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le finmber of pupils in all the gril
harts are re-erveil and exe
tertion of janitors; the leri
Cialiter more widely in etticien
Zune districts is strilring,
sharks began to scent prey from afar. First came the agent with charts for teaching physiology, which were sold at high figures, so as to permit, when necessary, the payment of large commissions to subagents and liberal fees to directors' sons for delivering the same in schoolhouses in the districts. Sometimes careless directors were enveigled into signing contracts which made them individually liable for the purchase if they failed to ratify the sale at the next meeting of the board or to lift the charge at the express office. Next camo the block man, selling lumber at fancy prices in the shape of geometrical forms, which the skillful teacher constructs out of paper in so far as she needs them in the elementary school. Finally came the map man, selling relief maps at $100 a set. The consequences were soon visible. When school boards in rural districts in vest from $30 to $100 per schoolhouse for maps and other apparatus, it means lower wages, interior teachers, stinting of textbooks and school supplies, and sometimes shortening of the school term."
The superintendent notes with approbation the increased attention given to the study of civil government, particularly that of the State. Careful training of pupils in the art of governing themselves has served to expel the rod from most of the schools. A unique government, perhaps the only one of its kind in the whole country or elsewhere, is that in a school attached to the University of Pennsylvania, named Houston Hall, after its founder, H. H. Houston.
“Its purposes, briefly stated, are to provide for the students of the various departments a place where all may meet on common grounds and to furnish them with every available facility for passing their leisure hours in harmless recreation and amusement. The entire management has been left in the hands of a student organization which elects the officers and committees by which the hall is managed. It has a members bip of 2,500, and is used by a daily average of over 1,200 students. The experiment has, beyond question, met the most ardont expectations of its most sanguine friends, and bids fair to solve some of the vexed questions of university discipline."
Rorate bigh school for girls, the la
a te far better than the system of 1
barted from all education. The
to keep pace with the growth of 1
e admits that little was done in a atbe jear. This was because of
ALLEGHEXY SCHOOL REPORT.
main bopt, will be gotten through ti
Jei the already existing lak of adeq 1934 to fleet the schools for the child 2. tbai ibere is no compulsory vaccini Je nefficient. Complaint is made
- in the l'niversity of Pennsylvan untur need of increase. A small ani rajag need.
mistaks eame-tly in behalf of and riber teachers worn in the servi is the way of pnblic help, a Tea fried, e bich would be a great blessi Sthat the sectional boards hell + a0021 ver of reports are submitted istering the night schools, of wh Paging from childhood beyond midy 5 per cent foreign, an increase
Report for 1895, John Morrow, superintendent.
The report of tho superintendent expresses entire satisfaction as to the progress of work in the day schools, but far otherwise regarding night schools, which are deteriorating instead of advancing. Upon this subject his views are expressed with unusual plainness. He says:
"At best their continuance from year to year under existing regulations has been a question of doubtful propriety. There ought to be much more encouraging returns than we now get for the expenditure of money and effort put upon them. I think I am not far from the truth when I say that about 30 per cent of those who attend night school go with the avowed intention of trying to break it up, and they always nieet with considerable success, because they discourage and drive ont those who go with good intentions. After the decent portion of school has been banished they then drop out themselves. I have always been of the opinion that six schools, centrally located, under proper regulations, would do more good than the fifteen or more scattered all over the city as heretofore. They could be far better gradel, with fewer pupils to a teacher, thus insuring more individnal instruction. The mob element could be more casily kept out, all at a greatly reduced expenditure. Already this term it has been necessary in several of the wards to call on the police to suppress the disorderly conduct of half-grown boys disturbing the night schools. It would not be a difficult thing to formulate rules that would bring these turbulent spirits to time.”
The report praises the continual rapid advance of the high school. Answering the charge among some that this is only a rich man's school, the occupations of the pupils' parents are given to disprove it.
PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL REPORT.
Report for 1896, George J
baintain a bigli school and a 11
appropriat+d for the high and ist for the high and normal se
Is the powers of the district 1 * the cloctrine of State right Storting, and furnishing of schod Thes, such as building, repairing , EteThe district boards h:
. The power and patrona als are not generally sought 1 B; bene cases of inalfeasance
The report for the year 1896 is to the board of public education by Simon Graty, its president, and is accompanied by others from heads of the several depart
The report indulges in hearty congratulations on the great improvements in the work of the system that has taken place within a very few years. The measures referred to adopted within that time:
The establishment of manual training schools; the introduction of sewing as a regular study in tho schools for girls; the establishment of kindergartens; the adoption of supervising principalships; the establishment of the school of indlustrial arts; the establishment of schools in which pupils of the girls' grammar schools are taught cookery; the establishment of a new normal school for girls,
2nits that under the systell
and of a separate high school for girls, the latter having distinct general, classical, and commercial courses of study; tho adoption of a higher standard of qualitication for teachers in the public kindergartens.
