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held. Forty-five per cent of all the teachers in the state north of Tehachapi are in the nine counties bordering on the bay of San Francisco, a number ten per cent in excess of the number of teachers in the seven southern counties which make the Southern Association such a success. The Association will always have a large transient membership and a small permanent membership so long as it continues to wander about.

The Reorganized Association.
Last
year

the State Association voted to reorganize and to incorporate, and this year it started out on what was to be a new existence. It lacks much, though, of being a real State Association. In reality it is little more than a Central Association. The Southern Association is a larger and a stronger body, has in general better discussions, holds a more stimulating meeting, is more representative of the teachers of the south than the State Association is of even the teachers of Central California, and has from the first been actuated by high ideals and been free from petty politics. If our State Association is to become a large and really representative organization it has much to learn from the Southern California Teachers' Association.

An Association Based on Interest and Work.

A permanent meeting place in some large and centrally located city would probably be one important thing. It would soon eliminate the excursion and outing features, and those who attended would go largely because of a real interest in the work of the Association. It might cut down the membership somewhat at first, but that would be no serious disadvantage. The expenses of the Association are not large if it is judiciously managed, and a large membership has in the past been a temptation to an unnecessary extravagance for which no adequate financial statement has ever been placed before the members of the Association. Large numbers obtained by a forced attendance do little real good. The State Association would be much stronger and its meetings would be worth more with an attendance of six or seven hundred interested persons than with an attendance of three times that numbers, two-thirds of whom come, not because of any real interest in the Association, but because they are required to do so.

With a large forced attendance to rely on, poor programs and poor section meetings can be made to go as well as good ones, excursions and outings can be made prominent instead of real work, and no great effort need be given to making the meetings of the Association a really vital factor in the lives of the teachers or in the educational work of the state. If the Association is to grow into a really strong body with a large permanent membership it must cut loose from a shifting and artificially stimulated membership, and must base its appeal for permanent membership on real interest and its influence on real work done.

A Permanent Secretary.

A permanent secretary, as recommended by President Dailey in his Annual Report, would also be a good idea, provided that the Association can afford it. There is no use of creating the position of permanent secretary, though, unless the Association can afford a really good man, and a good man may be very hard to obtain in the present condition of the Association. A mere membership hustler is not what is wanted, nor should the position be made a pension for some old or some poor and deserving teacher. If either of these things is to be done then neither should be done.

An Association Journal.

President Dailey also suggested an official organ for the State Teachers' Association—an official journal. We have one official journal in the state now, and it seems to the writer that, instead of creating another publication, it would be better and ought to be possible to combine with the one now in existence, take advantage of its connections and prestige, and make of it an organ, not of its owners or editor, but of the school people of the state. The permanent secretary of the Association could then be made the associate editor of the Journal, doing the editing of the Journal and of the proceedings of the Association, printing important addresses from month to month with discussion and comments, making the interests of the Association and the cause of education throughout the state one and the same, and thus making the Official Journal a really representative publication. The editor of the Journal and the State Teachers' Association could each pay part of the secretary's salary, and the plan could be made valuable in many ways. Such a position ought to command the services of one of the best young school men in the state, and would demand business ability, brains, energy, fearlessness, high personal integrity, and a clear understanding of educational principles and educational needs.

What the Association Needs Most.

The one thing the Association needs most, however, is the entire elimination of personal politics, slates, and combines in the election of the officers of the Association. The fact that this has not been done is the most serious blight that lies on the work and the future of the Association today. This thing has continued for a long time and is hurting the Association more than is generally realized. Many of our most promising young men and women refuse to have anything to do with the Association today, except when compelled to attend, because they have no respect for the way in which its affairs are managed. A few years ago the matter became so bad that serious protests were made, and for a time conditions were much better. The elections of Presidents Barr, Van Liew, and Dailey were without reproach. This year, however, the convention returned to its old methods, the slate and the combine were early in evidence, and in the election carried the day, though by a very small majority and against a spurof-the-moment and an unauthorized nomination from the floor of the house. In the election of directors it was clearly evident that the combine still held together.

