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In the Congress of the Confederation Mr. Jefferson was chairman of the committee that in May, 1784, made a report on the organization of the Western territory, which provided " that there shall be reserved the central section of every township for the maintenance of public schools, and the section immediately adjoining the same for the maintenance of religion.” The ordinance as adopted on May 28, 1785, read as follows: " There shall be reserved lot No. 16' of every township for the maintenance of public schools." The ordinance in its final form, passed in 1787, prohibited slavery, required the encouragement of liberty and morality, and apart the sixteenth section in every township of public land for school purposes.
Webster, referring to this great act of patriotism, remarks: “We are accustomed to praise the lawgivers of antiquity, we help to perpetuate the fame of Solon and Lycurgus; but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced effects of more distinct, marked, and lasting character than the ordinance of 1787.
Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education for the year 1878. 8°. 66 pp.- Contents :
No. 1. The training of teachers in Germany. 12 pp.
No. 2. Elementary education in London. 21 pp.
No.1. Training schools for nurses. 22 pp.
ation in 1877 and 1879, and of the conference of State college presidents held in Ohio in 1877.
No. 3. Value of common school education to common labor. 38 pp.
bition of 1876. 38 pp.
No. 1. College libraries as aids to instruction. 28 pp.
ation in 1880. 112 pp.
No. 7. The spelling reform. 36 pp.
No. 1. Construction of library buildings. 26 pp.
ciation in 1881. 80 pp.
hearing, 48 pp.
No. 1. Inception, organization, and management of training schools for nurses. 28 pp.
ation for 1882. 112 pp.
No. 6. Technical instruction in France. 63 pp.
No. 1. Legal provisions respecting the examination and licensing of teachers.
ation, 1853. 81 pp.
No. 1. Meeting of the International Prison Congress at Rome in October, 1881. Il pp.
appendix on National Aid to Education. 99 pp.
It fixed forever the character of the population in the vast regions north-west of the Ohio." This great grant has shed its benign influence upon every State since organized, and the total amount of money reported as realized and now in hand mainly from this source in these several States reaches nearly seventy-one millions of dollars.
But the care of the fathers for education did not stop with common schools. When Ohio was admitted as a State it received 69,120 acres for superior instruction, and a similar policy has been pursued with other States. The great Universities of Michigan,
Circulars of Information of the Bureau of Education for the year 1881-Continuod.
ation, 1884. 176 pp. No.5. Suggestions respecting the Educational Exhibit at the World's Industrial and Cotton
Centennial Exposition. 28 pp.'
No. 7. Aims and methods of the teaching of physics. 158 pp.
Nol. City school systems in the United States. 207 pp.
No. 2. Teachers' institutes. 206 pp. In press
No.3. A review of the reports of the British Royal Commissioners on technical instruction in
No.5. Physical training in American colleges and universities.
A statement of the theory of education in the United States of America, as approved by many
The international conference on education, held in Philadelphia July 17 and 18, in connection with the International Exhibition of 1876.
A manual of the common native trees of the Northern United States. 1877. 23 pp.
Comparative statistics of elementary, secondary, and suporlor education in sixty principal coun. tries. 1882.
National pedagogic congress of Spain, 1882.
Report of the director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for the year 1882–83. 1881,
Building for the children of the South. 1881.
Wisconsin, and Iowa are examples of the results of these university grants of land, from which have been realized funds now in hand amounting to $6,720,000.
Later, when the question of introducing scientific, technical, and industrial education arose, there followed the great land grant, out of which have sprung colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts in the several States, whose funds, arising from this source, now amount to $4,802,000.
The total of these several large grants for education is put down at nearly seventynine million (78,659,439) acres, or more than twice as many acres as are contained in the whole territory of England and Wales (37,324,883). A vast amount of these lands is only assigned and not yet sold, so that it is impossible to state what they will ultimately realize in dollars and cents. By various laws a certain per cent. of the sale of lands by the General Government in the new States has been turned over to these States, sometimes amounting to five per cent. of the whole. Under this provision Illinois received, from 1821 to 1869, over seven hundred thousand dollars. In some of the States this revenue was used for school purposes; how much it is impossible to determine at present.
In addition to these various aids received from the United States for education by the several States, there have been a large number of special grants, as, for instance, 480 acres to Lafayette University, 160 to the Holy Cross Mission, over 22,000 for the education of the deaf and dumb in Kentucky, 400 to the Pine Grove Academy, and especially large amounts to several towns in Missouri.
