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_ OF NORTH CAROLINA
JULY 26, 1916
Editor*"* Hoardi B.C. Branaon, J. G. deR, Hamilton, L. B.
Published weekly by the
University of North Carolina
for its Bureau of Extension.
CHAPEL HILL, N. C.
Wilaon, L. A. WiUiaras, K. H. Thornton
VOL. n, NO. 35
(*. at. McKie. Entered as seoond-olasa matter November 14,1914, at the.poatofflee at Chapel
Hill, N. C.| under the act of August 2i, 1913.
NORTH CAROLINA CLUB STUDIES
A GOOD COUNTRY SCHOOL o, „„b.ic
Mount Hope is a two-room, two-teacher i some forty letters to us calling
country school in Orange county in the bulletins embodying the simplest
goiitheaat corner of Eno township. It
was taught last year by Misses Sudie Mc
Cauley and Lucile Class.
This school stood out so conspicuous in
its exhibits at the recent county com-
meucemeiit and took so many prizes that
we have]been busy asking questions about
We find that last year tlie patrons
bought a piano for the school. The
children had simple lessons in domestic
science. A School Garden, a Garden
Club, a Pig Club, a Poultry Club, a
Music class, and a Girls’ Club were some
; of the features of country school life at
; Mount Hope. Hurrah!
A good commuuity, good teachers and a
I lively interest in modern school purposes
i are evident. A school community moves
; forward one step under good teachers,
: and generally slips back two under every
I change of teachers. «
Will this school have the same teachers
^ next year? If not, why not?
HINTS ABOUT HEALTH
Kural sanitation is a health protection
jto the city dweller.
It’s foolish to educate a boy and then
!jet him die of typhoid fever.
The U. S. Public Health Service issues
,a free bulletin on the summer care of
Every mother ought to have the bulle-
tins of the Children’s Bureau in Washing
Exercise in the garden is better tlian
exercise in the gymnasium.
Clean water, clean food, clean houses
jmake clean, healthy American citizens.
The State of California has reduced its
i typhoid death rate 70 per cent in the
' past ten years.
Kats are the most expensive animal
which man maintains.
It is estimated that the average manure
ile will breed 900,000 flies per ton.—
United States Public Health Service.
“AVhat we should have, at least once
a year, is an audit by an expert accountant
of the books of all public offices, and a
statement made up and published that
every intelligent citizen could under
But also would it not be well to charge
some state house officer with the task of
(1) prescribing uniform methods of ac
count keeping for all the county officers,
and standardized forms of annual county
balance sheets, and (2) of directing two
or three travelling auditors charged with
I instructing, helping, and checking coun-
' Mississippi leads the United States in | jy pffieers in their record keeping.
A BARRIER TO PROGRESS
, — O vx*s_ OlUliJieai,
best form of such exhibits that we have
found so far in the South.
The subject is a live issue-of tremendous
importance. Richard S. Childs, in The
American City, April 1915, says. The
most obvious thing about county govern
ment in the United States is the fact that
It is antiquated and inefficient in its ad
And Mr. C. C. Clark, Editor of the
Landmark also has some positive con
victions about this matter. He says:
The tax payers of a county—the
stockholders of the corporation—are en
titled to an intelligent, business state
ment of the financial condition of the
county—a statement which would clearly
show how much money is collected,
where it comes from and for what it is
expended. It is no answer to say that
the county authorities are honest. The
great majority of them are honest; but
the tax payers have a right to know how
much money is collected and for what it
“The law requires the publication of
the county statement, but in all the 33
years that this w-riter has been in a news
paper office in Iredell, no county state
ment has been published in this county.
And it is The Landmark’s opinion that
we are just as well off without a state
ment if it should be made up like the
average statement, such as The Uuiver'
sity News I^etter describes.
THE FORWARD LOOK
Dr. Simon N. Patten
All to-mor?ows are the basis of hope
and the generating ground of faith.
INormal men modify to-day’.s acts by
the faith and hope that needs to-mor-
row' for their fulfillment. The future
is in the present and thus helps to
UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
LETTER SERIES NO. 83
Uarm tenancy. Nearly two of every three
I farms in the state are operated-by tenants.
I In round numbers, 180,000 farms are in
I the hands of tenants, and 103,000
t of these are share tenants or croppers.
I The white tenants number 41,000 and the
negro tenants 139,000.