The report recommends that hereafter applicants for teachers must have had at least a high-school education or its equivalent. Already a large majority of the young women teachers have gone through both high aud the normal school. This is claimed to be far better than the system of public examinations. The standard in the girls' high school has been raised by an addition of another year to the course.
Yet many of these higher institutions, notably the Central High School and the Central Manual Training School, are much cramped in buildings and general accom. modations which, in the words of the former principal, “destroys the unity of school life.". A large number of buildings are rented; otherwise very many children would be debarred from all education. The report says:
“How long this deplorable condition is to exist appears very uncertain. The councils of our city are fully informed on the subject, and admit the great need of the board for a large sum of money, running into millions, either to provide new buildings to keep pace with the growth of population or to replace such as are untit for occupancy; but the financial problem stands ever in the way of the realization of our hopes.' The comparatively small appropriations that councils are able to make from time to time for the purchase of ground and the erection of new buildings do little beyond making provision for the constant accessions to the ranks of our school population.”
The report admits that little was done in attempts to enforce the school-compulsion act during the year. This was because of inability to obtain satisfactory data. These, it is hoped, will be gotten through the division lately appointed for that purpose. Yet the already existing lack of adequate school accommodations, the liberty of parents to elect the schools for the children, and the difficulties growing out of the fact that there is no compulsory vaccination law, must tend to make compliance to a degree inefticient. Complaint is made that the number of scholarships owned by the city in the University of Pennsylvania is much too small, and reasons are given for the need of increase. A small annual appropriation would suffice for this evident pressing need.
The report speaks earnestly in behalf of means for the maintenance of superannuated and other teachers worn in the service. Legal and financial conditions being thus far in the way of public help, a Teachers' Annuity and Ail Association has been formed, which would be a great blessing except for the paucity of its members. It is suggested that the sectional boards hereafter require every new elect teacher to join the association.
Quite a number of reports are submitted by principals. Particularly noteworthy is that concerning the night schools, of which there are 79, with an enrollment of 25,549, rauging from childhood beyond middle age. Of these 75 per cent are native born, and 25 per cent foreign, an increase of 2 per cent among the latter over those of last year.
The whole number of pupils in all the gralles is 138,515.
PITTSBURG SCHOOL REPORT.
Report for 1896, George J. Lucky, superintendent. The school system of Pittsburg is peculiar. The 38 subschool districts have each its own board of directors, which elects a member of the central board of education. This latter, in ine language of the report-
**ls authorized to do certain specific things, viz, adopt and furnish text books; build and maintain a high school and a normal school; fix salaries and apportion tea hers to the several districts; make a course of study; determine the amount of money to be appropriated for the high and normal schools and for teachers' salaries; elect teachers for the high and normal schools and teachers of special subjects for the district schools."
Regarding the powers of the district boards, which the report claims to be an illustration of the doctrine of State rights, it says:
“All other powers are reserved and exercised by the subdistrict boards, viz, the locating, erecting, and furnishing of school buildings; the election and dismissal of teachers; the election of janitors; the levying of taxes in subdistricts for subordinate purposes, such as building, repairing, fuel, interest on subilistrict debts, payment of debts, etc. The district boards have power to borrow money under certain restrictions. . .. The power and patronage being thus diviileil, positions on either of the boards are not generally sought by those whose only olyject is to profit by holding office; hence cases of inalfeasance in office are not numerous. On the other hand, schools differ more widely in efticiency than they do in other cities."
The report admits that under the system iniformity is impossible. Inequality of enrollment in some districts is striking, ranging from 50 to over 2,000. It is charged
that this is owing to the fact that subdistrict and ward boundaries coincide, the latter of which are made for purely political purposes.
Besides the supervision of the thirty-eight principals and the principal of the high school, the central boarıl of etlucation assigns a teacher to each subdistrict for forty pupils each of average attendance, one-fourth of this number being classed as grammar teachers,
There are nine kindergarten schools, which, with some assistance of the board of education, are managed and maintained by a company kuown as the Kindergarten Association.
The board supports three school kitchens, and furnishes Sloyd schools to such subdistricts as ask for them.
School age is from 6 to 21 years, the courses of study occupying seven and a half years.
The central board furnish free text-books, while maps, charts, etc., are supplied by the subdistrict boards.
In many of the schools corporal punishment is prohibited and gradually falling into disuse in the others. The report avows the opinion that it ought to cease entirely.
