1905: 15th Biennial Report

Fifteenth Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of Kansas
for the Years Ending June 30, 1905 and June 30, 1906

(View a scanned copy of the 15th Biennial Report)


Kansas is to-day confronted with the race problem. It is a question which will sooner or later present itself to every municipality in the United Staten for solution. Segregation of the races in our public schools will come. The conclusion is not based on prejudice, but on common sense and pedagogical principles. We need teachers of the same race as the pupils--white teachers for white pupils and colored teachers for colored pupils. We submit the following reasons:

  1. The educational development of the negro must be from within, and by the race itself, and not solely through extraneous agencies. 
  2. The intellectual and moral dependence of the race should not be perpetuated. The negro needs to be stimulated to independent activity. 
  3. As a teacher of his race the negro occupies a position of trust and honor, which he needs to quicken his sense of responsibility and to furnish him the incentives and the means for race elevation. 
  4. The teacher and the pupil must possess a common consciousness, whose historic processes have common elements, resulting in common intuitions. The teacher must embody in his character the race epochs and processes represented in the child. 
  5.  The instinct of race identity renders impossible the realization of an ideal relation between the white teacher and the negro pupil. The teacher and the child must be coordinated.

Other considerations in the same line might be adduced, such as the necessity of modifying our courses of study and adapting our methods of teaching to the wants of the negro schools. The question resolves itself in this form: Shall the standard be lowered to meet the negro pupil, who has less than a half-century of progress behind him, or shall the standard be maintained to meet the requirements of the white pupil, who has centuries of progress behind him? The same pedagogical principles that apply to the instruction of the white child cannot possibly apply to the instruction of the average colored child; hence the importance of separating the races.

It remains to be seen whether the instruction of an infant race can proceed along the same lines and by the same methods as that of a race whose culture is based upon centuries of struggle and self-effort, without involving the violation of all sound economic and pedagogic doctrine.

Therefore, we recommend that the legislature place on the statute-books of the state of Kansas a law enabling district boards and boards of education, where the per cent. of colored population will warrant, to establish separate schools, and to maintain them up to the same standard of efficiency as provided for the white schools.

Separate schools will be the salvation of the race, for it means race independence rather than race dependence.