In 1836 there was a large surplus in the Treasury of the United States, and an Act was passed providing that a definite amount of this should be deposited with the several States in proportion to the number of members of Congress. The total was over fortytwo millions of dollars, of which three installments were turned over. The fourth installment was not paid on account of financial embarrassments. The amount received was $95,584 for each member of Congress. These moneys were all held in trust, to be paid on demand to the United States. A number of States set apart the amount received as a fund, the income of which was to be used for the schools. This was done definitely by Alabama, which received over $669,000; by Georgia, which received over $1,051,000. by Ilinois, which received over $477,000; and by Indiana, which received over $552,000. $850,000 of the share of Kentucky was set apart for this purpose. Louisiana granted a considerable portion received to the colleges of Jefferson, Louisiana, and Franklin, and the Covington Female Academy. Maryland and Pennsylvania, after paying out of it their public debt, set apart a portion for the benefit of education. Missouri and New York set apart the whole amount for common schools. North Carolina transferred $300,000 to the literary fund. Ohio provided that the net income should be used for the encouragement of schools, and Rhode Island did the same. Tennessee set apart her share as a school fund. A number of States distributed the amounts received among counties or towns, and allowed the money to be used for school or other purposes, at their option ; how much thus went to schools it is impossible to determine. The whole amount distributed was twenty-eight million dollars. How largely this great supply of money became a factor contributing to the success of the revival of education at that period, no one can calculate.
Congress, touched by a humano effort to introduce education for deaf-mutes in this country, gave 23,000 acres in aid of the establishment of the first institution, at Hartford. Moved by a similar sentiment for the blind, it has recently set apart a fund of a quarter of a million, the interest of which is to be "divided equally for the use of the blind in the several congressional districts."
The influence and policy of our Goyernment having been such as is here described, the establishment of a Bureau of Education was inevitable. It is singular that the necessity for a such a bureau should be questioned by any thoughtful person, more especially when the principal educating countries of the world are making provision more or less ample for ascertaining and reporting all attainable information with reference to
education, and for collecting all works pertaining to the history and philosophy of the subject and all material illustrating educational methods and appliances. This Bureau has been greatly cramped in the past by reason of inadequate appropriations, and, but for the voluntary co-operation of teachers and school officers throughout the country, a judicious system of international exchanges, and the strictest economy in the use of funds, could not have developed to its present acknowledged importance. Extravagance in the use of public funds can be deprecated by no one more than myself; but I think no rea. sonable person can doubt but that the work which the Office is required to perform demands more liberal appropriations, and that the service which it renders in fostering the educational interests of the country justifies a larger expenditure for its support.
GROWTH AND JIPORTANCE OF EDUCATIONAL REPORTS. The importance of authoritative and reliable records of the condition of educational systems has been made very evident by events that have occurred in several countries during the present year.
In Belgium, France, England, and in sections of our own country, education has been recognized as a leading interest in political campaigns, and in the discussions of the subject free use has been made of official reports. They have furnished material for argument, have served to correct false statements, to expose fallacies, to check extravagant speculations, and to indicate the essential conditions of economy and efficiency in the conduct of popular education. In the attention directed by public discussions to the operation of systems of education for a period of years, the value of tabular statistics has been apparent.
Those setting forth the educational condition of the United States have received due attention, and, it is gratifying to note, very general commendation.
On account of this interest, the time seems opportune for considering the origin, growth, and present status of educational reports in our country. The subject is very fully treated in the following paper submitted to the National Council of Education by the committee on educational literature and approved by it:
I. The origin of our State school reports, which antedates that of local reports, is coeval with the origin of the State school funds. The just distribution of the proceeds of these funds for the benefit of schools rendered it necessary to obtain certain statistical facts, well authenticated, such as the number of children of school age for each school district or other school precinct of which the State is composed, the number attending school, the disposition of the school moneys, the amount of local school revenues, etc. The first school reports, therefore, were purely statistical and financial in character. This was the case in Connecticut, the first of our States to establish a State school lund. Such reports were made by the manager of the fund many years before provision was made for a State chief of the common school system, chuirged with the duty of reporting upon its condition. So, at a later period, in Massachusetts, simultaneous with the act creating a State school fund was the act providing for statistical returns from the school committees of the towns. The first issue of the abstract of these school returns, by the Secretary of State, was printed on royal quarto sheets, and is a curious landmark, as showing how rudimentary and imperfect were the first attempts to exhibit the condition and workings of a school system by printed reports. Three years later, on coming into ofice as secretary of the board of education, and virtual superintendent of public instruction, Horace Mann compiled the abstract in an octavo volume of upwards of three hundred pages, tliis being his first task as author of school reports, in which sphere he afterwards became so pre-eminently conspicuous; and, ever since, the statistical portion of the line sachusetts Report has borne the title--"An Abstract of the school returns made by the school committees of the several towns and cities in the Commonwealth." Mr. Meno: first report, which was simultaneously submitted, contained no tabulated statistics, anil was issued separately, in a pamphlet of fifty pages. This document was a statement. for the most part, of certain classes of facts and important views relating to the condi
1 This paper was prepared by Dr. Philbrick after special correspondence and most thorough con sideration of the whole subject, and at the close of his long life-work in education.