Need of a House-Cleaning Within.

The absolute stopping of this kind of work is the most imperative need of the State Teachers' Association today. There is no use of employing a permanent secretary, of securing permanent headquarters, or of having an official publication if this thing is to continue. We have talked about this long enough under our breath and in corners; it is time now that we talked about it plainly and openly. This thing must be stopped, or the Association will continue to decline in influence and membership, and its membership will come to consist almost entirely of what the President-elect can induce nearby County Superintendents to force in under the guise of a Teachers' Institute. Fewer and fewer men from Southern California or from more than one hundred miles away attend the State Association each year. The recent rapid growth of the Northern Association is in part in the nature

of a protest. The worst feature of the matter is that that class of bright and promising young men and women in our schools, who ought to be entering the Association and growing up in its work, are not doing so in any numbers. When you ask them why they tell you very frankly. On the young men who do enter the example is demoralizing. The first requisite for the building up of a powerful and representative Association is a house-cleaning within.

The Presidency of the Association.

Why anyone wants to be elected to the presidency of the State Teachers' Association is hard to understand. At best it is only an arduous and a relatively thankless task, and should be regarded rather as a duty to be put through than as an honor to be sought. A sad mistake for a man to make is to imagine that the honor and prestige of the position will help him to get along. This is not true. What a man is he is himself, and the presidency of the State Teachers' Association is neither for him nor against him, but if he is not a man of conspicuous ability the elevation to such an office only subjects him to criticism, only serves to make his incapacity conspicious, only places him under suspicion of wanting the office to try to bolster up a losing game at home, and always serves to discredit the Association and the teaching profession.

The presidency of the State Teachers' Association, or a position on the Board of Directors or the Council, ought to be an honor to be conferred for long and conspicuous service in the convention halls. It ought never to be sought, either directly or indirectly. The premium ought to be placed on ability, personal integrity, educational grasp, and conspicuous educational service. A young man or woman entering the Association ouglit to be made to feel that the road to preferment lies, not through combines, slates, or corridor politics, but through entering the convention halls, taking part in the work of the sections, participating in the discussions, doing service on the program when requested, and studying at home to prepare himself for real educational leadership. If he does this he will have no need for offices or for bolstering up at home, and when called upon to serve he will be in a position to accept with a clear conscience and to render valuable and unselfish service. The most important asset of any man is his own self respect.

Certain Desirable Principles of Action.

In the conduct of the State Teachers' Association certain principles of action ought to be established and held to, and unless something of this kind can be done the Association cannot hope for any large or useful future:

1. No one who seeks an office, either directly or indirectly, ought to be elected to it. All offices ought to be regarded as honors to be conferred for conspicuous ability and for service rendered.

2. No one ought to be eligible for election to any office who has not been a member of the Association for at least three years. While the putting in of entirely new blood may be, just now, a very good thing for the Association, it is nevertheless bad in principle.

3. No one ought to be eligible to cast a vote for any officer of the Association who has not been a member of the Association the preceding year, and who, if not present at the meeting, has not paid his dues before the first day of the preceding March. A floating and easily herded membership ought to be eliminated from the elections. 4.

If the Association is to continue to wander about from city to city, as in the past, then no one ought to be eligible for any office when the Association meets in his own county or city. In case the Association makes some city its permanent meeting place then this would be obviously unjust.

5. A means should be provided at once whereby nominations may be studied over and intelligent action taken. The voting should not take place at the same meeting or on the same day in which the names are placed in nomination. The present method gives no time for intelligent action, and is a standing invitation to the combine and the slate. All nominations should be made at a general session on the first day of the meeting of the Association, and the voting should take place on the second day, as provided for in Art. III of the By-Laws. Names could be withdrawn, but no new names could be presented after the first day. This would give the members of the Association over night to look over the list of candidates for President, Directors and Council, and to decide what is the best thing to do for the Association.

In view of the existing conditions this change in the method of conducting the elections ought to be provided for by the present Board of Directors for the next annual meeting of the Association. The power to prescribe such a method

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