The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 19, 1939

FOUR EDITORIALS

Site Ed. Note: "Ol' 42 Up" points up what is now an anachronism--poor educational quality in the Tar Heel state. While many Southern states still lag behind in education, North Carolina is not one of them, and has not been since circa 1960. In the 1990 census, North Carolina was eleventh among the states in population, ranked, as of 2001, thirty-first in federal funding for education, but had managed to stay basically even with its rank in population among the states in quality factors. As of 1997, it ranked eleventh in numbers of high school graduates, eleventh in numbers of public school teachers, fourteenth in numbers of public schools, and twenty-third in student-teacher ratio. N.C. did not make the top ten index for "freedom of education", however, as published by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and re-published in the Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2000. Arizona was first and the only Southern state in the top ten was Texas at sixth. By the same token, however, North Carolina did not make the ten least free, whereas, while Hawaii was first of the worst, several Southern states followed, West Virginia, second, Kentucky, fourth, Virginia, seventh, South Carolina, eighth, and Georgia, tenth. As of 1998, North Carolina was fourteenth among the states in numbers taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test, 62%, and scored a composite of 982 on the verbal and math sections, ranking twelfth among those fifteen states with more than 60% taking the test. The United States average was 43% taking the test, scoring a composite of 1017, the composite high having been New Hampshire with 74% taking the test and scoring 1043. Of the fifteen states with more than 60% taking the test, three others were Southern states besides North Carolina. Virginia ranked twelfth at 66% with a composite score of 1006, making it sixth in the nation, Georgia with 64% taking the test and a composite score of 968, making it 13th in the nation in both score and numbers taking the test, andů

South Carolina, it would appear, has a way to go though certainly doing better than 60 years earlier. It was twelfth in receipt of money in 2000, 26th in overall population rank, but 32d in number of public schools, and 23d in number of teachers. South Carolina was in 1998 fifteenth among the states in numbers taking the S.A.T., at 61%, but of the fifteen states with more than 60% taking the test, the Palmetto State was dead last with an average composite score of 951, substantially behind its neighbors, Georgia and North Carolina with similar numbers of students taking the test. And, in fact, it ranked last among all the states in raw composite score (though it is only fair to point out that in many states, such as Mississippi (4%) and Alabama (8%), few students took the test). A little less fret over flying the Confederate flag off the dome of the state Capitol and more concern for the quality of education might be in order in Columbia.

Not Over Yet

The Nazis Indulge In Some Dangerous Promises

One thing from which the British may glean comfort is the way in which the Nazi authorities are taking chances with the psychology of their people on the basis of the recent sea victories.

To date the Germans have certainly sunk two British warships, with a total tonnage of about 50,000. In addition they have damaged two more with a tonnage of about 20,000, to some extent. The claim that they have sunk the Ark Royal, aircraft carrier, is disproved by the fact that the American naval attaché at London, Captain Alan Kirk, has attended religious services on her since the alleged sinking. And in view of that, and the apparently frank policy of the British Admiralty, it seems safe to discount the claims concerning the Repulse, etc.

On the basis of these accomplishments and these claims, however, the puppet German newspapers are triumphantly assuring the German people that "England's naval supremacy is tottering," and "if a few more warships sink, we shall have control of the North Sea."

That will be true only if the German submarines and bombers can make the North Sea so dangerous the British ships will have to retire from it and hide in their ports, or if they can succeed in whittling the British Navy down to a size with which the German Navy can hope to compete. The total tonnage of the British Navy at the beginning of the war was about 2,300,000 tons, that of Germany's about 500,000.

If the German air and sea commanders make good on these large promises, all will be well, of course. But if they fail, the confidence of the German people in ultimate victory is plainly going to come in for a very rude shock.

On Smearing

There Are More Ways Of Confusing Than One

In his column to the right, General Ironpants Johnson rushes to the defense of Lindbergh--and himself--from what he insinuates is a form of smearing for propaganda purposes.

But let the reader mark this: support of the embargo in arms is one thing; demanding that Canada get out of the British Empire under penalty being kicked out from under the Monroe Doctrine is another. Lindbergh did the latter in effect, as anyone may see by reading his speech; and General Johnson has coasted very close to doing the same thing.

It would be utterly wrong and confusing to attack the body of the Senators in favor of the embargo as Nazis, granted that, so far as we know, no responsible newspaper or journal has done so. Neither has any such agency suggested that Ironpants was a Nazi.

But it is just as wrong and confusing to insist that no supporters of the embargo shall be charged with Nazi sympathies, regardless of the evidence. There's plenty of evidence in the case of Lindbergh. In his last speech, for example, he plumped whole-heartedly for the Nazi racial doctrine.

And just as wrong and confusing is the effort--made by both Lindbergh and Ironpants--to plant the notion that we have extended the Monroe Doctrine to Canada out of sheer generosity. In fact, our motive is self-interest. And that gives us no right whatever to interfere in her sovereign decisions as a member of the British Empire. It makes no difference that her war may mean trouble for us. Wars always do mean trouble for third parties. Our American Civil War nearly wrecked the economy of England before it was over, threw thousands of cotton mill operatives on starvation. And our Spanish-American War made trouble for both England and France. Are we to secure peace by setting up to fight Britain and France unless they back down from war because that war means trouble for us?

Courage

Two Noble Senators Get Themselves On A Limb

There have been few more shameful exhibitions on the floor of United States Senate--so far as we recall, none--than that staged yesterday.

The Hon. Rush Dew Holt, of West Virginia, was on his feet steadily mimicking the speech in the manner of the President of the United States, like any hoodlum from the coal mines of his state. Then he took to sneering at the English House of Lords for taking cover at the sounding of an air alarm.

Then up arose the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds, of North Carolina (God help her!), to ask:

"I wonder if Winston Churchill was in the rush?"

"I understand three lords were injured by Churchill's rush to be first," was Holt's reply.

It is of course a falsehood out of whole cloth. And there is a devastating answer to it. Mr. Winston Churchill has proved his courage in battle. He served "with great distinction" in India in 1897 and in the Sudan in 1898, was made a prisoner by the Boers in 1899 and made a daring escape, serving with the British army in France between his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915 and his appointment as Minister of Munitions in 1917. No such can be said for either the Hon. Rush Dew Holt or the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds. The latter's name, indeed, does not appear on the rolls of the army for 1917-18, though he (Holt was too young) was exactly of the age to be there.

Incidentally, all this bears on the argument of Hugh Johnson referred to in another editorial on this page. It is plain enough where the sympathies of these men lie. And if sympathy for Nazism, hatred for its foes, isn't ground to suspect a man of being a Nazi at heart, what is? Or is it only the great "neutrals" who have a right to be unneutral?

Ol' 42 Up

One More Promotion And We'll Be In Second Dozen

Though our hearts well with gladness whenever we name her, candor has trained us to look far down in 42nd place for the name of North Carolina in any table listing the 48 states according to wealth, health, culture and public welfare. "Ol' 42," we have come to call her, not without affectionate understanding of the hard factors that cause so great a gap between her pride and her pocketbook.

But look ye! "Ol' 42" has been promoted, and at that in a field of endeavor for which, in years gone by, she was wont to thank God for South Carolina, who alone had kept her from bringing up the rear. In the rank of the states according to public education, North Carolina has moved to 38th place. Which is to say that instead of being followed only by Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and a few other backward sisters, she now can see the front of the column. With a spyglass, anyhow.

Besides, excellence is not only a matter of mere statistical standing. North and South Carolinians know full well, for all their defamers, that the simple pleasure of living in God's chosen country makes up for the fact that the Philistines are getting most of the manna.


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