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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published Weekly by the
University of North Caro
lina for the University Ex
DECEMBER 8, 1926
CHAPEL HILL, N C.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. XIII, NO. 6
K,ill,.rial Hoard. E. C. Branaon. S. U. Hobba. Jr.. L. K. Wilaon. E. W, Kniirht. D. D. Carroll. J. B. Ballitt.. H. W. Odum.
Entered aa aecond-olaea matter November 14. 1914. at the PoatoIBce at Chapel Hill. N. C.. under tbe act of Auiruat 24. l«ii
IMPROVED COUNTY GOVERNMENT
COUNTY ROAD LEGISLATION money are distributed for expenditure
I into the hands of such persons as the
Until tlie good roads movement began ! ,oeal representative may select. Bond
about twelve or fifteen years ago there i igsyes, totaling millions of dollars, have
were no county highway commissions | been made the plaything of individual
in the state. The board of county ! legislators
commissioners exercised a general;
supervision and control over roads while
actual administration was left to a
township organization. The free labor
system prevailed and if there was a
tax levy at all it was insignificant.
When it became necessary or desirable
to build roads on an extensive scale and
to expend huge sums of money there
was a tendency to create separate road
boards. While this practice had some
thing to commend it and proved suc
cessful in some instances it produced a
divided autliority which is not ordi
narily desirable. At any rate, highway
commissions have been created and
abolished with surprising frequency,
and local road laws have been enacted,
revised and repealed in amazing
An examination of the five hundred
and forty-six public-local road acts
enacted in the last ten years will show
very clearly that politics has been tbe
dominant motive in much of this legis
lation. A new road is not designed
every two years for the sole purpose of
improving the organization. Quite,
often the new organization is simply a !
vehicle by which to elevate one group !
to power and depose another. It will'
be noticed that in many of these road i
boards the membership was named by '
the legislature. Ordinarily, such a j
provision is included for one of two'
reasons: It is to insure ihat the board
j members shall belong to the dominant:
: political party of the state or it is to !
give the author of the bill an opportuti- i
ity to select the members of the com- 1
mission. Neither of these reasons is '
defensible, though it must be admitted !
that individual selection may at times
be the means of securing a very compe
tent board. There is not the slightest
If I had an acre of land—
0 an acre of land!
Within cry of the hills, tbe high hills,
And the sea and the sand,
And a brook with its silvery voice—
I would dance and rejoice!
I would build a vsmall house on my
So I would, a small home!
Within call of the woods, the high
Within flight of the foam!
And 0, I would dig, I would delve.
Make a world by myself!
O I would keep pigs, and some hens,
And grow apples and peas:
All things that would multiply,
For my hive of striped bees— .
If I had an acre of land
Life should spring from my hand!
Local Acts Superfluous
Although the 1917 road act (c. s.
3634-95) and the 1919 road act (c. s.
3726-49) are still on the statute books
and provide alternative plans for es
tablishing county road commissions,
nearly every one of the forty-seven justification for a partisan road board,
county road commissions now in ex- In fact, there is every reason why it
istence was created by a local act, that should be a bi-partisan board,
is, an act applying to one county only. Unfortunately, politics have been
Some counties created their first high- manifested not only in the selection of
fourths years at the end of the period. ”
The most that can be said is that the
existing wide gap between the scholar
ship of rural and urban teachers is slowly
closing, with no immediate prospects of
any approach to equality. The urban
teachers will always be better trained
than the rural teachers.
Durham county has the best trained
rural white teachers of any county in
the state. Her rural white teachers
^ grade higher than the average for many
, of the city systems. Durham county
those recieved at Samarcand. There is ■ ranked first in rural white teacher
no place now to receive immoral 9^holarship for the last four years,
women except the county jail. Quite ; Currituck, a purely rural tidewater
often they are merely ordered to leave : county, ranks next to Durham, and has
the county. Neither method protects second place for the last three
society nor makes any effort at refor- years. Currituck is really to be con-
mation. gratulaled for the excellent quality of
A 'v I I I c white teachers, all of whom
4. Two weeks notice before mar- , wuuin are
J • . rural,
nage. Lood marriage laws are more •
important than divorce laws. Many a rank« third, having dis-
ever, sight must not be lost of the fact ^y f^e wealthier counties. A large num-
that the average index for city schools. ^®r of counties that rank low in the
started with 671.8, nearly three years Accompanying table are actually spend-
of college training, whereas the rural Ag a larger part of their wealth and
index for the same year was 464.6, Acome on education than are many of
slightly more than a half year of college Ahe wealthier counties that rank high
training—a difference at the beginning A school matters. As a rule the poor
of the period of over two years’ train- counties are doing their best by their
ing and of less than one and three- children, but they cannot do enough.
