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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

The Boards Should Select and Appoint

The Boards Should Select and Appoint

the teachers, and gave each Board an expert in the profession to counsel and assist it in this particular function, and with, I believe, only one exception, they have all gone, every one of them throughout the colony, and allowed the school committees to usurp this the most important and sacred trust committed to them; and now you see, in not a few places throughout the colony, some of the most illiterate persons in the community the sole patrons of educational appointments. In consequence a candidate is frequently selected, not for professional attainments, or long experience, or high character, but because he or she belongs to the locality, or is a member of the same religious denomination as the majority of the committee, or because he has got a large family and will be a good customer at the village store, or, more frequently than all, his style of handwriting is of the copperplate order, and the misguided yokels are captivated thereby, like the flies by sugared sticking paper; and the man or woman who has spent the best years of youth in seeking intellectual discipline and acquiring the teacher's habit of self-restraint is left out in the cold. And the educational body that calls itself a board, and is responsible for this state of things, then advertises for an educational policeman to assess the work of these so-called teachers, and make "surprise" visits and see that the school registers are not tampered with. Under these circumstances no one need be astonished that teachers are expected to wear a tolerably strait jacket; not much freedom of movement can be allowed.