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Critical Essay - Jane Addams Twenty Years at Hull-House The argument Addams makes that educational matters are more democratic in their political than in their social aspect 197 I believe she is referring to the long struggle between the teachers and the Chicago School Board The Chicago School Board was politically corrupt Many of the teachers and custodial engineers were friends of politicians who secured their positions in exchange for certain kickbacks The school board maintained control over the school administration for many years During which they restricted the types of children that were able to attend the public schools and they restricted the amount of freedom and authority the teachers were able to use in their classrooms On several different occasions the Dunne members of the board attempted to lower the restriction on the teachers side but were warned-off with tales of the politicians and the difficulties previous attempts encountered Addams describes the situation between the superintendent and the Teachers Federation as an epitome of the struggle between efficiency and democracy 171 She clearly understood both standpoints and why they both felt compelled to make their argument although she does mention that they both inevitably exaggerated the difficulties of the situation 171 As a member of the school board Addams tried to influence the Federation to make changes that would be in the best interest of the children but after the legal struggle and following months of constant change many of the important measure were withdrawn Although she did have an opportunity to debate these measures in a democratic way they were dismissed because of more or less political reasons Jane Addams role for education in an effort to reform the city was to take the disruptive delinquents the public schools rejected and accept them unconditionally into the settlement Give them the opportunity to learn domestic training and trade teachings She felt that even people of lesser means were interested in the same
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