They need more help from the outside.
A large number of the "rural white
teachers -of Cherokee and many other
poor counties have never finished high
school. It may be that children in these
poor counties are not entitled to educa
tional opportunities equal to those of
the more fortunate counties, but it can
not be denied that they are entitled to
a better chance than they now have.
The discrepancy is too great to exist in
a just state.
Slightly more than half, 66.3 percent,
of the white teachers' of the state hold
certificates-based on two years or more
of college training, which is considered
a sufficient minimum preparation for a
teacher at present. An outstanding
fact is that only 43.6 percent of the
rural white teachers of the state have
had as much as two years of college
training, while 91.0 percent of the city
hasty, unwise marriage would be
prevented if such a law were in force.
Too often a local magistrate is more
way commissions under tbe provisions of the road commissions but in the Jq-i than in
one of the general statutes and later eating of roads, the awarding of con- 'of the young lives
abolished them and set up specialized tracts, the appointment of highway , marriage.
forms. Ill fact, some counties have
had a new road law, or an existing one
amemded, at practically every session
of the legislature for the last ten years.
Every new representative seems to
want to be the author of a road law
for his county, and in some cases the
officials and even in the employment of | 6. Taking over by the state of the
workmen. This has not been true in i Reformatory for colored girls. The
any universal way; highway work in , women of the colored race have estab-
some counties and at some periods has i fished and maintained such an institu-
been singularly free from political in- ; tion at their own expense, but it is un-
fluence. Butin far' too many cases. fair that they should be required to
highway administration has been honey-1 carry the burden longer. The state
same representative has drafted three combed with puUtics. It is not sur-! owes it to society, and to
or four such laws. Since 1917, and in- prising that this should have been the offenders, to assume this responsibility,
eluding that session, the general as- ^ case. The income from bond issues
sembly has enacted, amended additional road levies suddenly
repealed 546 public-local road acts. The i ew0)ie(j the volume of county expend!
acts have aftected every single county. 1 tures to unprecedented proportions and
the temptation to the politicians to dis
pense a few plums was irresistible.—
Paul W. Wager.
white teachers have had two or more
placed Wilson la.st year. Gaston has ' college training. This is a
moved up from ninth to third place in Arge difference. It simply means that
three years. ; ^he rural schools the supply of weli-
Cherokee seems to be contented with ' trained teachers is inadequate It is
the cellar position which she has HpM n al . .
..V • biie nas neia , well that the existing gulf between
; without much competition for the last! u o . ^ ^ oetween
four years. Cherokee is really a very j schools, as indicated by-
poor county, and is only one of a large ; scholarship of teachers, is gradually
number of counties in the state that | closing. We hope that the closing of the
simply cannot stand the pace being set j gap may be accelerated. —S. H. H., Jr.
At every session of the legislature
there have b^en several acts passed de
priving the county commissioners of road
powers and setting up separate road
commissions and several other acts
abolishing similar commissions and
restoring road powers to the county
commissioners. An analysis of the
THE WOMEN’S PROGRAM
This year the North Carolina Club at
the State University is examining
public-local acts in force at the present cf the immediate problems of
position of any legislator who is sincere
ly devoted to the public welfare.
1. A state-wide Australian Ballot
Law: It seems inconceivable that a so
time indicates that there are fifty-three
counties in which the county commis
sioners exercise road powers and forty-
seven which have separate road com
missions. There are counties in both
groups which h:ave additional road
commissions for special districts.
The forty-seven county road commis
sions vary little in powers and functions;
the main differences are in composition
and in the manner of selecting the mem
bers. Of these forty-seven boards four
were appointed by the governor, four
teen by the legislature, five elected by
popular vote, sixteen chosen by the
county commissioners, four chosen by a
road electorate, and as to the other four
boards the writer is uncertain. Twenty-
two of the boards have three members
each; two have four members; fifteen
have five members; two have six mem
bers; three have seven members; one
has eight members; and one has nine
members. In some instances the mem
bers of the highway commission rep
resent districts into which the county
is divided, though in more cases they
are chosen at large. In most cases the
terms of the members are overlapping.
In at least ten instances tbe board must
be bi-partisan. These minor variations
in structure have little significance and
are no justifi-cation for the great mass
of local legislation.
