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Harvey, Lorenzo Dow, 1848-1922 / Report of the commissioner appointed by the legislature in 1899 to investigate and report upon the methods of proceedure in this and other states and countries in giving instruction in manual training and in the theory and art of agriculture in the public schools
(1901)

Proposed constitutional amendment relating to the office of state superintendent PDF (275.8 KB)


Importance of the office of state superintendent PDF (275.8 KB)


Work of the office professional and executive, not political PDF (275.8 KB)


Office should be upon the same plane as the judiciary PDF (275.8 KB)



                                  9Wro3i OF
                          state          _td
                              MADISON, WIs.
      Propoed ConstItutional Amendment Relating to the Office of
                           State Superlntendent.
 The following proposed amendmtnt to the Constilution of Wisconsin was
 agreed to by the legislatures of 18.1J and 19'31 Chapter 258, laws of 1901,
pro-
 vides that the amendment shall be submitted to a vote of the people of the
state
 at the next general election, in November, 1902.
 " PROVISIONS OF AMENDMENT. Section 1. The supervision of public in-
 struction shall be vested in a state superintendent and such other officers
as the
 legislature shall direct; and their qualifications, powers, duties,. and
compensa-
tion shall be prescribed by law. The state superintendent shall be chosen
by
the qualified electors of the state at the samne tim3 and in the -same manner
as
members of the supreme court, and shall hold his office for four years from
the
succeeding first Monday in July. The state superintendent ehosen at the general
election in November, 1902, shall hold and continue in his office until the
first
Monday in July, 1905, and his successor shall be chosen at the time of the
judi-
cial election in April, 1905. The term of office, time and manner of electing
or
appointing all other officers of supervision of public instruction shall
be fixed
by law."
            hmportance of the Office of State Sup rintendent.
 The proper administration of the office affects the interests of nearly
a half
 million pupils in the public schools. The state superintendent comes into
of-
 ficial relations with more than 20,000 school officers and with the 13,000
teachers.
 of the common schools. He passes upon the qunliciations of the 70-high
 school teachers, and of the 750 teachers in the state graded schools. The
proper,
 discharge of his duties directly affects the character of the work done
in the
 schools of the state, for the maintenance of which $7,033,000 are expended
an-
 nually, and in which nearly one-fourth of the entire population of the state
are
 receiving instruction for not less than seven months each year.
      Work of the Office Professional and Executive, Not Political.
 It is the only state office requiring constructive and organizing work.
This
 work must be carried on continuously and intelligently in order that the
school
 system may keep pace in improvement with changing conditions, and with the
 necessities of the people. The state superintendent is called upon for informa-
 tion and advice in all matters relating to school legislation, and to the
adminis-
 tration of the school laws. His various duties bring him into close official
 relations with people of all political opinions, and in matters which should
be
 decided without reference to political bias.
        Office Should Be Upon the Same Plane as the Judiciary.
 Of all the offices in the state government, it is the one which should be
en-
 tiri-ly free from political influences or bias. For this reason this officer
should
 be chosen because of his professional and administrative ability in educational
 vwirk and not because of his political belief. This office should be put
upon the
 sBame plane as the judiciary, where men are elected because of their fitness,
and
 at the spring election, when no political issues divide parties.
 The proposed amendment aims to take 'this office out of polities by 'putting
 the election in the spring, at the same time the judges are elected.


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