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WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION
A highly important part of the work of the National Education Association is the educational investigation carried on under the direction of the National Council, a body of one hundred and twenty members representing every phase of educational activity. Several of the departments often appoint committees to make special investigations, and reports are published in pamphlet form including such subjects as, "Teaching Morals in the Public Schools of the United States,” “Provisions for Exceptional Children in Public Schools," "The Place of Industry in Public Education," etc. In the history of the organization, hundreds of these committees, composed of the greatest educators J. Y. JOYNER, RALEIGH, N. C., STATE SUPT. in the country, have
PUBLIC INSTRUCTION submitted reports which stand as the very highest authority on the different subjects with which they deal. Some of these were published years ago, but many of the ideas which they present are still entirely in accord with those of the present day. These pamphlets are selling in large numbers. At the last meeting of the association $8,735 was appropriated for the use of committees making these investigations, for this year.
The members from Utah in this National Council are State Supt. A. C. Nelson who has held the position since 1908, and Supt. D. H. Christensen, of the Salt Lake City schools, since 1911.
Aside from the publications of the National Council, there is a book which contains the proceedings of the mid-winter meeting entitled, “Proceedings of the Department of Superintendents, also a book entitled “The Addresses” containing all that takes place at the summer meeting; then a year book which contains a report of all business, and the names, titles and positions of all the active members. Since there are 350 pages in this volume which
ins the names and addresses of eight thousand members, kept upto-date, it may
well be imagined that this requires great labor on the part of the secretary's office.
At the annual meeting a director from every state is elected; also president, eleven vice-presidents, and
treasurer are elected. The Board of Directors consists of these per
sons, and the exGEORGE B. COOK, STATE SUPT. PUBLIC IN
presidents of the STRUCTION, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE,
association become LITTLE ROCK, ARK.
life-directors. The president and vice-president, and the treasurer, are elected every year, and the retiring president always becomes the first vicepresident. The directors hold two meetings each year, and in the interim business is carried on by the executive committee consisting of the president, vice-president, treasurer and the chairman of the board of five trustees, and one director selected from the board. All the property owned by the association is held by the Board of Trustees, who are also the custodians of the permanent fund. These trustees are elected by the directors for a period of four years one being elected each year. The board of trustees elects tho secretary who is the administrative officer of the organization. There is also an Executive Committee of five. The intent of so placing the election of the secretary, was to give the office an element of permanency. The last incumbent, as stated, held the office for nearly twenty years, and then resigned. Each of the departments selects its own officers--president, vice-president and secretary, and the National Council, having charge of all the educational investigations, have in addition an executive committee of three members.
Utah was first connected with the Education Association by a state director in the year 1874, when Territorial Superintendent of Schools O. H. Riggs was chosen to that position, holding the place until 1877. From that time up to 1884, Utah was not represented in the organization. At this date Prof. J. M. Coyner became state director for Utah and held the place until 1886. The association met at Topeka, Kansas, in that year, at which time Edward H. Anderson, then superintendent of schools of Weber County, became state director, 1886-7; he was followed by Prof. W. M. Stewart, 1887-88; J. F. Millspaugh, 1888-89. Three years again passed, to 1892, when Utah was not represented; then J. F. Millspaugh was again chosen for 1892-3; Ella M. Dukes, 1894-5; W. R. Malone, 1895-7; Dr. J. M. Tanner, 1897-99; F. B. Cooper, 1899-1901 ;W. J. Kerr, 1901-4; A. C. Nelson, 1904-5; D. H. Christensen, 1905-10; G. N. Child, 1910-13.