The fifty-three counties which at the
moment have no separate county high
way commissions have suffered no less
from public-local legislation. Most, if|
not all, of them have had separate com
missions at one time or another. Nearly
every county in the state has seen its
road law amended or completely re
drafted at every session of the legis
lature. Men appointed or elected to
membership on road boards are usually
legislated out of office before their
terms expire. Road powers are trans
ferred from board to board at the whim i 3- The establishment of a farm
of the legislator. Large sums of | prison for women offenders older than
democracy in the state. If North Caro
lina is to become the commonwealth
which has been visioned for it much
must be attained through political ac
SCHOLARSHIP OF RURAL WHITE TEACHERS, 1925-26
these }oungi„ ^ issued by the State
sponsibility. ’ of Public Instruction, the counties are ranked according to the
j scholarship rating of rural white teachers. A score of ICO is credited for each
s work done by the teacher after completing the elementary school Thn-j
SCHOLARSHIP OF TEACHERS ' four years in high school and four years in college give a perfect score of SOo!
In the table which appears elsewhere j ^o an A grade certificate. A score of 600 means a high
Au 4- I J . school education plus two years in colleire
the counties are ranked according to the ! . ^ m cuuege.
scholarship of their rural white teachers i index for the rural white teachers of Durham county is 696 8, almost the
for the year 1926-26. By rural schools j ^floivalentto three years’ college work. The index for such teachers in Cherokee
is meant all schools under the adminis-1 ^^onty is 403.2, or barely out of high school. The counties rank between these
tration of a county superintendent.
“Thestudy,” toquote from State School j
Facts, “is made by use of the' index
number. This particular index is called
the scholarship index for the reason that
it indicates the - scholastic training of
the average teacher employed in any
given unit for the year under considera
tion. The whole scheme is baaed upon
I two extreraesr
State average index for all white teachers 579.1.
teachers is 708.8; for rural white teachers it is 536.8.
The index for city white
non. Furthermore, legislation of oppor-j certificates the teachers
tumsm must give place to legislation and certificates in turn are based
that IS daring, forward-iooking, con-1 up„n the amount of academic and pro-
struclive. J fessional credit which the teacher pre-
There is at least one group in the j sents for certification. For example, a
state which has a definite, constructive j teacher who presents credit for two
program to present to the approaching I years’ college work, including the re-
legislature. That is, the Legislative quired professional work, is issued a C
Council of North Carolina Women. This , certificate—primary, grammar grade, or 119
program was presented and analyzed ' high school. In this study ail teachers ; L
before the North Carolina Club at its j holding C certificates are given a score | ,4
last meeting by Mrs. Mary 0. Gowper, ^ of 600 in arriving at the scholarship !
The women’s program | index, because the training upon which ! L
includes five measures which the next | such certificates ore based is equivalent |
legislature will be asked to pass. All | to four years of high school plus two I Jg
of these measures are sound and reason-1 years of college credit. In other words, ^
able and ought not to provoke tl.e op- a score of 100 is credited for each year’s ; 20
work done by the teacher after com-
pleting the elementary school. Four
years in high school and four years in
college gives a perfect score of 800 to
called progressive state will refuse any i college graduate receiving the A
longer to give the citizens a chance to
express themselves at the polls in secret
and without coercion. Every other state
in the Union has a secret ballot. Hun
dreds of people who have moved to North
Carolina from other states refuse to
vote here until they are permitted to
vote in the dignified manner to which
they have been accustomed. Our open
ballot is a disgrace which it is hoped
will be removed forever by the next
2. A law limiting the working day
of children under sixteen to eight hours
a day in industrial and mercantile pur
suits: Our present law allows a child
to work 60 hours a week or 11 hours a
The respectable employer who is
not guilty of such exploitation of child
hood ought not to have to compete with
an employer who is lacking in moral
ceriificatG. The average score or scholar
ship index is obtained, therefore, by
adding these scores and dividing by the
total number of teachers.” These are
the figures by which the counties are
ranked in the accompanying table.
The average scholastic training of all
white teachers in the state, city and
rural, in 1926-26 was nearly two years
in college, the index being 679.1. The
index in 1922-23 was 613.3. Thus during
the last three years two-thirdS of a col
lege year has been added to the scholar
ship of the average white teacher in
the state. If the state be divided into
two parts, rural and city, it is found
that the rate of progress has been
greater in the rural systems than it has
been in the city systems. “The average
index for the rural schools has advanced
from 464.6 to 636.8, whereas the city
index has changed from 671.8 to 708.8.
In other words, the gain in the rural
index was .723 of a year and the city i 49
index gain was .370 of a year. How-j 50
University of North Carolina.