North American Scholar
A.B. Columbia, 1867; A.M., 1871; Litt. D., 1929; study at Würzburg, Berlin, & Göttingen; Ph.D. Rostock, 1871.
- Professional Experience:
Princ. Sachs Collegiate Inst. Sch. of Boys (NY), 1872-1904; princ. School of Girls, 1891-1907; sec. sch. rep. College Entrance Examination Bd., 1900-4; prof. sec. educ. Columbia Tchrs. Coll., 1902-17; pres. Schoolmasters Assn. (NY), 1889; pres. APA, 1890-1; pres. Assn. Colls. & Schs. of Middle States, Headmasters Assn. of U.S., 1898.
"Several Orations in Sallust's Writings" (Rostock, 1872)
"Observations on Plato's Cratylus," TAPA 9 (1878) 59-68; "Observations on Lucian," TAPA 11 (1880) 66-71; "Notes on Homeric Zoology," TAPA 17 (1886) 17-23; "The So-Called Medusa Ludovisi," Studies Drisler, 245-56; "Modern Languages in Secondary School," Educ. Rev. 29 (1905) 163-78; "Elimination of the First Two College Years: A Protest," Educ. Rev. 30 (1905) 488-99; "Co-education in the United States," Educ. Rev. 33 (1907) 298-305; "Departmental Organization of Secondary Schools," Education 27 (1907) 484-96; "Intellectual Records of Co-education," Educ. Rev. 35 (1908) 466-75; "Recent Impressions of Modern Language Teaching in Germany," Proc. New York Schoolmasters' Assoc. (1908-9); Studies in Secondary Education (New York, 1909); Syllabus of a General Course on the Theory and Practice of Teaching in the Secondary School (New York, 1909); "The Training of the Teacher of the Classics in Germany," Educ. Rev. 41 (1911) 449-66; The American Secondary School and Some of Its Problems (New York, 1912); "Junior Colleges in California," Educ. Rev. 55 (1918) 117-25.
Sachs belonged to a family of great professional distinction. His brother Bernard, a pioneer in the field of neurology, first described the condition now known as Tay-Sachs Disease; the marriage of his brother Samuel to Louise Goldman (sister of Sachs' wife Rosa), led to the formation of the Wall Street firm of Goldman, Sachs. Although an accomplished scholar, Sachs rejected the offer of a position at Cornell University to found his own secondary school for boys "which emphasized the classics, languages (including German), and Teutonic discipline." The coordinated school which he established for girls nearly two decades later placed greater stress on the German cultural heritage. His pupils came to number male and female scions of New York's leading German-Jewish families, among them James Loeb—whose abiding interest in classics, nurtured by Sachs, led him to establish the Loeb Classical Library—and Iphigene Ochs, whose father founded the New York Times. Sachs' educational philosophy was greatly influenced by Hermann Sauppe under whom he studied at Göttingen in 1869 and whom he admired as "a practical teacher and investigator ... a veritable professor of the teaching method." His efforts to improve the quality of secondary, and particularly college preparatory, education in America responded to the rising academic standards in colleges and universities. After other schools with similar aspirations looked to Sachs' institutions as models of pedagogical methods and curricular organization, he began to teach teachers (e.g., Alice Walton) how to teach as well as students how to learn. He attained nationwide professional stature as a classicist through his service as (the first Jewish) president of the APA, and as an educator through his appointment to the faculty of Columbia Teachers' College.
American Jewish Yearbook, 5665, 1904-5 (Philadelphia, 1904) 179; Steven Birmingham, Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York (New York, 1967); Iphigene: Memoirs of Iphigene Ochs Sulzberger of The New York Times Family as told to her granddaughter, Susan W. Dryfoos (New York, 1981); NYTimes (3 Feb. 1934) 17; Sachs, Reminiscences of German University Days (New York, 1917); B. Sachs, M.D., Memoirs (New York, 1949); Frederick L. Thompson, DAB 16:280-1; WhAm 1:1072.
- Author: Judith P. Hallett