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By Andrew Gulliford

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In addition, each state historic preservation office and department of education was contacted by letter. Thank you for your cooperation and the country school material that you forwarded to me. I am indebted to Dr. Fred E. H. Schroeder, professor of humanities, University of Minnesota-Duluth, for his willingness to work with a young, unknown historian-photographer, for his guidance and enthusiastic support of the Country School Legacy project and this book, which we first conceptualized in 1978, and for his scholarship, to which this book owes a great debt; to Randall Teeuwen, for his consistent encouragement, companionship and photographic expertise; to Brenda G.

Throughout the United States, civic leaders and educators jumped on the bandwagon to save rural students from their own schools. State school superintendents provided architectural plans for the "model" rural schools, but the real goal was to make them miniature duplicates of their urban counterparts. One of the best spokesmen for the consolidation movement was N. C. MacDonald, a rural school specialist and state school superintendent for North Dakota. The following remarks, from his address entitled "A Square Deal for the Country Boy," given in 1911 before the North Dakota Educational Association, set forth his reasons for consolidation and professionalization in Page 42 education (although he neglected to cite the condition of country school girl students).

The gross underfunding of rural schools in such poor communities was the result of the impoverished base of local finance, not the stinginess of patrons. Farmers raised 31 percent of the country's children but received only 9 percent of the national income. The poorest rural families tended to have the most children. The poorest young people, who needed formal education the most, generally received the least; they were sometimes unable to meet even modest standards of literacy and often failed mental tests in the draft during World Wars I and II.

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