The headline poses a tough question:
"What Are We Going To Do About Our Schools?"
Does the article contain suggestions?
Is it for or against Common Core?
Is it a complaint by Robert Small, a Howard County parent who opposes Common Core?
You guessed wrong if you said yes to any of these.
Actually, it's a question on the front page of Baltimore County's Federation P.T.A. News of November, 1933! Eighty years ago - and probably 80 years before that - interested parents have asked similar questions.
Some twenty copies of the publication were handed to me in a big brown envelope with a 3-cent Lincoln stamp and pared-down address, sans zip code.
Eager workers in my attic found the envelope, addressed to my mother, who was, way back when, secretary of the Baltimore County P.T.A. Federation.
In reading the newsletters, Harold L. Ickes, then-Secretary of the Interior - instead of a county school official - answers his headline question:
"I believe that every child should be given all the education that he can reasonably absorb and use to advantage for a happy and full life."
This said, indeed, in the depths of the Great Depression of the 30's.
Throughout the county, parents worried about education questions that concern them.
A child study group at Franklin High discusses, "The Child's Use Of His Leisure Time." These 1933 parents never dreamed of Facebook or texting.
A Catonsville Elementary PTA program pointed out the value of "Mathematics - the Key to All Doors."
A new (1936) English Course of Study received this comment from Dr. W.C. Reavis, Department of Education, University of Chicago: "The new curriculum in English takes a place among the very best in the United States."
David Zimmerman, Catonsville principal spoke at a 1933 PTA meeting of grading students termed "college material" and of college requirements.
And 'round and 'round it goes: Schools - what's good, bad, right, wrong.
Over the years much has been eliminated. Gone are the days, from the long ago school halls, of Home Economics classes, a handwriting curriculum, widespread Christmas plays and concerts, typewriters, Latin instruction, prayer in the classrooms, and from one PTA journal an advertisement for a "duplicating machine."
Education - a continuing work in progress.