Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Emergence of Bureaucracy in Urban Education: The Boston Case, 1850–1884. Part II

  • Michael B. Katz (a1)

Extract

The boston school board added to its problems by its choice of a successor to Philbrick. The man elected, Samuel Eliot (a relative of Harvard's president), had little practical experience in the administration of public education. Born in Boston in 1821, Eliot had graduated first in his class from Harvard at the age of eighteen. Following graduation he toured Europe and wrote a series of history books, including The History of Rome, The Early Christians and a Manual of U.S. History. In 1856 Eliot became Professor of History and Political Science in Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and from 1860 to 1866 he served as its president. In 1874 (the intervening eight years are vague) he became principal of the Girls' High and Normal School in Boston but resigned the position after only two years because of ill health and family bereavement. Eliot, a scholar and a nearly rank amateur in public school affairs, appealed to the reformist element of the school board, and his reports quickly made it evident that he sympathized with the faction that had deposed Philbrick. Eliot's difficulties were compounded by his snobbish social darwinism and isolation from the schools. As a practical administrator, he was generally inept. By contrast to Philbrick his reports were filled not with pragmatic discussions of practical subjects but with long and florid discourses more suitable to a late nineteenth-century literary magazine than to the report of an urban superintendent.

Copyright

References

Hide All

Notes

43. New England Journal of Education, VII (January 1878), 56; Thirty-Fourth Semi-Annual Report of the Superintendent of the Public Schools (School Document No. 16 [Boston, 1878]), pp. 25–26, 28–30; Thirty-Fifth Semi-Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools (Boston, 1879), p. 28; Thirty-Sixth Semi-Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools of the City of Boston (School Document No. 20 [Boston, 1879]), p. 17. Samuel Eliot was the superintendent at this time.

44. New England Journal of Education, VII (February 1878), 102; VII (May 1878), 328–9; VII (December 1878), 388.

45. Hinsdale, B. A., Our Common-School Education; with a Digression on the College Course (Cleveland, 1877), pp. 1923.

46. Hamilton, Gail, Our Common-School System (Boston: Estes and Lauriat, 1880), p. 91.

47. Adams, Charles Francis Jr., “The Development of the Superintendency,” a paper read before the National Educational Association at Chautauqua, New York, July 14, 1880, reprinted in The New Departure in the Common Schools of Quincy and Other Papers on Educational Topics (Boston, 1881), pp. 6063.

48. Hinsdale, , Our Common-Schools: A Fuller Statement of the Views Set Forth in the Pamphlet Entitled, “Our Common-School Education,” with Especial Reference to the Reply of Supt. A. J. Rickoff (Cleveland, 1878), pp. 2729. I am indebted for this insight into the effects of bureaucracy to Robert Merton's essay, “Bureaucratic Structure and Personality,” in Merton, Robert K. et al., Reader in Bureaucracy (New York: The Free Press, 1952), pp. 361–71.

49. Hamilton, , op cit. , pp. 9697.

50. Hinsdale, , Our Common-School Education, p. 24.

51. Ibid., p. 26; Hamilton, , Our Common-School System, pp. 249–50; White, , “Public School Failure,” 549–50.

52. Adams, , op cit. , pp. 6673.

53. First Report of the Committee on Revision of the School System (School Document No. 4 [Boston, 1879]); Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of Boston, 1879 (Boston, 1879), p. 6.

54. Ibid., pp. 729.

55. Fourth Report of the Committee on Revision of the School System (School Document No. 10 [Boston, 1879]), pp. 57.

56. Ibid., pp. 79.

57. Ibid., pp. 910.

58. Ibid., p. 10.

59. Ibid., p. 11.

60. Report of the Joint Committee and Revision Committee on the Permanent Supervision of the Primary Schools (School Document No. 14 [Boston, 1879]); Thirty-Sixth Semi-Annual Report , pp. 1419.

61. Boston Evening Transcript, February 5, 1880.

62. For a theoretical statement of the way in which bureaucracy fosters rigidity of behavior and a sense of unity among its members who tend to defend each other against criticism from outside the organization, see the discussion of Merton's ideas in March, James G. and Simon, Herbert A., Organizations (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1958), pp. 3839.

63. New England Journal of Education, IX (April 1879), 264; IX (May 1879), 281; X (October 1879) 181.

64. Bates, Joshua, Our Common Schools (Boston, 1879). Reprinted from the Sunday Herald, November 30, 1879.

65. Boston Evening Transcript, February 25, 1880; December 13, 1880; December 29, 1880; John Dudley Philbrick, “The New Departure in Boston,” New England Journal of Education (February, March, April and May 1880).

