"BANK STREET COLLEGE OF EDUCATION 69 Bank Street New"
* / • /,: /.,,,>.£ * , «,£«t ->r/^)7 BANK STREET COLLEGE OF EDUCATION 69 Bank Street New York lU, N. Y. SCHOOL FOR TEACHERS Telephone HARRIET JOHNSON NURSERY SCHOOL Chelsea 3-5O3U STUDIES AND PUBLICATIONS April 16, Mr. Marc Vosk Research Department American Jewish Committee 386 Fourth Avenue New York, New York Dear Mr. Vosk: I am writing you in response to your suggestion in our telephone conversation of yesterday, in behalf of the research staff for the Teacher Selection project being conducted under the auspices of the Citizens' Committee on Children of New York City. As you know, the specific request we are making is for permission to use, as part of our test battery in the study, the F-Scale from The Authoritarian Personality. As I explained over the phone, we had not realized that it "might be necessary "to secure permission before using the scale since the F-Scale is in such Td.de use in psychological research throughout the ootu&try* It was, of course, our intention to make full acknowledgement at the time of publication and to check with you the nature of the acknowledgement to be made at that time. However, events outside of our control indicate some change in procedure. For that reason, it seems best to ask for explicit permission at this time. This project is being conducted by the Subcommittee on Teacher Selection of the Citizens' Committee on Children* The members of this Subcommittee are Dr. Viola Bernard, Chairman, Er. Roma Gans, Dr. Morris Krugman, Mrs. Trude Lash and Dr» Barbara Biber. Members of the Research Staff of the Bank Street College of Education are responsible for the design and execution of the technical aspects of the project. The staff includes Dr. Biber as chairman, Dr. Harvey Schrier and myself. For a number of jearst the CCC Subcommittee has worked intensively with the Board of Examiners, particularly its Subcommittee on Personality Factors, on various projects concerned with personality aspects of the selection of teachers and other school personnel. It was at the suggestion of Mr. Fields, chairman of the Subcommittee on Personality Factors, that the CCC undertook the present study. In July of 1952, a prospectus was submitted to the Board of Examiners and to Dr. Jansen, Superintendent of Schools. In the fall of 1952 this project was approved. The Joint Advisory Committee for the project is composed of the members of the CCC Subcommittee; Mr. Fields, Mr. Klein and Mr. Jablonower of the Board of Examiners, and Dr. Yfayne Wrightstone of the Bureau of Educational Research, In broad outline, the study involves: —2— 1. the development of a set of instruments designed to measure personality-related characteristics relevant to the respon- sibilities of being a teacher in the elementary grades; 2. a follow-up study which will involve observations of those teachers who receive appointments in their on-the-job teaching performance. The study is conceived as a three-year project, and the CCC is responsible for obtaining financial support from interested foundations. The Research Staff designed a set of instruments. Among these are included our own Cartoon Test, a slightly adapted F-Scale under the title "Personal Opinion Questionnaire", as well as several other techniques. These were reviewed in detail and approved by the Joint Advisory Committee. These instruments were administered to 1600 applicants for the qualifying examination for^license as substitute teacher in the elementary schools of New York City, on February 23 and 2U, 1953. We are sending you under separate cover a set of the instruments used, the Prospectus, and a brief review of the project* As I said over the phone, the CCC Subcommittee has adhered stringently to a policy of not releasing copies of these instruments to any outside group, with a few exceptions made for professional people especially interested in studying similar problems. It should, perhaps, be pointed out that we have not been responsible for the burst of publicity that has attended the administration of these instruments. The first release which described the project and gave details of the nature of the techniques used was released by the Board of Examiners with- out our knowledge. In quoting, at random, sample items from the test, three items from the Personal Opinion Questionnaire (F-Scale) were cited but not located as belonging to any particular instrument. In addition, two of our own cartoons, as yet uncopyrighted, were published. At the time, we were very much upset by this publicity and protested to the Board and to Dr. Jansen. We felt that a great deal of danger was done by newspaper publication prior to publication in scientific jour- nals. Ve are carefully, and so far successfully, avoding any linkage of the item3 discussed to the F-Scale. As you know, there has been some criticism of the project as a whole. The nature of the criticism,, of course, transcends the specific instruments that were used and represents a resistance to introducing any research that involves consideration of personality factors. Our Joint Advisory Committee feels hopeful and fairly confident that the criticism can be handled and that the project will proceed as scheduled. May I say that we sincerely regret not having obtained official permission earlier in the course of the project. As a matter of fact we were really surprised to find that we had not taken this step since in many of our conversations we had looked forward to the time when we could appropriately offer this data as an interesting -3- additional body of material to be coordinated with other uses of the F-ocalec We still hope that it will be possible to do this at some later date. We trust that, in this context, you will find it possible to comply with our request. Sincerely yours, s/s Edna Kaufman Research Associate EK:aa