In 24 counties, all but Lowndes and
Noxubee in the Delta and the Mississippi
bottoms, three-fourths or more of the
farms are operated by tenants; in eight
: of tliese counties more than four-fifths of
them; and in eight more couijties nine-
teutlis or more of the farmers are tenants,
(croppers for the most part.
Under excessive, widespread tenancy
(of this sort, enormous farm wealth can
I be created from year to year, but little
(of it can be held down in the community
i or county that creates it. The tenancy
! system retards the development of live-
j Slock larmiiig, and the safe diversifica
tion of crops. It means chronic de
ficiency in home-raised food and feed
stuffs. It results in a slow accumulation
of wealth in farm projierties. It delays
the organization of farm communities and
cooperative farm enterprises. It im
perils country schools and churches. It
is a fundamental obstacle to progress,
^onomic and social.
The biggest problem in Mississippi is
the problem of land tenures, farm ten
ancy, home and farm ownership, an idle
•wilderness area of 20,000,000 acres, and
a landless, homeless multitude of tenants,
white and black, who with their families
number 1,285,000 souls. A safe and
wholesome civilization must be built on
the home-owning, home-loving,' home-
This problem is primarily economic,
*iot political; and an ounce of sound
economics is worth a whole ton of politics
Mississippi and everywhere else.
Such a system would save many times
the cost of it. It is no interference with
local self-government. It violates no
democratic principle. It merely helps
democracy to organize for efficiency.
flouting THE TAX PAYERS
An item in The University News Letter,
une 28, referred to the published finan-
exhibit sheets of our counties as be-
with a few exceptions, a wicked
WHY THEY FLIT
Around two-thirds of the country
schools of the United States have new
teachers every term. Wliolesale changes
like this in the management of our cotton
mills would throw them into bankruptcy
in six months, and w«ck any other busi
A letter from a country school teacher,
one of the very best in this or any other
state, throws light on a main cause of
this annual shuffling of schools and teach
ers. We quote from it because this letter
gives us a direct look into conditions that
are largely responsible for the largest
cause of w’aste in the use of public school
money—the wholesale annual change of
country school teachers.
Hard WorK and Discomfort
“1 walk about a mile to school and
back again each day. My daily
school duties keep me busy as a bee
about eight hours or so. My luncheon
today was biscuit, fried meat, sweet po
tatoes, and fried apple pie. I board with
a family of eleven who live in a four-
room cottage. My daily bath must be
taken in a tin basin, which holds about
a half-gallon of water. The family won
ders why it takes so much water for one
woman every day •
‘ ‘ After school I rest in
The supper room is also the kitchen and
pantry. The meal is cold vegetables,
biscuit odorous with soda, milk, and
butter. I pay $20 a month for my board.
“About the time I am ready to prepare
my next day’s work, I am called upon
to help the children with their language,
After all of which I retire to my bed,
which I am too dead tired to enjoy.”
More Comforts Needed
Here is a capable, conscientious school
teacher, frail and overworked. She has
always taught country schools because
ste is country-bred and loves coimtry-
hfe. But now in self-defense she seeks a
position in city schools. She is not hunt
ing for a larger salary, she is fleeing for
We are sure that the conditions of life
are more comfortable and tolerable than
this in many country homes. The point
is that life is hardest in the very com
munities that most need good teachers,
and far harder than is really necessary,
as a rule.
In general there are too few comforts,
conveniences, and luxuries in country
homes—far fewer than there ought to be
or easily might be. We found only three
country homes wuth running water in
them in the whole of Orange county last
When you start out looking for a new
teacher, Mr. Superintendent or Mr. Com
mitteeman, what do you have in mind as
qualifications? Are you looking only for
someone w'ho will agree to keep school at
forty, forty-five, or fifty dollars a month?
Are you looking for someone who can
come to you at a low price because her
parents live near and she can board at
home? Are you looking for a teacher
who is primarily a member of some par
ticular church or belongs to some particu
lar political party?
It is sometimes a wonder to many folks
why certain teachers are selected. It is
mystery how some communities put up
with the trash foisted upon them as
teachers. If teaching were an accepted
profession many a so-called teacher would
be arrested and convicted for mal-prac-
Hi^h Schools Too
Why will school officials hire young
mefi to teach their high schools and pay
them the first year every cent the district
can afford? The next fall, if the young
fellow makes good, they ask him to re
main but cannot raise his pay. Naturally
he leaves. Result, a new teacher every
Here is a school which can ])ay H720
a year. Instead of paying, that every
year to a young man just from college
(who is worth only just about his keep),
why not pay 1640 or $680 the first year
with the understanding that the pay will
be $720 the second year if the young fellow
makes good, and $760 or $800 the third
year under the same conditions?
