
(Copies of the Report, of the Act of Incorporation and of other papers relating thereto were distributed to the members.)
O. J. CRAIG, of Montana: I move that this report of the Board of Trustees and the recommendations of the Board of Directors be received. The motion was carried without an opposing vote.