The feeling is growing that too long time is spent in the primary and gramuar schools, that mnch of arithmetic, grammar, geography, and history might be put out. The report suggests that the subject of modifying the course be referred to a committee of the best known educators to report a plan.
The tables show that there are 41,497 pupils, taught by 838 teachers, in 72 buildings.
One good result from the business exigencies of the year has been increased attendance, owing to the want of other occupation of many within school age. Very marked changes have been wanting, beyond the fact that the city, town, and village schools have been growing, while thoso in the rural localities have become smaller and poorer. Notwithstanding the increasing favor of the town over the district system, many of the rural communities persist in adhering to the old, and are thus not only kept from improvement, but fallen into continual decay. Says the report:
“ These two features, better teachers and a systematic and progressive course of study, can only be bad and maintained by means of organization which confers definite powers with corresponding liabilities.
The slow progress in industrial education makes more marked the necessity of the town system, and more clearly defined control of the State over the qualitication and appointment of teachers.
The evening schools, now numbering 62, are reported to be doing not as well as they ought. One difficulty is the allowing entrance to childreu who are too young. These come in freely at the opening, but soon dropping out begins and comparatively few remain. The developinent of the evening high school, however, has been quite satisfactory, particularly in the cities of Providence aud Pawtucket.
Appeal is made for better facilities both in ascertaining the number of feebleminded children in the State and providing for the education possible to them. Some of these have been provided for at Waverly and Baldwinville, Mass., anal Elwyn, Pa.
Some increase has been in enrollment in the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, but it is yet too small. It is suggested that this be increased by the State's creating a number of scholarships.
Praise is bestowed upon the growing utility of the State Home and School for Homeless and Abandoned Children, and appeal is made for greater facilities for their visitation and inspection.
In the report of the commissioner it is shown that graded schools have continued to develop and ugraded to decline.
Of the 82 new teachers added during the year 69 were women. Two high schools have been added, the number now being 18, containing 5 per cent of the total enrollment.
Report for 1895, W. D. Mayfiell, State superintendent. Complaint is made that the State and county authorities find it difficnlt to get accurate information concerning the special school districts. This lack of information makes it appear, what is not a fact, that enrollment of pupils las fallen off, So it is regarding accurate estimate of the average of length in school sessions. On this lead the report uses this language:
"Under the rule for ascertaining the average time the schools of a county have been in session during the year, the long-term schools, which are in the cities, and
towns, and special districts, are placed with the short-termed country schools, and the general average for the county does not do justice to the long-term schools, while it indicates to the casual thinker that the short-term schools ran longer than they really did. It would be well for those schools to be reported in separate classes, anil the law should be so amended for this purpose. The special schools should bo pot under the school authorities at least to the extent of accounting for the public money received and expended, and reporting such other matters as will enable the school authorities to make complete reports of the condition of the schools of the State.”'
The report speaks heartily of general improvement in the teaching force. Summer schools and teachers' institutes, both white and colored, were held in several counties in the State, with gratifying results.
It is contended that the monoys appropriated for public education are not susticient. Sehool sessions are necessarily made shorter than they onght to be. Those in cities, towns, and special districts lovying a special tax are of reasonable length. In these the general school fund is supplemented by an extra tax of from 2 to 5 mills, a burden which a majority of the school districts could not endure. It is suggested in view of this want to increase the levy on the property of the counties. It is recommended that “the county lovy for school purposes be raised from 2 mills as a minimum to 3 mills as a maximum, and all male persons between 21 and 60 years of age who are able to perform ordinary manual labor be declared taxable polls. This fund shall remain a county school fund."
1990. The report for 1896 is from the same superintendent, W. D. Mayfield, anıl rendered to the governor. It announces general satisfactory improvement in the condition of education. Gratifying increase in enrollment, greater than during any previous year, is shown by the tables. With whites it has been 5,130; with coloreil, 3,886. This was unexpectel, particularly for the fact that the scholastic year was only eight months, cansed by the change in reckoning from July to June instead of the former perioil, from November to October. The change is cordially commended by the report, as it makes the collegiate and graded schools coterminal with the scholastic year, thug presenting divisions of their sessions. Although the average ses. sion was less than that of the previous year (being 3.95 months for white and 3.25 for colorel) this is accounted for by the change aforementioned.
Much pains have been taken to put all the expenditures of the schools on a caslı basis. The effort has been partially successful. In some couuties conditions are such that it has thus far seemed impracticable to employ any fixed compulsory law in the premises. It is suggested that somo amendment of the school law be made giving wider discretion to school officials. The counties on a cash basis used only the tax formerly levied, namely, a poll tax and a 2-mill tax. In some of the counties not on such a basis it was the same, and nowhere was the 3-mill tax used.