Thus a good man can be kept for three
years. The young man can thus be stim
ulated to build up a reputation for him
self. He will work harder, and be con
tent to stay on since his pay advances
every year. In case the choice is unfor
tunate the citizens have not had to pay
equally for poor and good service. Isn’t
it worth a thought at least?
They are schools so small that a micro
scope must be used to find them; schools
with a daily attendance ranging from
one to a dozen pupils; wasteful, weak
little schools with a handful of children
They are abundant in every state and
we have too many of them in North Car
olina. In 1910, Mr. L. C. Brogden, our
State Supervisor of Elementary Schools,
found in 24 counties 126 such schools,
with a daily attendance of from one to
twelve children. This number, mind
you, in 24 counties! There were proba
bly 500 microscopic schools of this sort
in the entire state at that time.
The chances are that we shall always
have one-room, one-teacher schools in
America; but when such schools dwindle
to ten pupils or fewer they ought to dis
appear automatically by law. And so the;
do in some statts.
The teacher that allows her school t
shrink and shrivel to this extent ough
to forfeit her contract, and the commun
until supper is an
nounced about 9 o’clock in the evening.
arithmetic, and geography lessons
extra pay for this, and no decrease in the
charge for board on this account.
extent ought not to have a school sup
ported at public expense.
Progress in Five Years
In 1908-09 our white country schools
with two or more teachers numbered only
1,251, or barely more than one-fifth of
the total. Five years later the number
of such schools was 2,059, or nearly two-
fifths of the total. Here is a 64 per cent
increase in five years. This year the
number is 2,220. These increases are an
encouraging sign of real progress.
Fewer schools, Bigger schools, and
Better schools ought to be the campaign
cry in every county. The little one-
teacher school must go, says Dr. Clax-
ton, our Federal Commissioner of Edu
cation ; and to get large schools with bet
ter buildings and better teachers. Con
solidation, he adds, seems to be the
Too Many Little Schools
Superintendent Joyner’s last report
shows that Wilkes had more white rural
schools than any other county in the
state, 133; followed by Randolph with
109. Both these counties had 79 one-
teacher schools at that time, and both
need to reduce this excessive number
rapidly, if real progress is to be made.
Both have done well in this particular
since 1908, but both need to do better.
In order to exhibit the progress we are
making in this matter m North Carolina.
Mr. S. B. Smithey of Wilkes county, a
student at the University, presents in
this issue, the counties ranked according
to the per cent of rural white schools
taught by two or more teachers.
In 17 counties, from a half to two-thirds
or more of all the rural white schools have
two or more teachers. Named in de
scending order they are; Pamlico, Wake,
Alexander, Northampton, Cleveland,
Catawba, Vance, Durham, Mitchell,
Robeson, Iredell, Alamance, Clay, Meck
lenburg, Stokes, Rowan, Dare. Two are
mountain counties, seven are piedmont
counties, four are mid-state counties, and
four are in the tide-water country. Here
strong consolidated schools are rapidly
displacing small weak schools.
The economic and social conditions in
these 17 widely scattered counties are so
diverse that the only possible explanation
of this progress lies in the educational
statesmanship and courageous leadership
of the school authorities.
Real progress of this sort calls for both
wisdom and courage. And blessed be the
county whose school superintendent is
endowed with the requisite understand
ing, grace, and grit.
Twenty counties more are above the
state average of 39 per cent. All but
nine of them are west of the falls line.
Mainly they are in the hill country and
mountain region. The east lags behind
badly, or so for the most part.
Forty-eight counties are below the state
average. Twenty-nine of these are in
the tide-water country. A few' are mid
state counties and 14 are mountain coun
At the tail end of the list are Jones,
Bertie, Macon, Richmond, Chatham,
Hahfax, Polk, Tyrrell, Montgomery, Per
son, Martin, and Bladen in the order
In 1910 there were 29 httle schools in
Bladen with a daily attendance of from
one to tw'elve children; and in 1913-14
there were only 11 schools in the county
with two or more teachers.
Bladen is winning state-wide applause
for her public health campaign. Similar
leadership in a public school campaign
would doubtless show results just as
CONSOLIDATED SCHOOLS IN NORTH CAROLINA, 1913-14
Rural White Schools with Two or More Teachers
s. B. Smithey, Wilkes County, University of North Carolina.