I’m Snopes-ing that 1923 teacher contract

1929 teacher contract

While I won’t argue with the sentiment that the working conditions of teachers has improved vastly during the past 85 years, I’m calling fake on the photo of a teacher contract from days bygone.

Meandering around the Internet is a photo of what purports to be a 1923 teacher contract. It’s particularly timely in Wisconsin and other states because of a political debate about the Right To Work bill, but most people are sharing it from the account of the Ohio Education Association. That account’s photo from Feb. 20 has been share more than 90,000 times.

From the first time I saw it, Megan’s hoax radar sprang into action. A little searching and I found nothing definitive. Why hasn’t Snopes addressed this one yet and made my life easy?

So, here I present my evidence to say this one is fake. Prove me wrong.

  • My radar went up because of the typesetting. That sure looks like some Times New Roman — a font available in word processors and image editors, but not so much 1923. In fact, Times New Roman didn’t first appear until nine years later.
  • There’s no place to sign this contract. It was pretty long ago, but signing contracts to validate them is a pretty old practice.
  • Sept. 1, 1923, was a Saturday.  I’m not saying a contract couldn’t start on a Sunday. I just feel like it would be unlikely to start that day.
  • Similar lists are fakes.
  • Actual contracts are boring. For comparison, take a look at Wisconsin’s regulations about schools and teacher duties in 1929.
  • I think it should be “Teacher contract” or “Teacher’s contract.” Teachers contract doesn’t make a lot of sense. they had sense in 1923. And, grammar. That too.
  • Petticoats weren’t much of a thing in 1920s fashion until later in the decade. No that every teacher walked straight out of the fashion pages, but it seems strange that wearing two would be a requirement.

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