The report quotes in full the educational sections in the State constitution of 1895, and complains of the varying constructions to which it is liable, particularly the provisions regarding the State dispensary. Adopting the prevailing interpretation, which gives to the general expense account of the State the net profits upon liquors until those profits reach the sum of $193,816.57, it will not be until June, 1898, when anything will be realized by the schools from this source.
A goodly number of schoolhouses were erected during the year for white and colored.
Feeling has been roused in some minds by the character of some of the school histories; but this regards private and graded schools over which the superintendent has no control. The State board of 1895 adopteil its own series, action outside of which in the schools under their control is without authority of law.
It augurs well for the general educational spirit among the people that in a large number of public schools the State funds for their support are supplemented by subscriptions of private individuals. This is the case with nearly all in some counties. Of academies and high schools in operation there were 85. Attendance at these and the State colleges, male and female, was excellent.
Denominational and other colleges not uuder Stato control complain of the free tuition in the others. Dependent to a great extent upon tuition fees, it seems to them unjust that a discrimination should be made which hurts if it does not endanger their security. It is recommended that a uniform law upon the subject be enacted, without intrenching upon special scholarships already created for normal and other purposes.
(Quarter-centennial of Dr. Grier's presidency.) This year (1897) marked the quarter-centennial of William Moffatt Grier as the president of Erskine College, an event of which advantage was taken to signify to him the high regard in which he is held in that State, both as a man and as an edu
cator. The event was celebrated at the college commencement on the 15th of June. The State superintendent of education and representatives from the various colleges and educational institutions of the State were present and bore loving tribute to the worth and high character of Dr. Grier, whose life was declared to be a blessing to the State. The alumni of the college, present in large numbers, testified to the high appreciation and affectionate regard, each business or profession being represented by a spokesman who appeared in its behalf, as "Erskine and her lawyers," • Erskine anıi her editors," "Erskine and her preachers.” Homage was also rendered by the faculty and student body of the college.
SOUTH DAKOTA. Report for 1895 and 1896, Hon. Frank Crane, superintendent. The report opens with a historical sketch of the educational system of the State since its foundation in 1861. It claims that gradation in the rural schools has served to bring into service a large number of trainod teachers. Following are some of the observations under this head:
“The griuled country school is in itself a detective agency that ferrets out and exposes the incompetent or indolent teacher. The teachers' reports inaugurated by this very excellent system compels the teacher to make a completo exhibit of his work and display it to patrons and superior officers."
Further on it said: "Our system needs revision. ... Much of the labor, therefore, has been the voluntary patriotic efforts of educators who have received no compensation other than pride in the success attending their efforts. The work of grailing our rural schools to the high schools and the high schools to the State University is yet to be done."
The report declares that the work in the State department needs a much larger force for its effective performance.
The law providing for text-books omitted to make provision for continuing the board of education with whom was the authority to adopt and purchase. That law, therefore, became inoperative in July, 1896. The books adopted tive years back are still used in most of the counties. The report says on the subject of uniformity in this item:
“County uniformity of text-books has been tried and proved satisfactory in South Dakota and many other States, while township and State uniformity has been abandoned in many States because the former unit was too small and the latter unit was too large."
The superintendent has no supervision over the normal department, although close and friendly relations obtain.
At the State University the course in philosophy has been discontinued, the remaining academic courses required through the sophomore year, and art and violin departments added. The plan alluded to in the foregoing report of accrediting certain schools has not proven as satisfactory as was expected; yet within two years those of Arlington and Vermilion have been added to the list. Uniformity in fitting students is hindered by the frequent changes in the teaching force of the lower insti. tutions. The president says:
"The conditions are further complicated by the necessity of adopting high-school courses for the majority who will not go to college, with the omission of some subjects required for entrance to college, to make room for others in a very elementary forin which are properly college studies."
Reports of county superintendents are given in due order. These are in general of a cheerful kind and interesting. Physiology is taught in many. The following is from Hamlin County:
“The subject of physiology is being successfully taught, and the evil effects of tobacco and alcohol are so instilled in the young minds that nearly every pupil is ready to give a temperance lecture at a moment's warning."
Here follow reports of the city schools.
The report contains a number of original articles by the superintendent, some of considerable length, and showing much study and retiection on various subjects, as changes occurring in educational practice, kindergartens, literature in the grades, nature study in the common schools, brains in teaching, and relative value of common-school studies.
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Report for 1895 and 1896, Hon. James M. Carlisle, State superintendent. After an extended discussion of the system and importance of public schools in general, the report pays a very high compliment to Governor Culberson for his intuence in the disembarrassing of conditions into which the system in the State liad been cast by the confused nature and management of the school revenues. A falling