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Evening schools come in again for high praise, in which the work done is equal to the best done elsewhere in the city. It is earnestly hoped that a larger number will seek the a:lvantages of an institution in which so much good is being imparted.
Kindergartens are growing apace, the Porter School, the Solvay Circle, and another newly started, having been adoptod by the board of education.
In the matter of compulsory education not much has been done thus far. Say3 the report:
"A tinant officer has been named, and in some measure has succeeded in awakening the truants and the people to the fact that the law is present, and that another year will see it properly and fully ca forced. A truant school, withont which all effort will fail, will be provided, and tlicı, but not till tlien, will this city see the value of this long desired legislation.”
The report regrets the long continued delay in the inatter of new furniture for the schools which has been clearly shown to be solely needed.
The whole number of registered pupils is 16,657, an increase of 581; average daily attendance, 12,578.
Report for 1895 and 1896, Hon. Jolm C. Scarborough, Stato superintendent.
The report begins with a candid appeal for greater Stato aid for the public schools.
“I recommend," says the superintendent, "as large increase of school taxes ilirect by the legislature for the support of free schools as the legislatura may find it possible to lovy, and leavo a suüicient margin for the necessary expenses of the State anil county governments."
Reforriag agaiu to tlio fact that the constitntion actually commands that one or more public schools in every school district shall be maintained at least four months in the year, and the further fact that they are maintained less than thirteen weeks. He shows by figures that 9 cents on $100 in addition to the present rate of 18 cents as at present existing, making 27} cents is indispensablo for making practicablo compliance with the requiroments of the constitution.
“Therefore, it is said plainly, "overy odd and end not necessary for State and county purposes with economical management ought to be cut off and placed to the freo public school fund in order that good public schools may be placed in easy re?ch of every citizen's home and means. We ought not to play any longer with this question of schools for onr people."
And then the following is added :
“After this shall be dono-and it must be done if we are to dischargo onr luty under the constitution--and every dollar possible turned into the school fund by school tax levieil directly by tho legislature, we will still need more money for the public schools--the neighborhood schools'---in reach of every citizen. Then a sys. tem of local taxes from schools must be made effectivo if wo wonld leu o!ir people to more interest in tho education of the children for citizenship.”
To this end it is recommended that certain sections under the laws of 1889, which included only particnlar localities, shoukl be made applicable to all the counties, and elections ordered to be lield in what are tormed "off years," so as to removo thein from the influence of the partisanism and general excitement of political campaigns. It is a subject of much regret that not moro interest is taken by the people at large toward making school terms longer and the work done in them more efficient. Even private schools are “crippled," sometimes destroyed altogether by poor public schools. Parents send their children what little time the schoolhouses are open and then content themselves with the thonght that they are getting all that is to be lad. These private schools, having only about 7 per cent of school children, are frequently closing for lack of adequate support, and the only safeguard against the present young generation growing up in ignorance is in the public schools, sadly in want as they are of more generous legislative aid. The spirit of the people has at length grown to be in sympathy with the public schools, and would bail with gratification whatever would tend to make them more efficient.
The legislature of 1895 abolished the county superintendency and the separate county boards of education. The superintendent considers this a mistake, and recommends their reestablishment as well as some sort of provision for more effectivo and practical system of county teachers' institutes.
County commissioners, with no executivo ofiicer at their head, can not possibly manage all the multiform affairs in the system. Instead of the good results anticipated in those throngh whose agencies these connty boards and county superintendents and teachers' institutes were abolished the report says:
“On the other hand, the school interest has languishell, tho teachers have failed to make progress, the school districts, left to themselves, have multiplie: neighborhood disputes, communities have been lopelessly divided, and confusion reigns in many
places for the want of a wise executive officer to settle matter; anil to urge forward educational sentiment and work, and to put teachers on lines of study and improvement of their responsible work."
The report suggests that the Stato superintendent be directed to divide the State into sixteen institute districts, with six counties to each district, with a conductor at the head of each district, charged to hold once in the year one institute of a week's length in each of tho counties, conducted during the six consecutive weeks of tlio period, attendance on which institute sliould be made obligatory upon all teachers. It is estimated that the whole cost of such institutes would not exceed $3,000 or $3,500.
Regarding the normal scliools for colored teachers, the report suggests that instead of all the seven existing being consolidated into ono they remain separate as they
On tliis heail it says: “These schools have been of immeasurable benefit to the village and country pnlilic schools for negro children by supplying those schools with teachers reasonably well prepared for such work and in touch with the people whose children they are to teach. There are seven of these schools now, receiving annually the aggregato sum of $10,000. I recommend that these seven schools be given $2,000 each.
As it is, these schoo's have a pupilage of 1,000. If consolidated into one, this wonld reach hardly above 200.
