Minority Fights To Keep University School From Battle On The Campus Series By Bill Worth Citizen-Journal Staff Writer Tuesday, February 9th, 1965 Copyright 1965, Columbus Citizen-Journal Used by permission First of a Series A quiet battle is being waged in the corridors of Arps Hall on the Ohio State University campus. Cause of the battle is the closing of University School. General headquarters is Arps Hall, which houses the College of Education. But the front lines are in the 30 year old University School building, just north of GHQ. The skirmish is an old one. The forces for University School are fighting for their very existence University School has been defined as 'being to the College of Education what the Agriculture experiment Station is to the College of Agriculture Staff members at the school take basic research and through experimentation - much of It trial and error -develop programs which can be used is public schools. In the fall of 1963, OSU President Novice G. Fawcett asked the dean of the College of; Education, Dr. Donald R. Cottrell, to make a study aimed at reorganizing college structure. Dr. Cottrell appointed a special committee "to study a Center of School Experimentation In relation to over all college objectives, and left for a scheduled trip to India. THE 14-member committee, headed by Dr. David Clark, associate dean of the college, made the study. When Dr. Cottrell returned in March, 1964, the committee handed him a 40-page report, including the recommendation which created the battle lines: Phase out University School. Only 10 committee members Signed the report: Dr. Clark Dr. Edgar Dale, Dr. David Ecker, Dr. Charlotte Huck, Dr. Egon Guba Dr. Theodore Jenson, Dr. Hugh Laughlin, Dr. Margaret Mordy, Dr. Harold Reynard and Dr. Erwin Schneider. Four committee members wrote a minority report criticizing the decision to close University School. They were Donald Dr. William Jennings, Esther Schatz and Dr. George Thompson. All but Dr. Thompson are teachers at University School. He is in the Depart- of Psychology. In its report, the committee Said it tried to respond to the question: "What should a great college of education look like in the coming decades--how should it organize itself and mobilize its resources to evade the bonds mediocrity?" Three of the group's recommendations deal with University School and the Center for School Experimentation ( CSE ), set up six years ago to feed finished programs from University School to the public schools. The first recommendation is to change the structure of the college, doing away with the Department of Education, the Bureau of Educational Research, University School and the CSE.
The group advised setting up a Department of Teacher Education to develop teachers; a Department of Educational Studies to prepare students in the theory of education and a Department of Educational Development to apply existing knowledge about education to new situations and to boost experimentation and change in public schools. Along with this conclusion, the committee recommended the college work with school districts facing educational problems. The college ( should ) discontinue its K-12 (kindergarten through 12th grade) instructional program in University School and devote these resources to an intensive field-related program . . . on a contract basis with selected public school districts in Ohio." The committee said University School should not close if the proposed new departments suffer from it. However, the report continues: ". . . (there is) . . . little evidence that such would be the case. University School is only tangentially related to the program of teacher education and has not affected . . . the recent dramatic increase in research in the college . . . it appears these functions can be carried out effectively without operating an on-campus school program." Then the report suggests that ties between the college and public schools be strengthened. It says the college has shown public school children can be substituted effectively in the experimental role now played by University School students. The highly critical minority report confines itself to the University School issue. It says in part: "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 and is consistently not acceptable to he minority. The acceptance of substitutes for the continuing student body provided by a laboratory school would weaken rather than strengthen any plan for reorganization . . ." The minority criticizes the majority's reasons for closing the school and concludes: "The reorganization proposed . . . clearly provides . .. functions and activities to appropriate departments. In this setting a laboratory school could become an essential part of the college." After the report came out, the hue was so loud and the cry so anguished a compromise was reached: Close grades seven through 12, but retain kindergarten through sixth grade. Last September, applications to the secondary school were closed. The school year 1964-65 is the last in which all six upper grades will operate. In 1965-66, grades eight, nine, 11, and 12 will be open; in 1966-67, grades nine and 12 only and in 1967-68 the secondary school of University School will lock its doors.