(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
The Deerfield School Controversy.
It is to be hoped that the litigation over the Deerfield school superintendency
will be brought to an early close. The longer the fight goes on the worse for
the schools. Whichever side is beaten in the proceedings now instituted should
gracefully accept the situation. Loyal support should be rendered whichever
man the supreme court declares to be entitled to the position. So far as can
be learned, either one of them is earnestly desirous of doing good work.
As to the general school situation in Deerfield, a few things may be said. It seems to be a prevlent impression among educational men, that the schools of Deerfield have not been in good condition. This is the feeling not merely of the board of education, but of educators entirely independent of that organization. It would therefore
seem that the town was wise in its feeling at the last annual meeting, that
there should be an overhauling. As the new school committee is the only party
that has put forward a definite and constructive program looking toward improvement,
they should be given hearty support unless in time they shall demonstrate their
incapacity to do the work to which they are pledged. And a single year will
not be enough to give them a fair opportunity.
It is claimed that the campaign for improved school administration has not
been discreetly managed. It goes without saying that a campaign for school reform
must be managed as adroitly as one for the capture of a political caucus or
convention. Yet those who allege such indiscretion, while yet believing that
changes in the schools of the towns were necessary, would do well to keep their
eyes fixed on the main issue--the welfare of the schools. If they are republicans,
they will not vote for Bryan because they do not happen to like the way the
national committee shall run the campaign this fall, nor if democrats, will
they vote for McKinley for a like reason.
When one thinks how much the future of the children of a town depends on the
condition of the schools, side issues should be lost sight of. The personal
fortunes of any individuals, the question whether this or that person has been
fairly or unfairly dealt with, become insignificant in comparison with the overshadowing
one; "Which party is disposed to do the more toward making the schools
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The effort by Deerfield town reformers to seize control of the Dickinson High School, the town's joint venture in high school education with the Deerfield Academy, came at the end of two decades of decline. By 1900, both schools were in poor condition, so much so that many Deerfield families had begun to send their children to Greenfield high schools. This effort would prove to be unsuccessful. Both schools continued to decline until the arrival of a new, young, energetic headmaster, Frank Boyden, in 1902. Through Boyden's leadership, the Deerfield Academy, and its associated Dickinson High School, soon regained its stature as a premier institution of education.
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"Deerfield School Controversy"
| publisher Greenfield Gazette and Courier
| date Jun 2, 1900
| location Greenfield, Massachusetts
| height 7.5"
| width 2.25"
| process/materials printed paper, ink
| item type Periodicals/Newspaper
| accession # #L02.086
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