Usual reports are submitted by the board of directors, and the president of the Normal and Industrial School at Greensboro. Attendance of pupils keeps on the increase, ninety-three of the counties being represented. Many applicants are denied admission for lack of accommodation.
Report for 1893 and 1896, Emma F. Bates, State superintendent of public instruction. Since Dakota became a State the number of school children has increased froin 10,000 to 67,000. The only institution of higher learning there was the State University. Besides this there are now two normal schools, the Agricultural Colloge, and the Deaf and Dumb Schcol.
It is considered a mistake was made in changing the time for election of county superintendents, which, together with that of other school ofiicials, theretofore was in the month of June. The change was made to the date of election of the general county oslicers, wlich takes place in the fall of the year. Objection is stated in these words:
"This has been universally regretteil as a move backward for oducation, since it makes the county superintendent this much more a part of partisan political machinery, and makes it less likely that a person of educational musrit is chosen, and more impossible to separate elucational matters from the intiuence of baser politicians who desire to use the educational ofiices for partisan purposes.” It is addel: “A few counties have too large territory and too many teachers to make personal supervision by tho superintendent eitlior possiblo or efficient. These should be divided into superintendents districts and laro another siperintendent, for the most effective work is in the personal inspection and supervision by a capalls county superiutendent.”
In view of the great number of teachers in the State who from lack of training are inefficient for their work, tho legislature at its session of 1895 passed a law in accordance with which the high school board formulated a system anıl a course of study. Of this board the State superintendent is a member, and she states that with only two exceptions the allvanced schools are employing it in endeavors to elevate their rank as high as possible. The value to the State from the uniformity destined to result from such action is twofold
“First, because the schools themselves aro better; seconil, because, since many distriet school teachers have only a high-school preparation, the better the high school the better will be this class of teachers."
Liberal appropriations, however, will be necessary to make the system satisfactorily efficient.
Tho normal schools thus far have been crowded with grammar-grade students for academical preparation, instead of (what would be far better) with high-scliool graduates and others holding second and third rate certificates, who resort there only for the purpose of being trained in the art of teaching. This latter would retouni far better to the benefit of the rural schools which, it is claimed, should be the principal aim of the normal schools.
While there has been marked improvement in rural schoolhouses newly constructed, yet the superintendent, like her predecessor, urges greater attention to sanitary conditions and cleanliness. A bill crafted by herself on this subject was passed by the legislatnre of 1895, known as the health and decency law. The following language is pointed and earnest:
“ The operative effects of this law have been bignly gratifying. Where a few districts fail to comply with its requirements the failure is due to the laxity on the part of county superintendents. It is simple and easily enforced. This is a field in which women are needed as self-appointed committees and as school directors to see that this law which touches the morals of their children is en forced.
Directors may build according to law, but someone else must see to its enforcement as to the clear, chaste, and wholesome part.
Then she quotes these words of Horace Mann:
“A want of deceney enforced upon boys and girls will become physical and moral turpitude in men and women.”
Another means of promoting the well-being of children in this behalf was devised by the superintendent in 1895. The following, after some preliminary argument of the matter, is what she says:
“The coming together of parents, children, ofticers, and teachers in the schools on a given day, which shall be devoted to exercises in honor and praise of the home and family, and the inculcation of personal virtues, seems to me eminently fitting. With these thoughts in mind, I designated June 26 as Parents' Day in the public schools of North Dakota for 1896. This day was well observed, with gratifying results,"
Complaint is madle, under the head of “Scientific temperance,” that the law touching alcohol and narcotics, is not very often complieci with except in the letter, while the spirit of it is not fulfilled.
Regret is expressed for comparative futility of etiort to securo the passage of a free and uniform text-book bill. A modified bill was passeil, thoughi compliance with it was left optional with the several districts. A few arlopted it and results have been so evidently beneficial that it is hoped that in time it may become universal.
Recommendation is made in the report that a law beenacted providing that a board of examiners be hereafter appointed by the departinent of public instruction, and another to make office of commissioner of university and school lands a position of trust in the department of State, and the occupant an elective otticial.
HISTORY OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN OHIO FOR FIFTY YEARS,
BY EMERSON E. WHITE, LL. D. It is said that the sketch of a man's life should begin with his grandfatlier. Whatever may be true in biography, the history of an epoch necessarily includes the movements that led to it.
For nearly a score of years after the admission of Ohio into the Union, the people were under the impression that the revenues to be derived from the immense area of schoollanıls would be ample to support not only common schools but also neeiled higher institutions; or, to use the expression of the time, to “disseminate instruction." But unanticipated difficulties were experienced in leasing school lands, and so in 1821 the first law providing for a school tax in Ohio was passeil. This pioneer school law also provided for the division of the townships into school districts, when approved by a vote of the electors, and the election of a committee of three by the householders in each district. This district committeo was authorizerl, on agreement of two-thirds of the householders, to cause the building of a schoollouse, to employ a teacher (the committee being judge of bis qualifications) and to make assessments for expenses. The option given by the law to the electors largely defeatel its purpose.
