This chapter focuses on Nicholas Murray Butler's career as an educator. In 1885, as a young philosophy instructor with an interest in pedagogy, Butler had joined the National Education Association, the country's largest professional organization of teachers and school administrators. In 1891 he was elected to the association's sixty-person National Educational Council, becoming its president four years later. At a meeting of the National Council in 1891, James H. Baker, principal of the Denver High School, addressed the lack of correlation between the admissions requirements of colleges and the curriculum of secondary schools. In early July 1892 the NEA met in Saratoga, New York, to consider the issues raised by Baker. Butler also became the leading figure in the campaign to reform New York public schools. He rapidly became, for historian of education Diane Ravitch, the “Field Marshal” of the battle for school reform.
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