In an editorial of yesterday the CRIMSON pointed out the inadequacy of the proposed measure to create a "Ministry of Education and Relief" in the President's Cabinet. It remains to show what should be done to improve educational conditions.
As President Coolidge stated in one of his first utterances after coming into office, the United States needs some adequate national supervision of education. Forty-eight states exercise a loose and halting regulation within their own bounds. But no authority exists for coordinating educational processes which are coming more and more to transcend state and even regional lines. Today it is more common than at any time in the past for students to leave home and go to school at a distance. This practice makes for that broader knowledge of men and things which characterizes the much lauded English college graduate. It diminishes sectional feeling, and breaks down sectional ignorance.
For its proper working, the new cosmopolitan spirit requires a single system of graded institutions, national in extent. At the present time there are gaps--often huge gaps--in the educational process, which should be a gradual progression from the simple to the complex. One of the seemingly insoluble difficulties which colleges have to face is that of inducing preparatory and high schools really to "prepare" their students for college entrance.
President Coolidge suggested creating a Cabinet Minister to supervise national education. Such a minister will be valueless if he becomes nothing more than head of a motley assortment of non-related departments, with inadequate control over education, as the proposed government reorganization bill would make him. He must have full powers to set standards, and supervise their maintenance. Only by vesting him with these prerogatives can there grow up a national system of education, complete in all the stages of progression from kindergarten to university.