“Arizona people insist that Arizona schools be of the best, regardless of cost”

by David Safier

The headline is a verbatim quote: "Arizona people insist that Arizona schools be of the best, regardless of cost." It's on page 6 of the book, "Arizona, a State Guide." You might have trouble finding it at your local bookstore, though. The copyright date is 1940, held by The Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff.

The book was "Compiled by Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Arizona." Y'know, one of those socialist FDR programs that, y'know, stopped people from starving and helped the country work its way out of the Depression. So that may make it untrustworthy in some folks' eyes.

Here's the complete passage, which is even more delightfully anachronistic given today's conservative wingnuttery and anti-education bias.

Along political and economic lines, the great majority of Arizona people are liberal minded almost to the "try anything once" point. Dr. Tetreau comments: "There is considerable evidence that earlier tendencies to exploit natural resources, to take all that could be taken and move on, are being tempered by the development of new interests and corresponding politico-economic philosophies." He finds them "keenly alive to questions of employment and wages, the control of immigration, the increase of the purchasing power of the laboring man, and encouragement of quality as well as quantity in the products of the farm . . ."

One direction their liberalism takes is toward provisions for popular education that might seem almost extravagant, considering population and taxable wealth. Arizona people insist that Arizona schools be of the best, regardless of cost. Parents who never went beyond the grammar grades are determined that their children shall have university diplomas. Arizonans are generous in providing libraries, recreational facilities, especially anything that promises to help children enjoy childhood and become better equipped to meet the battles of later life. [boldface added]

How times have changed!

Comments are closed.