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IVL E. A. JOURNAL June, 1972 EDITORIAL Cognizant of our responsiblities as leaders in the field of education, the editors of the publication are always interested in investigating reports of educational experiments in progress in the State. However, this Journal is of its very nature a conservative pub- lication, and we refuse to present any reports to our readers until we are sure of all the facts in the case Having studied one such experiment in Montana as closely as possible for the past ten years and having reached certain inevitable conclusions, we now ieel that we will not be considered unduly rash in making our report at this time: One bright September morning nearly twenty years ago, a group of some twenty -odd (very odd) young teachers stood hopefully in front of a small log hut in the middle ol the end of the world (now known as Mule Chute, Montana). Undaunted by their lack ot facilities and finances, and firm in their philosophy of education, these young people were out to show the world (by remote control) what could be done in the field ol edu- C3. tion Members of the Class of 1952, Rocky Mountain College, Billings, Montana, these teachers had become convinced by reason of their excellent educational training that certain intolerable conditions existed in their profession. Knowing that some of their older colleagues might prove resistant to their proposed changes, the young people had pledged their talents (meagre as these were, still greater than their finances) to the building of a new community. In this manner, they reasoned, they would themselves constitute the voting populace, elect their own school board, etc. It seemed the best answer to a hostile world. . Inflation being what it was, the new community was begun on a modest basis. Main street consisted of only three rude log buildings that first year: a men ' s dormitory, pre- sided over by Mr. and Mrs. Victor Barta, and sentimentally called " Kenny Hall II " , a women ' s dormitory, presided over by Mr. and Mrs. Les Cross, and facietiously known as " Cross ' s Cross " ; and, of course, THE SCHOOL. Many years have passed since that September morning when the Class of 1952 waited for their first pupils (there were two -- both named Barta), and many pages have been added to the history of Mule Chute, Montana. It is now a thriving metropolis of some (we hesitate to use this word) progressive people and their (we do not hesitate to use this word) aggressive offspring. In addition to the two fine secondary schools, there are four excellent elementary schools and a teachers ' college. The schools are staffed by a corps of teachers of the original group in supervisory positions, while the classroom teachers consist entirely of graduates of Mule Chute Teachers ' College. Now how did all these changes come about and what was the moving principle be- hind them? In our many visits to Mule Chute, it has been our pleasure to become ac- quainted with the details of this growth and development. In the beginning, the future did indeed look dim. The mule Chuters did have the academic freedom which they desired, but they lacked pupils for THE SCHOOL. This may have some connection with a notation in the ANALS OF MULE CHUTE: 1953 -- the Year of Marriages. For several years, the Mule Chuters were forced to continue pursuing such outside activities as had been their custom when in college. One rais- ed pigs, another took in washings (no one could afford dry cleaning), and there is a legend among the old settlers of a gambling hall which existed on the outskirts of the village, but there is not mention of this in the ANALS. But Fortune did eventually smile upon Mule Chute, and during the next few years all of the teachers obtained their master ' s degrees, while some went on for doctor ' s de- grees. During this time, the pioneers continually persuaded other young people of similar philosophy to join them, and there were considerable population gains. 16
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STANLEY A .ANDERSON Billings, Montana PATRICK J. CONROY Student Council Re- presentative Judith Gap, Montana MARK D. DALEY, JR. Molalla, Oregon WAYNE E. ERFLE Rapelje, Montana GEORGE E. FRANCIS Bozeman, Montana ALBERT R.GENANTONE Jones Point, N. Y. WAYNE HAGEMAN Laurel, Montana 18
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