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BUREAU OF EDUCATION, Washington, February 15, 1917.

SIR: All admit the value of the education of the schools for general culture and esthetic appreciation and as a preparation for citizenship in a democracy, and most are willing to contribute out of the public funds to the support of the schools for these ends when they feel that the people are able to do so without too much sacrifice of what they call the necessities of life and too heavy a drain on their material prosperity. Comparatively few are aware of the close relation between education and the production of wealth, and probably fewer still understand fully the extent to which the wealth and the wealth-producing power of any people depend on the quantity and quality of education. The people themselves and their representatives in tax-levying bodies need to be shown that no other form of investment yields so large dividends in material wealth as do investments in popular education, and that comparative poverty is not to be pleaded as a reason for withholding the means of education, but rather as a reason for supplying them in larger proportion. To assist in this I recommend that the manuscript herewith transmitted be published as a bulletin of the Bureau of Education. The manuscript has been prepared at my request by Dr. A. Caswell Ellis, professor of the philosophy of education in the University of Texas. It is my purpose to transmit later, also for publication as a bulletin of this bureau, a manuscript by Dr. Ellis showing more specifically the direct and indirect relation of higher education to the production of wealth and to industrial development. Respectfully submitted.






The most valuable result of right education is the broadening, deepening, and refining of human life. This result can no more be measured by dollars and cents than truth, self-sacrifice, and love can be made out of pork and potatoes. While the higher things of the soul are priceless rewards which true education brings, they are not its only result. The material and measurable rewards of education should be made plain to those whose votes must determine the support of our educational system. Those who desire better support of that system should point out in terms that the people can understand the definite ways in which education promotes industrial efficiency and increases material wealth. That is the purpose of this bulletin.


Germany. The concrete evidence of the effect of education in increasing industrial efficiency is overwhelming, whether considered from the national standpoint or from that of the individual citizen. For example, how else account for the fact that a nation like Germany, with limited natural resources, but with excellent public schools, has grown in wealth and power so much more rapidly than her neighbor, Russia, which has a vigorous and talented national stock and vastly better resources but poor educational facilities? That the phenomenal success of Germany is the direct result of her thorough educational system is generally admitted.

John A. Lapp says:1

Germany, as a result of industrial training, already puts four times as much labor value into its manufactured articles as the United States. If this country merely equaled Germany's present record, we (the United States) would be manufacturing from the same raw products not $20,000,000,000, but $80,000,000,000 worth of finished articles.

President Vanderlip, of the National City Bank of New York, said:

In the group of great industrial nations there has come forward in recent years one that has taken a place in the very front rank among industrial competitors. That nation is Germany. Her people have lacked the peculiar

1" Case and Comment," Sept., 1913, p. 234.

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The figures in this chart are from "A World-Wide Law," by Charles W. Dabney, and are for 1899. The figures would be much higher for all in 1909, but the relative standing of each would be the same. The production for 1909, as estimated from the figures given by the 1910 census, would be: Massachusetts $466, the United States as a whole $332, Tennessee

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