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The Education Muddle and the Way Out

Excerpt from The Education Muddle and the Way Out: A Constructive Criticism of English Educational Machinery Our educational machinery in England has got into a notable mess. Some places have two or three public authorities spending rates and taxes on different sorts of schools, whilst others have none at all. In one town the clever boy or girl finds in the infant school the lowest rung of an unbroken ladder to the university; whilst in the very next county there is no rescue for talented poverty from the shop or plough. Some school districts are too small to maintain a decent primary school; others are large enough to run a university. The central organization is as chaotic as the local. The various educational institutions in the United Kingdom - taking only those supported out of the rates and taxes - are officially under the charge of no fewer than ten separate Cabinet Ministers; and their several departments usually scorn to consult together. The result is that, although we spend on education in the United Kingdom every year nearly twenty million pounds of public money of one sort or another, from rates, taxes or public endowments, we get a very inadequate return for it. In English education to-day, waste and want go hand in hand. I. - The Local Authorities. The Present Muddle. There are, in England to-day, two distinct sets of local educational authorities, acting in the same areas, and sharing the provision of schools between them. These are (i) the School Boards, (ii) the County, Borough and Urban District Councils. The School Boards, of which there are now 2,527, have unlimited powers of rating, but are, in other respects, narrowly restricted in their scope. They can maintain only "elementary" schools, as defined by the Acts and by the Day and Evening "Codes" annually issued by the Education Department. But they do not maintain or control even all the elementary schools. More than half the children in elementary day schools, and more than one-third of the young people in evening continuation schools, are in the so-called "voluntary" or denominational schools. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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