Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Life Blood of the Nation

The public schools have lately been the focus of much attention--and much criticism. "The
schools aren't doing an adequate job," the pundits say, "and America is falling behind as a
result." Others defend the educational system as inadequately funded and expected to do too
much.

This isn't the first time that the health of the public school system and the health of the nation
have been linked. In 1927, one Nebraska newspaper editor proclaimed "our public schools
the life blood of the nation." He opined, "Our forefathers built wisely and well in more sense
of the words than we often give credit. One of the greatest things done was the establishment
of our free educational system. Proper educational facilities are within the reach of all and
the system promulgated places the cost on the man with the most property. He must aid in
making better citizens of the youth of our land, whether so inclined or not. Statistics show us
the illiterate of the land furnish most of the law breakers. Those who have completed the
course of education provided in our grade and high schools are generally too well founded in
the history of America to go far astray.

"America's system of education strives to make good citizens as well as educated citizens.
How well we have succeeded is obvious on every hand. No nation of the earth gives the
children the opportunity of receiving a good education that stands above other countries as
has America. No nation of the earth has fewer criminals per thousand population than does
the United States. No nation of the earth has a less number of paupers per thousand
inhabitants. "In view of this, is it not right to uphold our educational system at all hazards?
In fact the life of America depends on the stand we take in regard to maintaining our free
public school system as established in the years gone by.

"Officials and teachers in (Nebraska) public schools ask but little from the parents of the
pupils. Three outstanding things are requested of the parent and pupil. Let the parent see that
the pupil attends punctually, regularly, and has the right mental attitude. Let the pupil heed
the instruction along this line by the parent. Teachers will do the constructive work and
better men and women will be the result. Remember our teachers are American citizens and
constantly striving for the advancement of the youth of our land.

"Yes, our public schools are the life blood of the nation. Permit the school to fall and
America will fall." --Omaha Sun

 

 

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Last updated 14 September 2005

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