The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956 Page: 400
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
but the Constitution of 1875 and the school laws of 1876 and 1884
placed the public schools, colleges, and universities on a status
from which has gradually evolved the modern system. These early
years saw the establishment of the University of Texas and A Sc M
College; since that time the growth of institutions of higher learn-
ing has been continuous. From the post-Reconstruction school
laws until 1949, changes in the school system were a matter of
degree rather than of kind. In 1949, however, the Gilmer-
Aikin Law substituted minimum financial standards for the
equalization method of public school financing, a method that
had frequently been marked by political pressure and which had
often resulted in unequal educational facilities over different areas
of the state. The Gilmer-Aikin Law has accompanied an upsurge
of interest in Texas education; legislative research can be ex-
pected to bring further change.
Dr. Evans' work contains valuable accounts of the development
of the academy, the public high school, and the junior or com-
munity college. Also, special attention is given to the problems of
the education of women, the mentally and physically handicapped,
and the Negro. The recent and immediate problem of desegre-
gation is hardly mentioned, both because the issue is controver-
sial and because the problem is as yet unsettled. Of added value
to the volume as a reference work is the account of the individual
colleges and universities in Texas, extant or extinct, public or
private; their history, finance, personnel, and enrollment are pre-
sented briefly. In addition, various important and specific prob-
lems of the Texas school system are presented, such as religion in
public education, textbook selection and distribution, teacher cer-
tification and retirement, and compulsory attendance.
Dr. Evans' history, presented in a factual and informative style,
contains an excellent bibliography, especially making use of un-
published theses and dissertations and of Texas and United States
government publications. The footnotes are clear and informative
and the index is fitted for the reader's needs. This is an excellent
basic reference book which may be added to in future years or
be presented in more detailed form with less scope, but it is
doubtful if Dr. Evans' work can be surpassed for the purpose for
which it was written.
DAVID P. TRIMBLE
Alabama Polytechnic Institute
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956, periodical, 1956; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/m1/426/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.