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Folder 019 - "Montague, Mrs. A. P., 1913-1916", Item 015

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[newspaper clipping from Covington Dispatch] Cov. Va Pub 3/27/14 We Stand Corrected

To the Editor of the Dispatch: -- I notice in an editorial appearing in your paper of March 20th, that you have made use of the statement of the Hon. Hugh White in his speech before the House of Delegates on the evening of the defeat of the Co-ordinate College Bill. Unfortunately in that speech the delegate from Rockbridge, I am satisfied, unwittingly made a very misleading statement as to conditions of illiteracy in our State. Our status in the educational world is none too good, and I am therefore convinced that the members of our House of Delegates, and our Press, do not wish to publish us to the world as a more illiterate commonwealth as far as our white population is concerned than the facts justify. Mr. White stated in his speech, which statement I notice, you have repeated, that there were 81,000 illiterate white children of school age in the State of Virginia. It so happens that the number of illiterate white school children in Virginia is 18,047. The 81,000 illiterates referred to by Mr. White, were not children of school age, but were the total number of white illiterates of all ages over ten years of age in the State. These facts are as of the figures of 1910, and are therefore possibly even larger than is now the case. You will note that this is an entirely different status of affairs, and one that gives us reason for encouragement in comparing the present number of illiterates to those of past years, when our public school system was so much less well developed and so much less popular with our Legislators. It has been my privilege through close connection with the Co-operative Education Association to be a worker for the common schools of our State for the past fourteen years, and I therefore deplore any effort on the part of our public men, or the press of the State, to bring into competition and rivalry the common schools with the higher institutions of learning in Virginia. Education is a unit and it seems to me we can only therefore, bring it to a full efficiency as we think of it and work for it in this spirit. I am sure that you will be glad to make a correction in regard to the figures above commented on, not only for the benefit of your readers, but for the benefit of those from outside who take notice of any signs of backwardness in this Commonwealth so dear to us all. I would appreciate it, if you felt willing to publish this letter over my signature as in a measure correcting your former unintentional erroneous statement. Very truly yours, Mary C. B. Munford. Chairman of the Woman's Co-ordinate College Committee. 503 East Grace St. Richmond Va. Mar. 25, 1914.