Practically all the business of the association is handled through the office of the secretary, excepting the collection of dues at the summer meeting. Mr. Durand W. Springer, the present secretary, was elected in 1912. Mr. Irwin Shepard, who preceded him, acted from 1893 to July, 1912, and he devoted his entire time to the work of the association since 1898. During his incumbency the association's permanent fund grew from $40,000 to $190,000 in 1912. The Secretary is charged with great responsibility, his list of duties being long and varied. He is the administrative officer, the secretary of the Executive Committee, of the Board of Directors, and of the active members at the annual meeting. He is charged with issuing all the volumes of proceedings, with making arrangements for holding meetings, and with the printing and distribution of the bulletins and official programs. One of the great problems requiring careful attention is the railroad rates, and concessions. He must deal with eight different railroad systems in the United States, securing rates for the members wherever they reside. The second problem is the local conditions in the city in which the meeting is to be held. In order to handle such a large number in a satisfactory manner the preliminary arrangements must be carefully worked out ahead of time. The third problem, much more easily met, is the arrangement for receiving the annual dues, distributing badges, and printing and distributing the annual programs. Members who attend the annual meeting must pay their dues at the time, but all the permanent members who do not attend the meeting must receive notice of their dues.
The editing of the manuscript for the “Addresses,” and “Proceedings" (1,427 pages for 1912) and the proof reading are no small tasks. Furthermore, at least a third of the 3,000 active members change their residences each year, and every name on the “Year book” must be checked before the book can be issued. The office is a center for all kinds of questions in regard to educational matters, requiring considerable time in looking up the information desired. At the meeting in Salt Lake City it is likely that the headquarters of the secretary's office will be changed from Ann Arbor, to Washington, since the permanent headquarters are determined by the board of directors, and Mr. Springer asked that the office be only temporarily located in Ann Arbor.
MISSION OF THE N. E. A.
At the national gathering of teachers and superintendents in Philadelphia, in 1849, which movement was destined to continue through the National Teachers' Association, and later the National Education Association, Hon. Horace Mann, its president, gave an opening address from which we quote. His inspiring and even prophetic words may be said to outline the mission of the association up to our own day, and are as applicable now as then, insofar as they have not yet been fulfiled :
"By the communion and the sympathy of assemblies like this we can not only enlighten the guiding forces of the mind, but we can generate the impulsive forces of the heart. We cannot only diffuse new intelligence, but we can excite new enthusiasm. Throughout the whole country the machinery of education needs to be increased in strength, and worked by a mightier power. In all material interests we are proverbial as a people for our enterprise. Let us seek for our country the higher honor of becoming proverbial in our regard for moral and spiritual interests. Let us devise systems of education that shall reach every child that is born in the land; and, wherever political privileges exist, let the intelligence be imparted and the virtues inculcated, which alone can make those privileges a blessing.
“Look, too, at the condition of our country, and see what need there is of comprehensiveness in our plans and of energy in their administration. We have a higher object than to prepare a system of education for any one locality, or for any one party. To the West a region spreads out almost interminably—a region to be soon filled, not with savages, but either with Christians, or with men as much worse than savages as Christians are better. On the East, there comes pouring in upon us a new population, not of our own production, not of American parentage nor the growth of American institutions. Owing to the marvelous improvements in the art of transportation, the
Atlantic Ocean has been narrowed almost to a river's breadth. The western and the eastern continent by the power of these improvements lie side by side of each other. Their shores, for thousands of miles, like two ships, lie broadside and broadside; and from stem to stern the emigrant population of Europe is boarding us, tens of thousands in a day. We must provide for them, or we will all sink together.
“And what are we doing to prepare for the great exigencies of the future, which the providence of God seems to have placed in our hands; and, I speak with reverence, to have left to our disposal? A responsibility is upon us that we cannot shake off. We cannot escape with the lying plea of Cain, ‘Am I my brother's keeper?' Let us then be aroused by every consideration that can act upon the mind of a patriot, a philanthropist, or a Christian; and let us give our hands, our heads, and our hearts to the great work of human improvement, through the instrumentality of free, common schools. As far as in us lies, let us save from ruin, physical, intellectual and moral, the thousands and hundreds of thousands, aye, the millions and hundreds of millions of the human race, to whom we are bound by the ties of a common nature and of kindred blood, and who, without our assistance, will miserably perish, but with our assistance may be saved to usefulness and honor, and immortal glory.”