Faculty, Parents Fight For School From Battle On The Campus Series By Bill Worth Citizen-Journal Staff Writer Thursday, February 11th, 1965 Copyright 1965, Columbus Citizen-Journal Used by permission Third of a Series
The decision to close the upper six grades of University School started a battle still raging among faculty members at Ohio State University's College of Education. Parents of students enrolled in University School also have joined the fray. They are upset because their children obtain what is equivalent to a private school education at University School at a cost far lower than most private schools. It costs $210 in tuition, plus $81 a year for lunches, to send a child to University School. With University School closing its upper six grades, parents either will have to send their children to more expensive private schools or to public schools. Dr. David Clark, associate dean of the college, says the decision was regrettable, but the college was forced to choose between maintaining and expanding a program to help public schools in Ohio. He says there is not enough money to do both.
Dr. Paul Klohr, a faculty member and former director of University School, says that is not the point. The questions is whether the state will provide adequate resources or whether we have to 're-deploy' existing resources to a different area," Dr. Klohr said recently. "The committee report, ( which urged' closing University School ) assumed the were no resources available." He referred to a year long study recently complete by Prof. John I. Goodlad, of the University of California at Los Angeles. "The report, sponsored by he Ford Foundation, concludes that a college-controlled laboratory school is essential in translating experimental projects to public schools," Dr. Klohr said. "The essence of the report is that a 'bits and pieces' program, which concentrates on specific projects, is not enough. We need full programs, such as the kindergarten - through 12th grade offered at University School. Referring to the OSU decision to concentrate on developing its experimental program with Ohio schools and close University School, Dr. Klohr asks: "Can you do what Goodlad suggests with only one? We're going to have to redeploy in order to get outside funds for specific projects." Dr. Klohr is not the only faculty member who opposes closing University School. Four members of the 14-member advisory committee which urged closing the school drafted a minority report criticizing the decision. They, too, were disturbed by the money problem.
They said in their report: ". . . The decision to eliminate University School has been based on the majority's insistence that an image of excellence must be developed within the limits of the present Resources. "this position is a clear surrender to external pressures to economize . . . the elimination of University school on the grounds that sufficient resources are not available is a singularly uncompelling argument." At least 14 University school instructors sent a report to Dr. Donald R. Cottrell, dean of the college, outlining what the school has accomplished and asking it not be closed. It said in part: "Especially unfortunate would be the discarding of the University School. It is true that its successes in promoting the aims of the college have been less than all of us would have liked them to be, though failure to mobilize and coordinate the resources of other areas in the college is at least partly responsible .. . " Members of the school's Parent Council joined in the battle. The council is made up of parents of all students, with and executive committee formed by two parents from each grade. Dr. and Mrs. Palmer B. Stickney, of 2870 Halstead-rd, are chairmen of the executive committee. They proposed to OSU President Novice G. Fawcett and Dr. Cottrell that the entire University School be kept intact for three years to see how it fit in with the other college reorganization plans. Dr. Cottrell rejected the suggestion. Other critics were among the nation's educators. Letters urging the college to reverse its decision poured' in. Among the hundreds of writers were William Van Til, chairman of the department of secondary education at New York University, Lou LaBrant, professor of English at Dillard University, Richard T. Morris, professor of sociology at UCLA, Donald R. Steer, director of teacher education at Bluffton College and a number of Ohio public school administrators.