This pioneer law unfortunately recognized the school district, and not the townie ship, as the unit of school organization and control, and it took near seventy years to eliminate this serions defect from the school laws of Ohio.
The law enacted in 1825, usually referred to as "the first school law of Ohio, was mandatory in its provisions. It maile it the duty of the trustees of every organized township to lay off the same into school districts, as a condition of receive ing any portion of the county titx provided for in the law, and this manda iory provision was reenacted five times in thirteen years. The act of 1825 also provideil for the annual election of three school directors in each district; and made it their duty to build a schoolhouse, to employ a teacher, to manage and superintend the school, to make needed assessments, and to receive and expend all funds. A penalty was aflixed for a failure to employ a teacher. The law provided for county examiners to determine the qualifications of teachers. The school law of 1825 was prepared by Nathan Guilford, of Cincinnati, and, though much amended, it remained in force thirteen years.
A paper read at the semicentennial meeting of the Ohio Teachers' Association, June 30, 1897.
In 1837 the general assembly enacted a law creating the office of superintenılent of common schools of Ohio, and four days later, with equally rare wisdom, elected Samuel Lewis, of Cincinnati, to the office thus created. It is an interesting coincidence that three months after Mr. Lewis's election, Horace Mann was appointed secretary of the State board of education of Massachusetts. The impulse and direction which Mr. Mann gave to popular education in Massachusetts, Mr. Lewis paralleled for a time in Ohio, and with equal self-sacrifice and devotion.
Though his salary was only $500 a year (not sufficient to pay traveling expenses), Mr. Lewis entered at once upon a field campaign. He traveled the first year over 1,500 miles, most of the distance on horseback, visited 300 schools, and 40 county seats, organizing associations of teachers, and everywhere awakening an increased popular interest in good schools.
In the first year of his administration, he prepared and secured the enactment of the law of 1838, the most advanced school law thien enacted in any State. It continued the office of State superintendent of common schools, increasing the term of ottice to five years aud the annual salary to $1,200. It made the township clerk superintendent of the schools of his township, with the duty of visiting each school at least once a year and examining all matters “ toucling the situation, discipline, mode of teaching, and improvemeut thereof;" also with the duty of making annually the estimates necessary for providing “at least six months of gooil schooling." The law also made the county auditor superintendent of schools with important duties. It not only provided for a more effective organization of the schools in the townships, with statistical reports, but it also provided for the organization of the schools in incorporated cities and towns not under special charters,
Mr. Lewis's three annual reports to the general assembly are remarkablo documents, advocating with intelligence and force most of the plans for the improvement of schools since adopted. He edited for one year the Common School Director, a monthly journal published at the expense of the State.
The same year in which Mr. Lewis entered upon his duties as State superintendent of schools Prof. Calvin E. Stowe, of Lane Seminary, presented to the general assembly his noted report on Elementary Education in Europe, special attention being given to methods of instruction in the elementary schools of Germany. A copy of this epoch-making report was sent to every school district in Ohio, and it was also republished and circulated by the legislatures of other States. Professor Stowe's report and the three annual reports of Superintendent Lewis were fruitful sred in a virgin soil, and, as will be shown later, the next decade garnered rich harvests of fruitage. Scores of school officers and teachers were thereby imbued with the spirit of progress and fired with zeal in their work.
At the close of his third year Superintendent Lewis felt constrained to resign his office. The reactionists in school affairs were, unfortunately, in controlof the general assembly, and an unwise effort was made to abolish the office. As a compromiso measure the duties of the office were imposed upon the secretary of state. This barkward ster greatly discouraged the friends of free schools, and the next five years witnessed a marked decline in popular interest in school progress, though each succeeding secretary of state advocated one or more important measures of school reform.
But the cities and more important towns were fully enlisted in the improvement of their schools. Cincinnati, acting under a special law, divided its schools into two grades or departments as early as 1836, and in 1810 a graved course of study with five grades was adopted-one of the first elementary courses of study in the (nited States, Cleveland, acting under a special law, divided its schools into two departments (“primary" and "senior”) in 1840 and in 1846 established a high school, with Andrew Freese principal--the first public high school in Ohio. The same year the schools were divided into five graces, designated as primary, secondary, intermediate, grammar, and high. Dayton obtained a special charter in 1841 and under its provisions the schools were divided into four grades, designated as primary, secondary, junior, and senior. No high school was established until 1850. Columbus was made a separate district by a special law in 1845, and three schoolhouses were built the next year. Early in 1817 the board of education created the office of superintendent of public schools and, with commendable wisdom, elected Dr. A. D. Lord to the position. Dr. Lord entered upon his duties in May, 1817, being the first city superintendent of schools in Ohio and one of the first in the country. Portsmouth obtained a special law in 1839 and in 1840 its schools were divided into three departments, with A. L. Child principal. In 1814 the schools were divided into four grades, with Andrew J. Rickoft principal. Saudusky, Massillon, Norwalk, and other enterprising towns early obtained special laws and began earnestly the work of school improvement.
