Horace Mann begins his Annual Report of the Secretary of the Board of Education of Massachusetts for the year 1841, by stating that he believes that educations befits on a people to be as certain as the passing days bring on the different seasons. He promises that he will explain how an education effects the worldly possessions of all men. Therefore, to defend the pecuniary benefits of basic education, Mann reveals that he has been in contact with many businessmen with large numbers of employees whom can be compared based on performance and education status in a fair fashion. The second portion of Mann's report consists of his initial letter as well as the return letters from the various businessmen.
[...] Mann's final, significant mistake over the course of his report is his inability to confine his report to what he promised it would contain. At the beginning of his report, Mann claims he will take the view that an education helps mankind's financial well-being, as opposed to its affects on mankind's morality, “because the advocates and eulogists of education have rarely, if ever descended to so humble a duty as to demonstrate [education's] pecuniary value both to individuals and to society” (93). [...]
[...] Although this technique does make Mann's report more compelling at first glance, upon further analysis, it becomes clear that his argument contains too little evidence of the actual subject and is bolstered by further evidence that has nothing to do with supporting Mann's initial claim. Over the course of report on educations benefits on the pecuniary matters of men, Mann, detracts from his own case in a few ways. However all the problems with his report come back to Mann manipulating what conclusions are able to be drawn at face value from his paper through selectivity among a narrow scope of evidence bolstered by seemingly supportive evidence that in fact is unrelated to his overarching point. [...]
[...] So, although Mann's report seems to lend aid to the cause of public education, upon further analysis it actually detracts from it, leaving a sense that the defense public education needs excessive manipulation of evidence in order to seem plausible. If public education is to seem a benefit, Mann must included all evidence, supportive and refuting, over all scopes of labor. And if he is unable to do so with the current education system, the indication is clear that a revamping of the entire system is necessary in order for education to benefit the lives of men, no matter their financial or social standing. [...]
[...] Mann explains farm hands, cultivate different fields, where the ease of tillage or the fertility of the soils may be different,” and therefore farms hands are unable to be included in his report (95). However, by his own argument, Mann makes the solution to this problem clear. In order to observe differences in the quality of non-educated farms hands and educated farm hands work, they must be out side-by-side working the same field in order for differences to be fairly observed. [...]
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