Education: Mothers v. Curdlers

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A group of mothers in Scarsdale, N. Y. last week set out to do something about the radio programs to which their children listen. They had no new kind of program to suggest but they bitterly declared that present programs "shatter nerves, stimulate emotions of horror, and teach bad grammar." They put their case before that great pedagogical clearing house, Teachers College at Columbia University. They got the United Parents Association to put mental hygienists on the subject. They voted, and took votes among their children, on their preferences among radio-broadcasts aired between 4:45 p. m. and 9 :00 p. m.

The mothers and children (aged 8 to 13) disagreed completely on most programs. The children voted for thrillers ("I want a blood-curdling murder," wrote one) while the mothers plumped for news and historical broadcasts. Only a few children approved those marked "Excellent" by the mothers: Roses and Drums, Current Events, Today's News, Great Moments in History, MARCH OF TIME. Only in Comedian Eddie Cantor did the two viewpoints meet. Rated "Good" by the mothers, he was the children's first choice. Next in popularity came Little Orphan Annie, who advertises Ovaltine and provides beetleware Orphan Annie Mugs to those who send in seals from Ovaltine cans. The Scarsdale mothers called her "Very Poor" because of her "bad emotional effect and unnatural voice." Some other ratings by the mothers: