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is secured, and much more, the children will continue to be deprived of that education to which they have as just a claim as they have to the food that nourishes their bodies, or the air and sunlight which help to make them strong and healthy.
My inspection has included a number of the schools in each of the other towns, and in the three cities. Only to a limited extent, however, have I submitted any exercises as tests in either.
Of the schools of the cities and of one of the towns, — with those of the other, I am less familiar, — I know enough to state with confidence that in their supervision, in their methods and results, they compare favorably with the best schools in the Commonwealth.
• Respectfully submitted.
GEORGE A. WALTON.
Boston, Jan. 1, 1882.
To the Board of Education.
GENTLEMEN, — My time the last year has been given principally to the schools in Hampden and in Franklin Counties, and to teachers' institutes. The first two months, or until the close of the winter term, were given to Hampden. From minutes made at the time, I find that I made seventy visits to schools; that these sometimes included all the schools in the town, sometimes but a few of them : but I did not visit one-half the towns of the county. My purpose was not so much to examine, to observe, to note and report, as to aid the teachers by hints, by suggestions, by questions to the pupils, by advice when it was sought, and by words of encouragement. Of course I could not fail to observe the methods of teaching, the discipline, the general appearance of the schools, and the results obtained; but the primary object was to assist the teachers in the work given them to do. Generally one or more members of the school committees accompanied me, introducing me to the teachers and to the schools, and rendering me all needed assistance.
The summer term, beginning in most towns in April or May at the request of Secretary Dickinson, was devoted to the schools of Franklin County. Here the purpose was not so much to render aid as, with the approval of the school commit tees of the several towns, to examine, to note, to compare results, and to report. It was thought that such an examina, tion would be of interest to the committees, and subserve the general purposes for which the schools were established. It was intended that I should visit every town, and, indeed, every school, in the county ; but a full year would not be sufficient for such an examination, and for tabulating the results. I visited not more than one-half of the towns, and in but very few of those was I able to find my way into all the schools. The questions to be asked, and the information sought, were partly general, and pertained to the towns, to the school system, to the school committees, and to the teachers, and partly particular, having reference to individual schools, school-buildings, and the progress of pupils. The questions were not prepared by myself.
Those pertaining to the town were for its population, its valuation, the occupation of the people, the appropriation for schools; the school system, town or district; and the public sentiment toward the schools, as that sentiment was shown in the appropriations, in visits, and in a general interest.
Those pertaining to schools were to the kind of school, graded or ungraded, in village or country ; the number of schools; the number of pupils in each, and the average number of each; the means used, if any, for equalizing the numbers ; and to the high school.
Those pertaining to the school committees were for their number; their mode of examining teachers, of examining schools; the frequency of their visits to the schools; their meetings of teachers, and the results.
The inquiries with reference to particular schools pertained to the site of the building, on ground high or low, moist or dry soil; to the school-yard, its size, its condition; to the out-buildings, their convenience and condition; to the material of the schoolhouse, whether brick or wood; to the size and height of rooms, to their furniture, their light and heat and ventilation ; to the supply of blackboards, maps, globes, books of reference, and objects for oral teaching; to the teachers, whether they had had professional training or experience, or both; to their method of teaching, the oral or written, or both; and to the course of studies they were followirg.
The examination of pupils was not intended to embrace all grades of schools, or all the pupils in the ungraded schools, but to determine about what is accomplished in the first four or five years of the child's school life ; also what in the next four or five years. It sought to test the knowledge of a class about ready to leave the primary or intermediate grade for the gram. mar, and of a class ready to leave the grammar school for the high school. It was assumed that the ages of the one class