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tions involved in an existing controversy, courts of equity decline all interference, and leave parties to abide the summary decision of those clothed with the visitorial authority.”
It has also been decided that the State superintendent may make all needful rules and regulations for the hearing of appeals, “ including a rule requiring the evidence to be submitted in the form of affidavits, and the arguments of parties or their counsel in writing, without a personal hearing or oral examination of witnesses before him ;'; and further that he has the power to correct mistakes made in rendering judgment in a case before him possessed by all courts and judicial officers.?
It appears, therefore, that the appellate jurisdiction of the central educational authorities has become quite firmly established in law and practice in a large number of our States. And only a moment's reflection will reveal the vast importance of this power. Such a power and jurisdiction offers almost endless opportunity for central control of local authorities and for securing a more uniform administration of the school law. Indeed in some States these decisions of the State superintendent constitute quite an extensive body of supplementary school law, as an examination of even the decisions printed in the school reports will show. And it is not too much to predict that wherever firmly established this power will surely bring about a more and more thorough central control and regulation. This appellate jurisdiction of the State superintendent is one of the really strong tendencies toward centralization which the latter half of the century has developed
We have now passed in review some of the leading features of the school systems of the various States, and have
State ex rel. Moreland v. Whitford, 54 Wis., 150.
discovered quite a strong under-current toward centralization in educational administration. In spite of our extreme devotion as a people to the principle of local self-government, we have not hesitated to reject the principle to a great extent in order to secure greater efficiency in the administration of our public school systems. And it is well to note before leaving our subject that this tendency discovered in educational administration is in accord with a similar tendency in other departments. Already our whole national system of administration has become quite thoroughly centralized, and, although we have by no means gone so far in our commonwealth administration, yet even here education is not the only department in which this centralizing tendency can be discovered. The same tendency is every year becoming more and more evident in public health and poor-law administration, in the assessment of taxes and the auditing of local accounts. In conclusion the writer wishes to express his opinion that this tendency is a wholesome and safe one, and our people need not be frightened by the bugbear of paternal government which the opponents of this tendency continually invoke. It is an incontestable fact that in the field of educational administration, as well as in the other fields just mentioned, this centralization has led to increased administrative efficiency; and it is not too much to predict that as our civilization becomes more complex this tendency, which is already quite marked, will become more and more pronounced and felt in other States and other fields of administration.