ABSTRACT

The birth of the bureaucratic ethos also coincided with a feverish school building program and the erection of imposing central school headquarters to house the new bureaucrats. There was neither a new conception of the role of the schools nor a new institutional mechanism for delivery of schooling; there was no leader of the stature and skills of John L. Lewis to lead and organize teachers; there was no local superintendent of schools akin to La Guardia. In addition to utilitarian functions, the public schools by the time of the First World War were charged with the task of Americanizing the children of immigrants by day and their parents by night in naturalization and language classes. Given the heritage of Horace Mann and the bureaucratic ethos enveloping the schools, school officials and educators during the Depression engaged in reflex actions of opposition to budgetary cuts. The Depression exposed another facet of the structure of the schools.