Dean H. W. Holmes '03, of the Graduate School of Education, in discussing President Coolidge's approval of a national Department of Education, with its head a member of the Cabinet, made the following comment:
"Hurrah! This is a great step forward. It gives to education the status of a national interest and represents a compromise between the desire for a National Department of Education with national subsidies, as represented by the Smith-Towner and Towner-Sterling bills, and the present situation. Such a plan would correspond with that adopted in England during the war, when a ministry of Education was formed with H. A. L. Fisher as the first Minister.
"Education is essentially the concern of the nation. Its effect is by no means limited to any given area. It is important to have national leadership in education, but better still to have partial support from national funds. This principle is confirmed by repeated federal enactments, beginning with the act of 1780 establishing the Northwest Territory."
"Not to control education but to promote it, should be the function of the national government. There is now no national supervision except for vocational and agricultural training. The rest is left to the states. But to leave the problem of education entirely to local communities has always proved a failure. That is why Horace Mann spent his life in fighting the district system in Massachusetts. Progress always results from enlarging the area from which support for education is drawn."