tion and wants of the school system, derived from other sources as well as from the statistical returns, its design being not merely to reach and influence State and local officials, but to be somewhat largely distributed among leading citizens in all walks of life; while the abstract, being intended more especially for the use of legislators and other officials, was printed in more limited numbers. This continued to be the plan of reporting tor upwards of a decade, except that the volume containing the statistical abstract was accompanied by copious extracts from the written reports of school committees. These two documents embodied the essential elements now deemed requisite in every good report, namely, statistical information on the one hand, and, on the other hand, statements, observations, suggestions, and views, relating to the interests concerned.
But althongu the complete report requires these two entirely different classes of statements, the chief object of all reports alike is to disseminate the most useful information in the best form.
Our system of education, like our government, is of the people, for the people, and by the people. It is for the benefit of all children alike, and is wholly dependent, both for support and control, upon the will of the people, expressed either directly, by the popular vote, or indirectly, through legislatures, boards of control, and the oilicials clothed with authority by these bodies. Hence the necessity of diflising accurate and detailed information as to the condition and working of the school systems, and also in respect to the best means of promoting their progress and derelopment, not only among legislators and public school officials, but among the people at large.
To insure the maximum utility of this twofold information it must be as fresh as possible; that is, it must be gathered up and made available at short intervals-in general, once in each year. Accordingly, we find that, with the development and growth of our State systems of schools, the part relating to reports has vastly increased in necessity, importance, and excellence. The aggregate of the printed school documents, national, State, and local, issued annually in the United States, has become very great, whether considered as to number or to mass of printed matter. The school statistics exhibited in a large proportion of these reports have become accurate, full, well-arranged, and digested; while the non-statistical portions of the documents comprise most of the current wisdom relating to school interests.
In this branch of educational economy our country is clearly in the lead, as has been shown in all the universal expositions of which education has formed a part. Foreign authorities agree in recognizing the superiority and great utility of this feature of our system.
The peculiar merit of this feature of our system has been pointed out and elucidated by M. Buisson, in the remarkable chapter ou school statistics, in his report on education at the Vienna Exposition, and also in his no less valuable chapter on the same topic, in the report on education at our Centennial Exposition by the French Commission, of which he was president. This eminent educator attributes the success of our statistical reports to two causes: (1) because the aim is to make them the medium of publicity to those results in which public opinion is most interested; and (2) because they have fixity and uniformity in form and substance, although liberty of change everywhere prevails.
It is important to add, however, that we find abroad individual instances of educational reports, both national and local, which are unsurpassed in merit, and may well be studied as models by our ablest experts. As an example of the latter, wo may mention the very extraordinary “Report on the schools of Paris,” of 1878, by Director Greard, covering a period of ten years; and Buda-Pesth affords a very conspicuous example of perfection in arrangement and completeness in detail of school statistics.
in Germany, it is customary for each secondary school to issue an annual report, containing an elaborate statistical statement, the chronicle of the year, the course of siudy, a detailed account of the work done, and a learned essay. These documents are largely exchanged for the purpose of comparison.
But, not withstanding our creditable achievement in this particular, in surveying the results of our systems of reports as a whole, we find very great imperfections, shortcomings, and desiderata. Over large areas we find inadequacy, not only in the character and amount of the information disseminated through this channel, but in the means of procuring it and in the method of collating, presenting, and interpreting the results. We and, also, a too general insufficiency of provision for ditïiising among the moss of the people, by ineans of general and local reports, tho information which they need for inspiration and guidance in the performance of their duties toward school int: Tests, both as parents and citizens.
It is the object of this paper to point out the more important merits and defects in school reports, and to suggest desirable improvements, more specifically, of State :wd local school systems.
II. The lieport of the national Commissioner of Education claims our first attection,