In 1847 the citizens of Akron obtained a special law "for the support and better regulation of common schools in the town," and the next year the general assembly
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gare the council of any city or town authority to adopt the Alron law on the petition of two-thirds of its voters, In 1819 the general assembly passed “A general law for the schools in cities and towns." This advanced act, drawn by Hon. S. T. Worcester, of Norwalk, gave boards of education power to establish high schools as well as lower grades and to determine the branches of study to bo taught in the schools.
The “Akron law” and the "law of 1819" gave a strong impetus to tho movement for the better organization of public schools in cities and towns. The year 1850 found over sixty cities and towns organized under their provisions, the schools graded (usually into five grades) and fairly classified. The schools in nearly a score of districts were under the direction of a superintendent. Dr. A. D. Lord was in Columbus and M. D. Leggett in Akron in 1817; Lorin Andrews in Massillon and M. F. Cowdery in Sandusky in 1818; John S. Whitwill in Lancaster in 1819, and D. F. DelVolf in Norwalk and Nathan Guilford in Cincinnati in 1850. Andrew J. Rickoff was principal of the public schools of Portsmouth from 1814 to 1849, with the title of superintendent as early certainly as 1817.
Two other important factors contributed to the great awakening in education which introduceil the half century of progress now under view.
In 1814 a man of untiring activity and intense enthusiasm was elected secretary of state. This man for the hour was Samuel Galloway, of Columbus. Mr. Galloway recognized clearly the need of an educational revival, and to accomplish this result he utilized fully his position as ex officio State superintendent of schools. He was ably seconded by Dr. A. D. Lord, then principal of the Western Reserve Teachers' Seminary at Kirtland, one of the first normal schools in the country, and by other intluential men in different parts of the Stato, whose enthusiasm hael been kindled by the secretary's fiery zeal.
In the first year of Mr. Galloway's great rally (1845) a teachers' instituto was lield in Sandusky-the first teachers' institute heli in tho west and one of the first in the United States, and in October of the same year a second institute was held in Chardon. In 1846 nino teachers' institutes were held in seven counties and the next year institutes were held in twelve counties. The number of institutes increased from year to year, and they did much to awaken popular interest in school improve
Educational conventions and local teachers' meetings were also held in different parts of the State.
The question of organizing a State association of teachers was frequently discussed in these gatherings of teachers, and the movement was earnestly supported by Mr. Galloway and also by the Olio School Journal, edited by Dr. A. D. Lord. At the teachers' institutes held in Akron, Ashland, and Chardon in 1847 a committee, withi M. F. Cowdery chairman, was appointed to consider the propriety of forming a State teachers' association. A majority of this committee met and issued a call for a convention to be held in Akron December 30 and 31, 1817. The convention met and the Ohio Teachers' Association was organized in a burst of enthusiasm, with Samuel Galloway as president and Thomas W. Harvey as secretary. Mr. Galloway was reelected and served as president for three successive years.
It falls to Dr. Findley to tell the history of the association in these opening years. It must suffice for me to say that the association held two meetings annually and that the tide of enthusiasm rose from year to year, reaching high tide in 1851. This was a memorable year in the history of the association. Tho belief that the first general assembly under the new constitution would enact an efficient school law intensified the zeal of its leading members. At the semiannual meeting in June Lorin Andrews, who had resigned' his position in Massillon to become a school inissionary," was unanimously pledged the support of the association, anıl for three years he was kept in the field as State agent, his salary being made good by members of the association-an action without precedent in the history of educational associations.
At the annual meeting in December Mr. Lorin Andrews presented a report recommending tho publication of a monthly educational journal. The report was adopted, and for eight years the association published the Ohio Journal of Education, the predecessor of the Ohio Educational Monthly.
In 1851 Mr. Lorin Andrews submitted a report recommending the establishment of a normal school under the auspices of the association, and at the annual meeting in December Mr. Cyrus McNeely offered to transfer to the association tho building and grounds of his school at Hopedale, valued at $10,000, for the purposes of a normal school. The gift was accepted at the semiannual meeting in June, 1855, and a vigorous effort made to raise an endowment fund. Under the inspiring leadership of such enthusiastic leaders as Lorin Andrews, M. F. Cowdery, I. W. Andrews,
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1 The first institute at Sandusky was conducted by Hon. Salem Town, of Ithaca, N. Y., assisted liv Dr. A. D. Lord and M. F. Cowdery. The second institute was conducted by Dr. A. D. Lord, M. F. Cowdery, and M. D. Leggett.