Frank W. Cyr Collection
Frank W. Cyr was superintendent of schools in Chappell, Nebraska, before coming to Teachers College, Columbia University as a graduate student in 1930. Professor Cyr earned his Ph.D. in 1933, and his dissertation, "Responsibility for Rural School Administrators," became a book published by the Teachers College Bureau of Publications. As Professor of Rural Education he worked to improve rural teaching standards and rural access to quality education. In April, 1939, Cyr organized a conference at Teachers College funded by the Rockefeller Foundation that drew transportation officials from each of the then 48 states, as well as specialists from school-bus manufacturing and paint companies. At that conference the participants established national school-bus construction standards, including the standard color of yellow for the school bus. Afterwards, Dr. Cyr became known as the “Father of the Yellow School Bus.” In 1940, Cyr served as president of the Rural Department of the National Education Association (NEA), and during the war years was instrumental in setting policies for wartime bussing. In the 1950s, Cyr experimented with teaching by telephone in his educational administration classes.
Professor Cyr published many works over his career, including "A Policy for rural Education in the United States" as President of the Rural Department of the NEA, The Small School in Wartime (1942) and Rural Education in the United States (1943), which was translated into both Spanish and Portuguese. He was the coauthor of The Small High School at Work (1936), An Introduction to Modern Education (1936) and Planning the Rural School Building (1949).
After his retirement from academia in 1965, he continued his work through the establishment of a television system for the rural schools of the Catskills. Today, a television station in Stamford, New York is used to send out advanced placement classes to the schools in the area. That station is located in the Frank W. Cyr Educational Center of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Frank W. Cyr Faculty File
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