66. Rickoff, Andrew J., Past and Present of Our Common-School Education, Reply to President B. A. Hinsdale with a Brief Sketch of the History of Elementary Education in America (Cleveland, 1877).

67. White, Richard Grant, “The Public-School Failure,” North American Review, 131 (1880), 537–46.

68. Ibid., pp. 548–50.

69. “The New Obscurantists,” New England Journal of Education, XII (December 1880), 396–97. The sources used to refute White on the census of 1860 were Wright, Carroll D., The Results of the Massachusetts Public School System (Boston: Rand, Avery & Co., 1879) which originally appeared as part of the 42nd Annual Report of the Board of Education, 1879 ; Lovejoy, B. G., “Mr. Richard Grant White vs. The Public Schools of the United States: A South-Side View,” Education, 1 (March 1881), 340–42; Luckey, George J., “Is Our Public-School System a Success? A North-Side View of Richard Grant White,” Education, 1 (March 1881), 348–55. Philbrick, John Dudley, “The Success of the Free-School System,” North American Review, XXXII (1881), 249–62; Hicks, George, “The Public School System,” Education, 1 (July 1881), 583; Wickersham, J. P., “Education and Crime,” The Journals and Proceedings and Addresses of the National Education Association of the United States, Session of the Year 1881 (Boston, 1881), pp. 46–55.

70. A Statement of the Theory of Education in the United States of America, as Approved by Many Leading Educators (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1874), as quoted in Cremin, Lawrence A. (ed.), The Republic and the School, Horace Mann on the Education of Free Men (New York: Columbia University Teachers College, 1957), p. 80.

71. On the sociological concept of goal displacement see, for example, Etzioni, Amitai, Modern Organizations (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1964), pp. 1012.

72. Bicknell, Thomas, “The National Council of Education,” pp. 7887.

73. Boston Evening Transcript, February 5, 1880; February 25, 1880; December 9, 1881.

74. Exeter (pseud.), “Boston Gossip,” Journal of Education, XIV (November 1881), 311; Boston Evening Transcript, October 6, 1880 and (quoting Advertiser) November 9, 1880.

75. New England Journal of Education, XII (November 1880), 344.

76. hoc. cit.

77. New England Journal of Education, XII (December 1880), 415.

78. On Parker in Quincy see Katz, , “The ‘New Departure’ In Quincy.”

79. Exeter, , loc. cit.; Boston Evening Transcript, March 28, 1880.

80. Loc. cit.

81. Boston Daily Globe, April 10, 1881.

82. Boston Evening Transcript (quoting Herald), April 11, 1881; Boston Daily Globe, April 10, 1881.

83. Loc. cit.

84. Boston Evening Transcript, April 12, 1881; April 13, 1881; April 27, 1881.

85. Journal of Education, XIV (November 1881), 311; XIV (April 1881), 222; Exeter, , “Boston Gossip,” Journal of Education, XIV (April 1881), 223.

86. Boston Evening Transcript, November 29, 1882; Folkstone, (pseud.), “Boston Letter,” Journal of Education, XVI (November 1882), 313; Journal of Education, XVI (November 1882), 344.

87. Journal of Education, XIII (January 1881), 44; XIV (December 1881), 420–21; XV (January 1889), 25; Boston Evening Transcript, December 1, 1881; December 9, 1881; December 12, 1881.

88. Boston Evening Transcript, February 2 and 15, 1882; Exeter, , “Boston Gossip,” Journal of Education, XVI (January 1882), 9, 25; Report of the Special Committee upon Primary Schools and other Supervision (School Document No. 2 [Boston, 1882]).

89. Boston Evening Transcript, February 28, 1882, and March 1, 1882; Exeter, , “Boston Gossip,” Journal of Education, XV (February 1882), 107, and XV (March 1882), 154–55.

90. Second Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools of the City of Boston, March, 1882 (School Document No. 4 [Boston, 1882]), especially pp. 1314.

91. Loc. cit.

92. Boston Evening Transcript, March 15, 1882; Journal of Education, XV (March 1882), 186; XV (April 1882), 222; XV (April 1882), 238.

93. Annual Report of the School Committee of the City of Boston, 1883 (School Document No. 22 [Boston, 1884]), pp. 1923.

94. Journal of Education, XIX (March 1884), 152, 198.

95. Journal of Education, XX (November 1884), 296; Report of the Special Committee on Method and Work of Superintendent and Supervisors (School Document No. 9 [Boston, 1884]).

96. Journal of Education, XX (November 1884), 296.

97. On the alienation of the working class see Katz, , The Irony of Early School Reform, Part 1.

98. Etzioni, , Modern Organizations, pp. 9899.

The first part of this article appeared in the summer issue.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed